Stephen Smith’s dilemma is the city’s problem

October 21, 2009
By

An extraordinary person could pull it off.

In the best of times, it could be done.

However, he is not an extraordinary person and these are not the best of times.

We are referring to Rep. Stephen Smith who is also a School Committeeman. Smith holds these separately elected posts and is doing a poor job in both positions.

Nothing is more important to Everett residents than revenue and services from the state. In these times, the state does not have any money. Governor Patrick says that he is losing sleep over the next round of budget cuts that will have to be made to cities and towns as well as programs in the coming weeks.

Look at how Representative Smith has failed us:

1) The State pool in Everett was shut down during the hottest week of the summer. The Chelsea representative made sure his pool was open until Labor Day. Where was Rep. Smith?

2) In the State owned senior building, Glendale Towers, seniors are living in housing that is infested with bed bugs. Residents have had to live in this condition for more than two years. The Revere Representative has secured funding so that Revere seniors live in dignity. Where is Rep. Smith?

3) Everett officials are fighting to rid the city of illegal rooming houses. Legal rooming houses provide a service and safety for those who choose to live in them. Illegal rooming houses are a scourge that can destroy our neighborhoods. Yet in a recent case involving an illegal rooming house in Everett, the case was dismissed. Why? Because the landlord appeared unannounced a week earlier in court than scheduled and the magistrate dismissed the case because the City was not there. The court is a state agency. The Chelsea Representative is sure that city officials receive justice in court. Where was Rep. Smith?

4) The Everett High School Tennis team can not practice and can not play home games because of the lack of tennis courts in Everett. With a population of more than 50,000, we only have four courts. Where are the state funds for our parks and playgrounds? The Winthrop Representative has had state funds earmarked for park improvements and a pier. Where Rep. Smith?

5) We are using our money to maintain the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) traffic Islands. The Medford state representative had the DCR pay for its own maintenance. Where was Rep. Smith?

6) We have no more flu vaccines from the state. Our flu clinics are closed. When will they be opened? Not on November 1 as promised maybe in mid November. Again, where is Rep. Smith?

He’s spending his time trying to create a new power base for himself on the School Committee. To what end, we wonder?

As school committeeman, Smith’s actions have insulted and polarized the school committee. It is only a matter of time before his actions and rantings stagnate the schools. As a state representative, where are the state grants for education as other communities are receiving them?

Everett’s School children and the schools are Everett’s pride.

Everett’s schools and schoolchildren would be his pawns in his personal fight and vendetta against School Superintendent Fred Foresteire.

Under Foresteire’s leadership the schools have flourished into educational safe havens for tens of thousands of students.

The great Roman statesman Cicero once said in his famous speech condemning Cataline, “Leave now Cataline, the gates of the city of open.”

Like Cataline, Smith needs to make a choice.

He should choose one job or the other.

He is receiving two salaries from two jobs, neither of which he has been able to manage let alone master.

The victims of his dual office holding are the seniors, the children and the taxpayers of Everett.

Everyone should take note and act accordingly.