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News

Council, city honors Nick Bua

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Nick Bua, who retired as the city’s director of veterans affairs after 14 years was presented with a certificate of commendation by Council President Jessica Giannino and Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky during a recent city council meeting at city hall. Bua was also feted at a retirement party in his honor this past week. (Advocate photo by JD Mitchell)

 

 

Property tax rates decrease

The Revere City Council voted unanimously on the recommendation of the city Assessor’s Office and Director of Finance George Anzuoni to establish the Minimum Residential Factor, thereby setting the tax rate for fiscal year 2017 to $13.99 residential and $27.53 commercial.

The 2016 tax rates are $14.45 for residential and for $28.70 commercial.

Andrew Iovanna, Chairman of the Board of Assessors, cited $1.8 million in new growth and an increase in real estate values for the decrease in taxes for FY17.

“Less than 1.1% in commercial/industrial – 2.5% in residential [growth],” said Iovanna to Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe when asked for a clarification.

 

   

Councillor seeks enforcement of signage ordinances

Councillor-at-Large Bob Haas wants to clean up the downtown business district, not of litter or trash but of the storefront signage and advertising overrunning businesses’ windows and sidewalks. In a motion presented at the Legislative Affairs Subcommittee Meeting on Monday evening, Haas requested Inspectional Services to enforce the ordinances that only allow for 38% of storefront facades to be covered by signage.

“I’d like it [the ordinance] to be enforced,” said Haas. “You can’t put anything on a public way. I’d like to see enforcement by police or various departments.”

Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso said the motion was worthy of consideration but the issue might be in the new culture of non-English speaking business owners in the community. “I see a lot of diversity appearing in the community and – no matter what nationality – I think English should be the broadest placement on the signage,” said Guinasso. “Basically, we’re an English-speaking country and all the rest are secondary.”

Guinasso said that it should be emphasized and that a game plan should be established as to how to present it within the business community. “These business owners would be more than happy to oblige – abide by that – I’m sure because they’re willing to participate,” said the councillor, pointing out Main Street, Melrose, as an example.

“We’re all for promoting business but we have to be mindful of the sidewalks,” he said.

Haas stated that the number of A-frame signs have become an esthetically-unattractive and a safety hazard in the downtown business district.

But Subcommittee Chairman Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo said that the major issue has been complaints and that there have been fewer than 10 complaints following discussions with Inspectional Services Director Nick Catinazzo and Police Chief Joseph Cafarelli. “There have been less than 10 complaints in the past two or three years that he could think of,” said Rotondo. The councillor said that the majority of the issues have to do with enforcement and that any issue can be remedied by a phone call to Catinazzo.

Haas requested that the Department of Public Works, along with Inspectional Services, the Board of Health and the Police Department, enforce the ordinances, particularly the businesses on Revere Street, which have more than 80% coverage as well as trucks parked illegally along the city streets. Haas requested the mayor bring together all the various departments in order to enforce the ordinances and create a plan for the city.

“I perfectly understand what you’re saying,” said Rotondo, who displayed photos for the viewing cable audience of businesses on Broadway that show windows to be opaque.

“But when you have houses that have tenants with up to 20 people in a two-bedroom apartment that’s more of an issue to them,” said Rotondo of Inspectional Services.

Haas agreed with the overcrowding issue around the city but said he just wanted to improve the quality of life. “You have to start someplace and this is a good start,” said Haas, again requesting the mayor to convene department heads to come up with a plan to enforce the ordinances.

“We don’t have to involve the police – this is for Inspectional Services,” said Guinasso. “They can’t take care of these issues as they’re driving around.” The councillor pointed to advertisements and signs on roadway meridian strips and utility poles that look unsightly.

Rotondo requested councillors to put together a list and send a letter to Inspectional Services and even suggested residents use “See-Click-Fix” on the city website.

 

   

Costa Park Holiday lights

On Monday, December 12 the Holiday lights at Costa Park will be lit for the holidays.  The event will be from 5-7 PM.  It is being hosted and sponsored by Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky and Mayor Brian Arrigo. Come greet Santa arriving in a bright red Fire engine, enjoy hot chocolate, snacks and holiday music. See our neighborhood park lit up for the holiday season.

Special thanks go out to the Revere Fire Department, the City of Revere Parks Department, Revere Police Department, Revere Public Works Department and The Neighborhood Developers.

For further information contact Councillor Ira Novoselsky at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

   

A $375,000-plus omission

Former Saugus Town Manager Bisignani pleads guilty to filing false tax returns and failing to report income

Former Saugus Town Manager Andrew R. Bisignani admitted that he failed to report more than $375,0000 of his income on federal tax returns he filed over several years. Bisignani, 70, of Nahant, pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Boston to four counts of filing false tax returns. Bisignani, who served nine years as Saugus town manager before leaving in December of 2011, admitted that from 2010 to 2013 he collected rental income from three real properties in Revere.

During the same years, Bisignani collected interest and loan income by making multiple, private, short-term loans that were secured by Massachusetts real estate. Bisignani underreported his total rental real estate income when submitting his individual tax returns to the IRS in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. He also underreported the interest income he received in connection with his private loans for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin has set sentencing for Feb. 14, 2017. Bisignani faces a prison sentence of up to three years, one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $100,000. However, United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz’s office has recommended a prison sentence and a fine at the lower end of the federal sentencing guidelines range.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina E. Barclay of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit is prosecuting the case.

Bisignani began working as town administrator in Nahant in February 2012. But he only had the job for two years before resigning in June 2014 over accusations that he had given public contracts to people or entities that he favored. An Essex County grand jury indicted him in December 2014 on 14 counts related to his improper handling of contracts while he was Saugus town manager and continuing to tenure as Nahant town administrator.

Four of the charges relate to his actions as Saugus town manager and occurred between Jan. 1, 2009, and Feb. 1, 2012. They include two counts of procurement fraud that cite Bisignani for spending $92,425 to purchase seven vehicles from Brothers Auto Body in Revere without waiting for potentially lower outside bids, according to Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office.

Bisignani’s alleged illegal actions as Saugus town manager also include one count of knowing violation of laws relating to the incurring of liability and expenditure of public funds and one count of failure to provide public notice of competitive bids.

The violations that led to the Nahant charges occurred between Feb. 1, 2012, and June 30, 2014, according to the district attorney’s office. They include “destroying public records, unlawfully intercepting oral communications and misleading person(s) in connection with a criminal proceeding.” Bisignani was also accused of procurement fraud and failure to provide notice of competitive bids, as was the case in Saugus. He is scheduled to go on trial Feb. 21 – one week after his sentencing in federal court.

 

   

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