By Aaron Keebaugh
The city council, in a 10–0 vote, approved a number of appointments and reappointments to city positions at the council meeting Monday night. Council President Richard Penta was absent.
James E. Dixon was reappointed to the Election Commission for a three-year term. Kim Hanton was reappointed to her position on the Health Board, also to a three-year term. And the council returned Harvey Corin to his position on the Zoning Board of Appeals for a five-year term.
The council reappointed Paul Ring, Mark Ferrante, Darlene Cammerata, and Mariaelana Hinajosa as Public Library Trustees for additional three-year terms. For additional three-year terms to the Revere Cultural Council, Michael A. Bonanno, Denise M. Anderson, Laurie Giardella, Paul Argenzio, and Carol Haney were all reappointed. And Sylvia Corin, Thelma Smith, Josephine Picardi, George Shaheen, Morris Morris, Agnes Ferrioli, Al Terminiello, Vincent Cammarata, and Amedeo Iocco earned reappointments to the Board of Elders for three-year terms.
In other areas of public service, city councillors approved the appointment of Philip Lyons as a Constable and Leone Engineering Corp and Capital Services, LLC, as Licensed Drain Layers.
Powers asks for grass to be cut, calls for National Grid rep to appear before council
“Every day on North Shore Road I feel like I’m in the state of Kansas,” Ward 5 Councillor John Powers told council members Monday night. The grass along parts of that route is so high that it poses a safety risk for drivers and pedestrians, he complained.
Powers presented a motion requesting the high grass in the neighborhoods of Oak Island and Revere Street be cut. He also asked that the city cut the high grass on the roadside lots along Charlotte Avenue and Dunn Road.
With rising concerns of mosquito-borne illness in the area, the high grass serves as a catalyst for mosquitoes and other insects, Powers reasoned.
In a separate motion, Powers requested that a representative from National Grid come before the council to answer for its construction and trench work, which, the councillor alleged, is not being completed properly.
“I’ve had complaints the past couple of weeks,” he said of the trench work. National Grid hires subcontractors to lay pipes, but the trenches, as the work is completed, are not correctly compacted and sealed, resulting in sinking trenches, he explained. The councillor added that he had placed a motion before the council this past January to call for the city to hire someone to oversee the work because of the number of sinking trenches and pot holes throughout the city.
Powers’ motion is a sequel to the events of the previous council meeting, when Councillor Patch, in a motion of his own, called upon National Grid to fix a sinking trench near the Whelan School.
National Grid also took a beating from councillors during the meeting over the company’s failure to send a representative, per council request, to address the progress on double poles around the city.
Monday night Patch said “National Grid itself does a good job,” but its subcontractors, he alleged, “work a little fast and don’t do the work right.”
“It’s a serious situation that needs addressing [and] it’s a serious safety problem,” Councillor-at-Large John Correggio said. Compared with trench work in Malden and Everett, Revere “is a mess,” he added.
“Are we the only people who see these pot holes?” questioned Councillor-at-Large Bob Haas. And though he noted that the Department of Public Works was “doing a good job,” the situation may benefit from increased communication between the department and National Grid.
Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky noted: “We notified all of the utility companies at least a year in advance… National Grid just blew it.” He went on to say that after he made several phone calls to National Grid, some of the trench work was fixed. “You just have to get on them and stay on them,” he explained.
“Don’t you think that’s not our job?,” chipped in Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso, who, as council vice-president, directed the meeting in Richard Penta’s absence. He added that, in line with Power’s motion from earlier in the year, the city should have a go-to guy to oversee the work completed by utility companies on each of the city’s streets.
“These guys [utilities] have standards. They’re not following their own rules,” said Councillor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto. “Someone’s pulling a fast one… It should not be [up to] Revere to watch National Grid compact properly.”
But Haas suggested the city should look for ways to pay someone to watch over the utility work. Powers suggested that placing a fee on the work itself could pay for such an employee.
National Grid Representative Dan Cameron did not return phone calls in time for this story.
Novoselky calls for MBTA to address council
In its efforts to cut costs and service its billion-dollar debt load, the MBTA raised fares on its transportation services while cutting back and rerouting some others.
In particular, Bus routes 110, 116, and 117 were rerouted from stops along Ocean Avenue, leaving many residents in that area feeling out of the way, Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky reported.
Monday night Novoselsky presented a motion requesting MBTA representatives to appear before the council to explain why they implemented the changes.
Councillor Powers called the service cuts “a great injustice.” He continued: “These are working-class people who depend on that transportation to get to work everyday… Elderly people who can’t drive rely on that transportation.”
“This is something that is badly needed,” commented Councillor Correggio. “The MBTA is inconveniencing the residents of Revere. We are a working-class community. The MBTA can do a lot to help the citizens of Revere.”
Councillor Guinasso agreed that service is needed in the Ocean Avenue area, adding “It’s going to be a hardship for the people there.”