By Tara Vocino
Ringing in the New Year, the 2018 City Council President and Mayor’s Office shared their accomplishments in 2018 and what they hope to improve upon in the New Year.
For 2018 City Council President Jessica Giannino, her highlight was being elected with her colleague Joanne McKenna as the first-ever female Council President and Vice President in the city. “We created a citywide parking ordinance and conducted city business in a timely and professional manner,” Giannino said Saturday night. “We worked to improve city services, communication and quality of life issues for residents.”
Her goals in the New Year are to finalize the parking ordinance with McKenna, continue to work to improve communication between residents and city services and address issues in an effective and timely manner. Giannino said an improvement in the New Year would be to address problems that don’t have a simple solution, such as controlling traffic and rodents.
When Mayor Brian Arrigo looks back on the previous year, he is gratified that in 2018 the Mayor’s Office continued the effort to achieve the goals that Arrigo set when he took office in 2016: to professionalize city services, build a 21st-century economy and strengthen Revere’s neighborhoods. Arrigo called 2018 a productive year for his mayoral office. To list just a few of the accomplishments in city services, the 311-constituent services hotline handled more than 27,000 calls this past year, and with new mobile technology, they will continue to improve the 311 service.
“We upgraded the fleet of vehicles in the Fire Department and Department of Public Works and provided our Senior Center with a new van,” Arrigo said on New Year’s Eve. “We’ve increased staffing levels in public safety and public works. We obtained initial state approval for the construction of a new Revere High School.”
Besides upgrading departmental cars and increasing the number of staff members accordingly, they have cleared the way for the construction of a new DPW facility and started the preliminary work toward a new Point of Pines Fire Station. They have taken steps to dredge the Eastern County Ditch – for the first time in decades, which should help alleviate flooding in some of Revere’s low-lying neighborhoods, such as along Tuscano Avenue. And they began the complete revision of the trash collection procedures throughout the city that will come into full function in 2019.
In building the economy, they’ve guided the approval of landmark legislation that will set the course for the development of the Suffolk Downs property in the years ahead. They have set commercial development as a priority in their Community Development Department, and as a result, seven hotels are currently permitted, and construction site work has actually started on three of them, according to Arrigo. With Revere such a popular location, they have advocated mixed-use development to boost the commercial tax base and provide the amenities that Revere residents have been looking for.
He shared what he is looking forward to in the New Year. In the coming year, Arrigo’s plans of 2018 will become reality. In 2019, hotels will take form on Revere Beach; work will begin at Suffolk Downs; and other commercial development projects will start to come into focus. They will continue their efforts to improve municipal infrastructure and increase the city’s capacity to respond to resident requests. In just a couple of weeks, they will launch Next Stop, Revere – the city’s first comprehensive Master Plan in over 40 years. This will be a community-wide endeavor and will chart a course for Revere’s future.
“This is a dynamic time in the city of Revere,” Arrigo said. “I am proud of our accomplishments in 2018.”
Tara Vocino may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.