The Changing Face of Revere

To the Editor:

People have been saying for sometime now that the City of Revere is changing right before our eyes. I had always resisted such a notion, feeling that the Revere I grew up in hasn’t changed much at all. It was a destination for immigrants then, when my grandparents came from Italy and Lithuania, just as it is today. The origin of the residents may have changed, but Revere has stayed basically the same. Or so I thought.

The process to build a new McKinley school showed me how wrong I was and how much Revere really has changed.

As a kid growing up in Revere I remember watching city council meetings on Continental Cablevision. There were always city councilmen who played to the camera and spoke for the purpose of hearing themselves speak. Disingenuous reasoning is a skill most politicians seem to possess in abundance.

Back then, the city government seemed to be always hiding numbers and making shady deals on school buildings, so the lack of transparency and political babble on display during the process was certainly nothing new. Revere’s politicians have long believed that they run things, we just live here.

As a matter of fact, with it’s use of the ever-changing  spreadsheet, and ballooning list of unanswered questions, this administration seems to be operating in the tradition established by mayors gone by, and some mayors who have gone bye bye. That particular aspect of the process is nothing new and is a rich Revere tradition

Where Revere has really changed is in the level of discourse. We now have leaders of the school department and other elected officials taking to the Internet to denigrate and insult people who don’t agree with them. They question people’s motives without addressing their legitimate concerns. They spread untruths and innuendo, they ridicule, bully, and generally treat their opponents with disdain and disrespect.

Because as we all know, if you don’t agree with their views, then you obviously don’t care about  our children. and who could possibly have respect for people who don’t care about our children.

Trying to voice legitimate concerns at the bond hearing for the McKinley school, opponents of this cabal were vilified and bullied into silence. There were several opponents of the various bond issues concerning the McKinley school  that were intimidated by the vitriol of the supporters at the public hearing and remained silent or just went home.

Having experienced the wrath of the supporters, I can tell you first hand getting heckled, interrupted, glared at and treated like the skunk at the garden party by many of your supposed friends is a very sobering experience and not one I am eager to repeat.

The days when people took the time to listen to others and tried to understand their concerns seem long gone. There was a time  when we worked toward  building a consensus, and looked out for the greater good of all the residents of our city.

We now have residents who are driven by a narrow self-interest. They want what they want, when they want it, regardless of how much it cost or how it will impact the lives of others. if you have a different view or idea, they have no interest in hearing what you have to say and will shout you down if they have to, in order to silence the opposition

In that respect I think Revere has changed quite a bit and not for the better.

Rob Selevitch

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