By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher
The saga continues in the case of All-Pro Landscaping, which — courtesy of Peabody’s good ole boy political network — got treated with kid gloves again last night.
A large chemical storage tank on the All-Pro Landscaping property.
The Conservation Commission says it will give All-Pro Landscaping, which is polluting wetlands with asphalt and other debris, another 45 days to clean up its mess. While All-Pro has been ignoring calls to clean up its mess, the city has allowed them to continue operating behind Latitude Sports Club.
For those keeping score, the Con Com issued the same exact edict on All-Pro at its June 11th meeting. But move along … there’s nothing to see here.
There was also a further smoke screen laid down last night by some Con Com members, who tried to deflect responsibility from All-Pro by asking if they should instead fine the actual property owner. All-Pro is just a tenant on the property.
So why is the city dragging it’s feet, and sitting on it hands here with what seems like a fairly straight forward set of violations?
A lot of people are wondering if it has anything to with the fact that the ALL-Pro owner and his family are as politically connected as it gets in Ward 5, where this situation exists. For months, the ward councilor has been working behind the scenes to ensure that certain city departments take it easy on All-Pro, and last night the same councilor was at the Con Com meeting trying to smooth things over again.
I guess that’s the type of personal constituent service you get for putting up hundreds of his campaign signs, and working behind the scenes to ensure that developers get on board and help elect a guy who will keep the good times rolling up on Route 1. With this councilor, it seems like the rights of developers come first, and your quality of life isn’t really all that important. But we Ward 5 residents are used to it. After all, that kind of approach has been going on here for more than 25 years.
If you are a developer or a buddy of the ward councilor, you get what you want. If not, it’s like a scene from Oliver Twist. “Please sir … I want some more.”
Last night, they even brought in another one of the ward councilor’s buds, a Pine Street neighbor, who told the Con Com that the owner of All-Pro was a wonderful neighbor. Yeah, we hear he rescues cute little stray dogs in between spraying lawns with chemicals.
By now, feel free to say that my rant here is also politically motivated. You may be partly right, and that’s OK to say.
But then there are those pesky little things called the facts:
DelNegro isn’t involved with Peabody politics, and is just trying to do her job, which is to protect our environmental health and welfare. She says that All-Pro is NOT in compliance with the law, and hasn’t been for several months. She seems frustrated over the situation, and who could blame her at this point? The woman is just trying to do what we pay her to do.
So now, All-Pro gets one more chance.
Who knows? Maybe in 45 days the Con Com will give them another chance, and another 45 days. And when they do, maybe they’ll tell the All-Pro guys this time we REALLY mean it!
I guess there really are two sets of rules in Peabody. One special set for those who are politically connected, and another set for the rest of us.