Fall River Councilors push back against ‘revenge politics’

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FALL RIVER — The day before Mayor Jasiel Correia II admitted on a radio talk show that the removal of his political challenger from the B.M.C. Durfee Building Committee was politically motivated, two City Councilors submitted a request for emergency legislation that would require council approval before any such mayoral actions.

Sponsored by City Council Vice President Pam Laliberte-Lebeau and Councilor Shawn Cadime, the resolution states that “political retaliation continues by the current Mayor at an alarming rate” and identified the most recent “revenge politics” against recall election candidate and School Committee member Paul Coogan, who ran against Correia, and School Committee Vice Chairman Mark Costa, who publicly supported Coogan – both of whom Correia removed less than 24 hours after he was recalled then re-elected as mayor.

The mayor could not be immediately reached for comment.

If approved, the resolution would be sent to the Committee on Ordinances and Legislation to adopt an emergency preamble for an ordinance that would allow council approval before any board or committee member holding a seat that has policy making or fiduciary responsibilities was removed by a mayor.

Assistant City Clerk Ines Leite said the council would have to approve the emergency preamble and define the emergency. If an ordinance is approved in committee, its passage will require only one reading in City Council.

The resolution is on Tuesday’s agenda for the City Council, which convenes after Correia’s scheduled State of the City address at 5:30 p.m.

Cadime is still pushing for a special meeting of the City Council to take a second try to force Correia out of office temporarily using a provision in the city charter.

“My concern is really how he governs,” said Cadime. “He’s making decisions based on his political survival, not the good of the city.”

In November, less than a month after Correia was arrested by federal officers in the early morning in Bridgewater and later arraigned on 13 federal counts of wire and tax fraud, the effort to remove Correia failed in a 4-5 vote.

Cadime cites that in additional to blatant political retribution, Correia’s ending the pay-as-you-throw program was for his own political gain before the recall and without considering the loss of revenue.

He’s also concerned with Correia’s latest claims that he’ll alleviate the storm water fee which helps fund the city’s ongoing CSO project.

“His slogan is if you don’t…

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