Is the City Council’s Legislative Aide Position ‘In the Bag’ for Former Councilor?

When a valued, well-liked and respected employee of the Everett City Council retires, the council conducts an open, honest and thorough process for replacing her, right? After all, to a person, the councilors say the job requires a unique skill set and that they have to find the exact right person. So, it may come as a surprise to taxpayers—particularly anyone who might be interested in applying for the position—that the decision may have already been made; that the person has already been chosen.

Caroline McCorry has served as the city council’s administrative assistant/office manager for more than three decades. She is retiring effective May 31st. The council, at least in public, has begun the process to find her replacement. But behind the scenes, the decision may already be a done deal—a situation that is troubling at best and a fraud perpetrated on the city’s taxpayers at worst.

During the Monday, Feb. 26 city council meeting, Councilor-at-large Wayne Matewsky praised the retiring Mrs. McCorry and then made an observation about her replacement. “It’s already in the bag,” the plain-spoken Matewsky commented. “We can all sit up here and say ‘We don’t know what Matewsky is talking about.’ But we all know what I’m talking about,” he said.

After the meeting, Matewsky told The Everett Stimulus., “Commitments [by councilors] have already been made. Anyone thinking of applying for the job shouldn’t waste their time.” Wow. He would not provide a name as to who apparently already has the job.

City Council chambers.

The Everett Independent named former City Councilor Mike Mangan as the person with “an edge on the position.” How can that be when the process is just beginning and the job description hasn’t even been created yet?

Mangan resigned his seat in January of 2017. At the time, the Independent reported, “Mangan noted during some brief remarks on Monday night that he had recently retire[d] from his position with the MBTA and that in considering future career opportunities, he recently became aware of a possible city position that may open up next year, for which he would like to be considered. He did not specify which position. ‘But, I have known and worked with several other former elected officials, who left their elected positions in the city and later found employment with the city and I hope that I have the opportunity to follow in their steps one day,’ said Mangan.”

By resigning in January of last year, Mangan has now been off the city council for more than a year, a requirement to be able to take the legislative aide position.

Councilor Fred Capone, who heads the legislative affairs committee charged with coming up with a new job description for supposedly open position, disagreed with Matewsky. “I have not made any commitment to anyone. [But] I can’t say that my other colleagues haven’t. I would say anyone who is interested should absolutely apply because it’s a very important position,” he said.

Capone’s comments notwithstanding, it not only appears the fix is for Mangan, it’s been in the bag for more than a year. Mangan may very well end up being the most qualified applicant. But how can we know when the process is a charade?

All of this should be very disconcerting to any Everett resident who is interested in fair and open government. A seat on the city council should not be a punched ticket to a lifetime, city hall position.