By Sal Giarratani
A proposal by Acting Mayor Patrick O’Keefe to have the city’s three community liaisons assigned to specific wards isn’t sitting that well with a number of city councilors at the latest council meeting. The Mayor’s Office is saying these three liaisons are funded through ARPA funds and would help increase better communications between the Mayor’s Office and the people of Revere. Is this the best use of these existing positions or the federal funding at hand?
On the surface this change to the community liaison’s daily work schedule seems like a nothing burger, right? The mayor’s aide has stated that while 311 operators operate inside City Hall helping residents, these liaisons would be proactive. I ask, Proactive, how?
Ward 6 City Councilor Richard Serino has made a very good point. The real question to me and to many city residents as well as city councilors is, “Are these community liaisons even necessary and would they even exist had federal funds not been available to fund them?”
I always thought that ward councilors were there to be a bridge between folks living in the neighborhoods that make up individual wards and City Hall. Why do we need more mayoral community liaisons doing pretty much the same thing if I am not mistaken.
I can see why city councilors, especially ward councilors, might be either confused or agitated about the acting mayor’s latest community liaison proposal. It does appear when the federal funding comes to an end with ARPA Covid free monies, either the city will have to find funds to keep these liaison positions going or abolish them.
I think the last thing needed is a political controversy like this. These Revere City Hall positions should not be rushed at this time and place. Wait until the elections are over. Then bring this proposal up. Keep politics out of it. Just because there are still federal funds available right now doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do right now.
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