Ward 3 Councillor Anthony DiPierro and Ward 2 Councillor Stephanie Martins are looking for answers after learning that the response times from the Cataldo Ambulance Service have grown to 20 minutes in some cases.
“That’s unacceptable,” said DiPierro during the City Council’s final meeting of the year on December 27, adding that Cataldo has violated its contract with the city. “That’s why I was so adamant about the city purchasing its own ambulance.”
DiPierro reiterated that an in-house ambulance would supplement Cataldo, which cannot keep pace with the demand for services. “They’re taking too long to show up; they need to be in this community,” he said, “not coming from Stoneham, not coming from Melrose.” In addition, DiPierro said the city keeps a record of any response times that exceed seven minutes.
Four departing councillors
In other news, the City Council said goodbye to Ward 5 Councillor Rosa DiFlorio, who is leaving after 16 years, and Ward 1 Councillor Fred Capone, who is leaving after eight years. Ward 6 Councillor Michael McLaughlin and Councillor-at-Large Gerly Adrien were also acknowledged although they were not present during the meeting. McLaughlin served on the council for six years while Adrien served for two years.
Ward 3 Councillor Anthony DiPierro said he had the pleasure of serving with DiFlorio for the past six years, adding that he has become like one of her own children. “Councillor DiFlorio likes to say she has five sons – she actually has six,” said DiPierro. “I’m one of them. I get yelled at like one of them but that’s okay.”
He also said DiFlorio always stood her ground even when it was unpopular to do so. “She’s never taken any nonsense from anyone,” he said.
Councillor-at-Large John Hanlon said DiFlorio is “truly a jewel of Everett.” “She knows what she wants; she knows what she’s after,” he said.
Hanlon also lauded DiFlorio’s professional achievements. “She’s a boss at the Registry of Motor Vehicles,” he said, adding that she has only been with the Registry for six years.
Councillor-at-Large Michael Marchese spoke about serving with Capone. “There are superstars up here who come to meetings prepared; Councillor Capone is that person,” he said. “We’ll have a big void without Councillor Capone; I’m going to miss him. I hope he’s not done with politics. Everett needs him.”
City Council President Wayne Matewsky was surprised that four of his colleagues are leaving the council. “I haven’t seen a turnover of four people in quite a long time,” he said.
Matewsky said he has enjoyed his years as a public official. “I like to help people if I can,” he said. “Nothing is worse than when you call someone and the first giveaway is ‘I’ll see what I can do,’” he said. “That’s not in my vocabulary. I actually will do something.”