Seniors Lucky to Have Mayor Rizzo
Recently I met with several senior center directors from communities near Revere. We gather every couple of months to discuss senior issues, compare notes, and brainstorm in order to share new and fresh programs, activities, and services. I have a very unique take-away each time I return to the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center. I, my staff, and particularly Revere seniors, are extremely fortunate to have Mayor Dan Rizzo as our ally, advocate, and person who genuinely cares about Revere’s senior population. It’s not the case elsewhere. Believe me when I say this. When I go to these meetings it astonishes me how low a priority elder services is to their respective administrations. Some have better and newer facilities but they can’t come close to Revere in terms of support for seniors, programs and activities. Mayor Rizzo is well informed, listens, and offers advice. We are lucky.
I want to thank Mayor Dan Rizzo. I was appointed by him as Director of Elder Affairs twenty-six months ago. Because of his management style, positive re-enforcement and encouragement, and trust, I and my staff have turned a dormant senior center into an exciting, innovative, and inviting habitat for Revere seniors. Revere seniors should be grateful and appreciate his support. He may not be able to visit as much as he’d like but he is there for seniors every step of the way. The Mayor and I meet or speak regularly – specifically on senior participation and senior issues regarding our programs, activities, services, and facility. His dedication to seniors cannot be matched with other Mayors or City Managers.
Here’s an example: Early on, Mayor Rizzo and I met regarding transportation, the center’s highest priority. The old shuttle van had a shelf life that was beyond expired. He laid the groundwork for me to follow up with East Boston Neighborhood Health Center who ultimately donated a “new” used shuttle van. Last year he directed his administrative staff to work with me on a MassDOT grant to acquire a second vehicle. Voila! Through his intercession as well as our state legislators a 2015 shuttle was delivered last June 1st. This vital necessity spurned a need for an additional driver three days a week. There was no hesitancy on Mayor Dan Rizzo’s part to add a driver requisition to our staff.
Mayor Dan Rizzo knows we need a new senior center. It doesn’t seem fiscally possible at this time. But, I remind seniors and others that through his Moving Revere Forward Initiative and Capital Improvement Program, its members, the Mayor’s staff, Representatives Deleo and Vincent, and Senator Petruccelli, money has been secured and earmarked for the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center roof. We have recently had welding work on railings and ramp repairs done. Yes, there is a laundry list of jobs left. I am especially confident that these will eventually be done.
Recently we have added four new programs – Zumba Toning for all ages, Core & Balance, Line Dancing, and Yoga and Meditation for all ages. The Mayor is more than happy to support these and knows we are reaching out to the community. Our recent summer iPad test program was a success and I am working with two high school administrators to roll out an ongoing curriculum. The Mayor realizes inter-generational learning has a positive impact on both youth and seniors. He also knows seniors enjoy entertainment and is aware that the staff and I go to great lengths to ensure seniors are happy. He has even recommended particular performers for the center’s special monthly lunches. Recently, he cancelled morning appointments to introduce a new Revere TV show for seniors called “Senior News”. He felt it was very important that seniors be able to watch Morris Morris and I deliver the Senior Power newsletter information since many seniors have a hard time reading it. That’s the kind of person he is.
In conclusion, I want Revere seniors to appreciate Mayor Dan Rizzo’s support and understand that he is there for them and all of us at the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center. He may not be able to come down as often as he wishes, but through our personal conversations, texts, emails, and phone calls on a regular basis he is always there for Revere seniors.
Stephen W. Fielding
Director, Revere Elder Affairs
Commenting on campaign
I find it necessary to comment on this year’s mayor campaign. I believe that being mayor of this city is an honor and privilege and every citizen should make the time to review the candidate’s platforms and go out and vote for the best person for the job. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of our residents actually take the time to vote.
This year, it seems that there is a lot of conflicting information being presented to the public. I just saw the advertisement for Mayor Rizzo’s campaign painting Councilor Arrigo as being a part of the problem at the MBTA. For those citizen’s that do now know Councilor Arrigo’s work history, it should be known that he has only worked for the MBTA for a little more than a year and was hired to help RESOLVE the problems that have plagued our transportation system. HE was not there when the deficits identified were incurred. Many of the issues are more than a decade old.
I read that ad and immediately thought, “A good defense is a strong offense,” but in this case I also thought it was a very weak ploy to portray a strong candidate in a poor light. Councilor Arrigo has demonstrated his fiscal responsibility to the city with his voting record at council meetings.
I am certain that Mayor Rizzo has good intentions, but he has not, in my opinion, adequately demonstrated his ability to manage this city. He has identified projects that have brought revenue to the city but many of the projects he cites were projects established by former Mayor Ambrosino. Yes, he did the follow through, but did they meet the original planned budget? When Mayor Rizzo took over the reins in Revere, we had a budget surplus. Do we have a surplus today? There has been additional city staff hired, none in the Public Works department where the help is needed. I applaud the additional police staff increase but is it enough? Could we have hired one or two more officers in place of some of the other administrative positions? Do we need an Economic Developer when we have not developed our economy? For three years we have been looking for road and sidewalk repair work to be completed. It took this year’s campaign to see the work being done. Was this work in this year’s budget? I’m not sure. Was the money spent on the “Tornado Monument’ money that could have paid for the road work?, Why wasn’t it used to help defray costs to the city?
Revere is a diverse community with a lot of hardworking people. We want our tax dollars to be spent on necessities: safety, health and education.
I’m asking every resident to look at ALL the issues (not just the ones I’ve listed) and decide who they truly believe will work for the benefit of our city. Everyone’s voice needs to be heard. Voter turnout is really important.
Responding to Arrigo’s negative campaign
Mr. Arrigo has continued his negative campaign for Mayor and even refuses to accept responsibility with regards to his role as a budget manager with the MBTA an agency that has failed the public and added significant costs to taxpayers and fare paying passengers.
As a 4-year City Councilor, Mr. Arrigo doesn’t appear to understand that part of being a leader is to tell the truth, listen, and accept responsibility. In his letter to the editor, he claims to have been hired “last” July. He tried to fool the public into thinking he was hired under Governor Baker. Not true. He was hired back in July of 2014 under Deval Patrick and things have only got worse. I was proud of my husband when he stood with Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito as they called for a Fiscal Management Control Board to oversee the finances at the “T” and try to bring some sort of sanity back to their finances.
Mr. Arrigo talks of his experience in finance but fails to tell you that unlike the MBTA, the city of Revere’s finances are the strongest they’ve ever been. Our bond rating is up and we’ve doubled our rainy day fund in just 3 1/2 years. On the other hand, Mr. Arrigo has virtually no experience in the private sector and has made a career of working for city and state agencies. As a United States Navy veteran my husband at the age of 23 supervised a crew of over 20 onboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Independence CV-62. My husband is a longtime business owner that understands what it is like to meet a payroll and control expenses. As Mayor Dan has helped this city overcome Suffolk County’s first recorded tornado, and Massachusetts worst winter in recorded history. My husband is prepared to continue leading this city forward. Mr. Arrigo’s talk about leadership is misleading to voters and Revere deserves better.
Thanks Sponsors of stadium festivities
If you attended the dedication of the new Harry Della Russo Stadium on September 11, you witnessed an athletic event not seen in Revere in many years. You also most likely received a souvenir t-shirt. The t-shirts were made possible by the generous donations of the following merchants, families, and organizations in this city:
Paul and Victor Buonfiglio
Revere Police Unions
Revere Teachers Association
AFSCME Local 1383
Revere Administrators Assoc.
The Revere Journal
The Cella Foundation
The D’Eramo Family
Bianco and Sons Sausage
Blanch Trophies and Screen Printing
Many thanks to all donors for stepping up and contributing to the HUGE success of this event.
The Stadium Dedication Committee
Questions Arrigo’s statements
After reading the latest advertisement on behalf of Brian Arrigo, I could not help but wonder who is advising him. I refer to the MBTA statement. Admitting he is operating manager of the MBTA is certainly not a credit to his ability. The MBTA is the worst run and managed transit system in the country. Nine billion dollars in debt, and to say you are the operating budget manager, certainly does not impress me. To think that this person wants to be elected as mayor in our city scares me. If he cannot manage the MBTA transit system, how then can he possibly manage a city, which is so much more diverse?
Also his making recommendations to Washington’s health services scares me. All you have to do is look at your medical expenses and you can see what this recommendation might have done there.
I have no personal axe to grind and I have always found Brian a fine respectful gentleman, however, I feel at this time with all honesty, in my opinion, he is not capable of running our city.
SRWC airs concerns
(The following letter was sent to Gov. Charlie Baker by the Saugus River Watershed Council (SRWC) )
Concerns Regarding Wheelabrator Saugus Ash Landfill & Waste Incinerator
Dear Governor Baker, Secretary Beaton and Commissioner Suuberg:
The Saugus River Watershed Council is a non-profit organization founded in 1991 to protect and restore the natural resources of the Saugus River watershed. We are writing to express our concerns associated with the Wheelabrator Saugus site located adjacent to the Rumney Marshes Area of Critical Environmental Concern.
We have prepared the attached statement outlining the following key reasons why we are calling for closure of the ash landfill, no expansion of the waste incineration facility, and development of climate adaptation and mitigation plans for the Wheelabrator Saugus site.
- Following through on closure of the ash landfill in Saugus by the planned closure date of December 2016 is needed to prevent additional pollution to this valuable natural resource area and comply with state policies aimed at protecting Areas of Critical Environmental Concern.
- Ensuring environmental compliance with existing regulations and preventing expansion at Wheelabrator Saugus is important to protect public health in the region.
- Because the Wheelabrator Saugus ash landfill is located adjacent to the Pines / Saugus River estuary, the site is at risk for exposure to anticipated sea level rise and potentially damaging storm surge associated with climate change. Adaptation and mitigation plans are needed to minimize environmental and public health risks associated with potential erosion of the existing ash landfill in a changing climate. It should go without saying that no expansion of an ash landfill should be considered at this or any coastal site.
- Expanding the Wheelabrator Saugus waste incinerator and / or ash landfill could jeopardize millions of dollars in ongoing federal, state and local efforts to protect and restore natural resources in the Saugus River watershed.
- Expansion of the incinerator or ash landfill could have a negative impact on environmental justice populations in Lynn and Revere where residents are already impacted by a wide variety of industrial sources of pollution including existing emissions and operations associated with the Wheelabrator Saugus facility. We look forward to working in partnership with you to protect critical environmental resources, protect public health in the region, mitigate potential negative impacts associated with climate change, and promote environmental justice. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and / or your staff to further discuss the concerns highlighted in this letter.
Commenting on idea to increase signatures
To the Editor:
Dear George Rotondo, candidate, Councillor at-Large,
Your argument in the letter to the Editor of the Revere Journal of 9/2/15 was not very convincing. You say: “…we all hold the tenets of democracy dearly”!
Yes, democracy is wonderful!
But to have real democracy, we need genuine candidates for office, and real debates among the candidates for office. So far, that seems to have been lacking in Revere. But you, Councillor Rotondo, already a Councilor, you say: “I will be asking several city councilors—to raise the bar; for the office of Mayor, for Councilor at Large. The detractors to my proposal will argue: increasing the amount of signatures will create a disincentive to run for office.”
A few skeptics may wonder, how: increasing the number of certified signatures will ensure the legitimacy of the process of seeking office of the Mayor or any other elected office?
Four Councilor-at-Large, at the most recent Preliminary, there were 10 openings and 12 candidates. The only campaigning consisted of a few campaign flyers being sparsely distributed to residents’ homes, and road-side posters with candidates’ names appearing along the streets of Revere. So much for dedication and enthusiasm – to the cause of democracy!
At the most recent Preliminary, for the mayor’s office, there were there candidates – but only two of them appeared to be genuine candidates. The third appeared as an apparition of a candidate.
I did see the three mayor participants express (as Councillor-at-Large Rotondo wrote: “their hopes and dreams”. but that was individually, but separately, to an interviewer of Revere TV. I am still hoping to locate, where and when, did a debate happen among the candidates?
PROGNOSTICATION: Increasing the number of required certified signatures will assure that incumbents will, more likely than not, attain greater probability of effective lifetime tenures in their respective offices.