Mayor Arrigo Outlines Vision for Vibrant, Modern Revere that Works for All Residents
February 11, 2019
Mayor Brian Arrigo tonight delivered his State of the City address at the Susan B. Anthony Middle School, highlighting his Administration’s work toward a Revere known for professionalized city services, a modern economy, and vibrant neighborhoods that every resident can be proud to call home. The mayor praised the work of Revere’s public servants who have worked diligently over the past year to fulfill the City’s tremendous potential.
“My fellow residents, tonight Revere stands at the edge of a future where dreams will come true,” Mayor Arrigo said, pledging to continue work with “a positive attitude, an attentive ear, and an enlightened vision.”
Among the new initiatives Mayor Arrigo announced was a pilot of the City’s first community center, which in 2019 will use the Garfield School to provide residents with access to the gym, swimming pool and a variety of classes. A “Mobile City Hall” will bring basic city services into Revere’s neighborhoods, building on the Mayor’s commitment to make doing business with the city easier and more effective.
Investing in Public Education
Revere Public Schools continue to shine, with the Revere High School Class of 2018 sending 340 graduates to higher education. The high school will also graduate its first-ever national Questbridge Scholarship winners and two Posse Scholars in 2019.
“The quality of our students directly reflects the quality of our teachers,” Mayor Arrigo said, highlighting the work of A.P. Calculus teacher Erin Cronin, named Massachusetts’ STEM Educator of the Year.
In an announcement the community has awaited for years, the City gained initial approval from the Massachusetts School Building Authority for a new Revere High School. And, through collaboration with Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren and Representative Katherine Clark, a U.S. Department of Justice COPS Safety grant is funding critical safety measures to prevent violence in Revere’s schools.
Governing with Integrity
Throughout his address, Mayor Arrigo highlighted the importance of prudent fiscal management, the reinvestment of funds in city services, and the value of governing transparently - all to ensure that City government remains accountable to the people.
“No longer does Revere simply plod along with the way things always were; we have sought out and implemented new and better ways to do business,” Mayor Arrigo said.
Through this lens, over the past year, the Administration:
- Commissioned an independent, comprehensive audit of the city’s finances that revealed nearly $2.2 million in 86 inactive accounts.
- Achieved the City’s highest bond rating - AA - in its history from Standard & Poor’s.
- Certified $11.2 million in free cash in 2018 and announced estimated free cash of $9 million in 2019, the two highest amounts in the City’s history.
- Presented rate payers with a check for $2 million, representing a three percent decrease in the city’s water and sewer rates, the city’s first rate reduction in 20 years.
- Implemented an owner-occupied real estate tax break of over $500 for eligible seniors and added another bracket of discounts that will make qualified seniors eligible for up to a 30 percent reduction in water and sewer bills.
- Continued to work toward a residential tax exemption for all owner-occupied properties.
Improving Quality of Life through Public Services
Mayor Arrigo pointed to the continued investment in public services that improve quality of life for Revere residents.
- With additional staff and new equipment, the Department of Public Works and Water & Sewer Department are delivering services smarter, and with better results. In 2018 alone, they responded to over 23,000 service requests, from pothole repair and snow removal to water main breaks and clogged storm drains. Plans are advancing on a long-overdue state-of-the-art public works facility.
- Investments in public safety have resulted in the hiring of four new firefighters, a new Ladder truck for the Central Fire Station, progress toward a Point of Pines fire station, new laptops for Revere Police cruisers and other tools to keep neighborhoods safe. The ranks of both the police and fire departments continue to grow, ensuring the City is always prepared to respond to situations where every second counts.
- Doing business with the City has become easier. The Revere 311 constituent services line was expanded, and more and more residents utilized its convenience in 2018. A new website will make city processes more seamless.
- In 2018, an overhaul of the Parking Department restored public trust, resulted in new equipment, and implemented efficient collection procedures. New smart meters have averaged nearly $3,000 per week in collections and will continue to increase.
- The City delivered more than 16,000 new, heavy-duty trash carts to every residential property, a key component to support improved trash disposal and the fight against rodents. Revere is leading the way on this issue, retaining professional exterminators to assist property owners in battling rodent activity.
Securing a Dynamic Economy for All
Economic development in Revere has advanced from the planning stages to active construction of new hotels and businesses, and a pipeline of $750 million in private investment is set to bolster the city’s commercial tax base. Seven hotels will open over the next few years, with construction underway on a pair of signature hotels on Revere Beach Boulevard. Amenities like full service restaurants, Starbucks, and other innovative spaces will spark vitality along the Revere Waterfront, where visitors and residents alike will be able to enjoy the City’s magnificent view of the ocean. Next Stop Revere, the City’s first master planning process in nearly 50 years, represents a collective effort to envision the future of the city.
“It is our goal to create a dynamic commercial tax base that provides opportunities for all of our residents,” Mayor Arrigo said. “From the rubble of years gone by, from vacant lots where only memories remain, unprecedented opportunity beckons.”
A year from now, the early stages of a 15-20 year project that will transform Suffolk Downs will be visible to all: An Innovation Center and full service hotel will rise, a new network of roadways and bike trails will connect Beachmont with unique retail and office space, and all will be able to enjoy recreational areas never before seen in the city. The Suffolk Downs project, upon completion of all phases, is projected to generate $43 million dollars every year in total tax revenue.