Haunted House Tombstone Tussle
The backstory behind the Mello meltdown
People are still talking about a bizarre exchange of words during the last City Council meeting.
Councilman-at-Large Dave Mello took offense to his name being placed on a fake Tombstone at the Russo Haunted House, and wanted everyone to know it. For two decades the Russo Civic Association has put on a Haunted House event, including a fake graveyard with every member of the City Council (and the Mayor) included.
The tombstones include the kind of rhymes found in old Halloween tales, are meant in fun. Some of the harshest rhymes are saved for the Russo’s closest allies. For instance, 1st ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano is generally portrayed as a witch. Take a look at some of the tombstones from the past three years, as well as a view of the old “graveyard” before the Haunted House move to the Church of the Holy Innocents:
Most people find the satire relatively tame. You’re mileage may vary, but few (if any) have had the reaction that Councilman-at-Large Dave Mello decided to go public with at the last meeting.
Mello used the “New Business” part of the agenda to describe how “offended” he was at being one of dozens of fellow council members from over the decades who have been parodied in the Haunted House display.
Take a look:
What any of this has to do with “New Business” of the council is a mystery. “New Business” is for members to update the council and public on legislative issues and concerns such as committee meetings, future resolutions and ordinances. Mello’s speech included none of the above. The exchange that followed (and continued beyond the video clip above) showed that less than 24 hours after they took a bruising 60% to 40% beating in the 4th ward election, Zimmer’s allies are more focused on beginning the divisive rhetoric of the next election than getting the business of government done.
Mello’s grave was also featured in 2009, with no reaction whatsoever – which supports the idea that this year’s outburst was politically motivated. Either that, or Mello just isn’t enjoying his role as a public servant anymore.
What’s your reaction to this exchange? Comment below.