Board confirms mayoral appointments: Two major mayoral appointments were confirmed by the aldermen earlier this week. Michelle Karas was named parking clerk/hearing officer at a salary of $82,000 on a 6-1 vote (Ald. Joseph McGonagle was opposed). Ed Mastrocola was appointed as the new 911 director at a salary of $75,000 – his confirmation came on a 7-0 vote. Ald. Mike Marchese expressed disappointment that a Winthrop resident – not one from Everett – got the parking clerk’s job, and he shared Ald. Robert Van Campen’s concern about the “hefty” salaries involved. However, both members still voted to ratify both appointments.
Mayor DeMaria reports on 9/11 donations: Mayor Carlo DeMaria told an inquisitive board of aldermen this week that he has been able to raise about $120,000 in private donations for the 9/11 memorial in Everett Square. The mayor added that less than $10,000 has been paid out of the 9/11 fund to-date for materials, but other expected invoices have yet to be received. While pointing out that a lot of the labor involved has been donated, the mayor said he still expects all the donated funds, in the end, will be spent to complete the 9/11 project – and if there’s anything left over, those funds will help offset the costs involved in the installation of the impressive new “veterans honor roll” at the entrance of the stadium. By the way, the most recent donors to the 9/11 fund are Teresa Ricciardi $100; Richard Rocco $100; Everett Credit Union $100; and Benjamin and Mary Saia $50.
Aldermen mourn passing of well-known localites: The aldermen paused during their meeting this week to observe a “moment of silence” in tribute to the memories of two well-known local figures who died over the past week – former Councillor Richard Troy and Rose Sachetta, long-time “first lady” of the ERMA Club of Everett. May they rest in peace.
City preparing to seek control of local speed limits: The city council is moving ahead with a plan to ask the state to empower the local traffic commission with the authority to lower speed limits within the city. Aldermen Joseph McGonagle and Chuck DiPerri, along with Councilwoman Lorrie Bruno, are co-sponsoring a proposed “home rule” petition to that effect. Right now, only the state department of transportation can authorize a reduction in the speed limit on any community’s streets below 30 miles per hour. The local “home rule” petition plan has been referred to the committee on rules and ordinances so that the appropriate legal wording can be drawn up for submission to the state legislature.
Ranieri honored for bocce tourney leadership: The board of aldermen this week presented former Councillor Anthony Ranieri with a special trophy in recognition of his role of originally organizing and then annually coordinating a very popular city bocce tournament at Sacramone Park for the past 16 years. Ald. Mike Marchese, Ranieri’s partner in running the tourney over the years, made the presentation on behalf of the board. Ald. Mike Mangan, who recently assumed a role in the annual bocce tourney leadership, pointed out that Ranieri “is personally responsible for starting a great tradition in Everett”. Ex-Councillor Ranieri took the opportunity to publicly thank Atty. Roland Hughes and Jim Mitchell of the Everett Advocate for being dedicated co-sponsors of the annual bocce event since the beginning. Ever the politician, the former councilman couldn’t pass up the chance to openly declare his support for Ald. Mangan’s proposal to have the city administration install bocce courts at the new seven-acre park.
Two new memorial squares recommended: Support was voiced Monday night at city hall for creating memorial squares to honor the military service of two more Everett veterans. Ald. Sal Sachetta wants to dedicate the corner of Valley Street and Clark Street in honor of Anthony Badalato, a World War II POW, and Ald. Mike Mangan wants the inter- section of Chestnut Street and Chestnut Place to be dedicated in memory of Edward Francis DeVanna. The board voted to formally ask veterans’ services director Joe Hickey to process these memorial requests.
Extension of tax exemption program being considered: Assessor Pam Davis disclosed earlier this week that the administration is considering a plan under which Everett homeowners – who also have residential investment property in the city – might be able to receive some kind of extra tax relief. Right now, local homeowners, if qualified, are eligible to receive a 20% “owner-occupant” tax exemption just on the home they live in. Davis revealed that the city is studying the feasibility of giving that homeowner an additional exemption – “of a lesser amount” – for just one of his/her residential investment properties, which currently aren’t entitled to any exemption. The aldermen have scheduled a rules and ordinances committee session on the issue.
Mayor happy with current auditing situation … for now: Even though the city has been without a full-time auditor for about a year, Mayor Carlo DeMaria isn’t rushing to fill the post. He told the aldermen this week that he’s “more than satisfied” with the way the city’s auditing tasks are being overseen by special financial consultant Tony Rossetti (with the part-time help of a former Malden city comptroller). However, Mayor DeMaria stressed that he eventually is going to renew his push to create a CFO (chief financial officer) position.