By Mayor Brian Arrigo
As we work to craft this year’s budget, the goal remains the same as it always will be for as long as I am Mayor: to deliver the most efficient and effective use of your tax dollars.
During my first year in office, we took important steps toward getting Revere’s budget under control.
My first budget slowed the growth of city spending. We were able to do this by requiring departments to take a hard look their expenditures and make cuts wherever possible – while seeking to improve the quality of services you receive.
We rooted out systemic abuses of the past – like unnecessary overtime, unwarranted raises to a select few, and unchecked spending increases.
We cut DPW overtime spending by a quarter of a million dollars in calendar year 2016, compared to both 2014 and 2015.
We uncovered and eliminated hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasteful spending on data lines and software packages that the city purchased but had gone unused for years.
We put an end to the practice of giving full-time pay to employees working part-time jobs.
We entered into a 20-year agreement with Citizens Energy that will save the City millions of dollars on electric bills over the course of the contract by purchasing clean, renewable solar energy and receiving net metering credits.
This week, Standard & Poor’s cited a “positive outlook” for Revere’s fiscal future. This is good news, though we have much work to do to ensure continued budget discipline.
In previous years, the City has spent millions of dollars on capital projects that weren’t planned or budgeted for properly. We will end that practice by putting together a comprehensive capital plan.
A state grant has allowed us to put together a realistic list of long-deferred projects – and a timeline that allows us to make these investments while staying within the constraints of our budget. We will be rolling out a five year capital plan for the City Council to review when I release this year’s budget in late May or early June.
Improving city services, upgrading technology at City Hall, and catching up on an extensive backlog of street and sidewalk repairs will require significant investments. We can only afford to do this important work if we are careful about where and how we spend our money.
My goal is to deliver the best services possible for the residents of our city, while respecting your tax dollars. We will continue to work to achieve this goal in the FY 2018 budget.