By Journal Staff
For the residents of Revere, 2019 will go down as year that saw no changes in the leadership of the City, and much good news about the state of city. During this year, two of Revere’s key civic leaders died, and there was relatively little to no storm damage.
The year started off with Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso being elected President of the Council at the Jan. 7 meeting in an unanimous vote. Later in January, Ward 6 Councillor Charles Patch announced that he would not seek re-election in November.
In the spring, Councillor at-Large Dan Rizzo announced his decision to run for the mayor’s office. This announcement immediately set in motion a rematch of the 2015 election with Mayor Brian Arrigo announcing shortly afterwards his decision to seek a second four-year term. Both candidates campaigned hard and long during the next six months. In the November election, Arrigo received 5,806 votes to Rizzo’s 5,251 votes to earn his second term.
In addition to the mayor’s race, there were 32 candidates seeking both an at-large seat and the Ward 6 seat on the City Council and an open seat on the School Committee, as well as two races challenging incumbent Ward councillors.
Both Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky and Ward 5 Councillor held off challenges.
School Committeeman Gerry Visconti took the vacant councillor at-large seat and Ricky Serino won the Ward 6 Council seat.
Newcomer to the Revere politics Anthony D’Ambrosio topped the School Committee race and secured the vacant seat.
This year saw the passing of two Revere civic leaders. In April, Vincent Cammarata, Sr., a West Revere neighborhood legend died at 95. A former School Committeeman in the 1960s, Cammarata was a highly decorated U.S. Navy veteran and a code inspector for the Board of Health. President of the City City Council Arthur Guinasso said the following after the funeral, “He was a first-class family man and a first-class gentleman. Following a standing-room only funeral mass at St. Mary’s, he was laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery.
Another Revere legend Mickey Casoli died in July at age 91. Cassoli was a decorated U.S. Army veteran of World War II, Casoli pursued a career in the local Police force raising to the rank of detective. After retirement, Casoli kept bringing the message, “Say No to Drugs,” to the youth of Revere and especially to the football teams of Revere High School. At the beginning of the football season, Casoli would tell members of the football team about the dangers of drugs. After the funeral, Councilor at-large Dan Rizzo said, “He gave so much to our community. I will always remember his hard work and dedication to the children of out community for decades and truing to set them on the right road and lead them to a successful life.” Following a funeral mass at St. Anthony’s Church, he was laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery.
The annual Sand Sculpting Festival on Revere Beach was held in July under perfect weather with more than 1 million spectators attending the event featuring unbelievable works of art in sand. Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Brian Arrigo attended the opening ceremony of the three-day event. Jeffrey Turco, President of the Revere Beach Partnership that coordinated the event, welcomed the visitors. Sculptors from around the world took part in the competition.
Good news came to residents of the Point of Pines, Oak Island and Revere Beach when the City Council in July unanimously approved the $9.2 million bond to demolish and build a new fire station at the current site.Ward 5 Councillor John Powers had made the re-opening of the fire station a high priority. He said after the vote, “I am very pleased that this project will move forward.” Prior to the vote Mayor Brian Arrigo, Director of Finance George Anzuoni and residents Ann Straccia, Eric Lampedecchio, Hugo Rizzuto and Carol Haney all spoke in favor of the project before the vote was taken by the councillors.
The weather did little to no damage to the homes and buildings in Revere during the year. The first major snowstorm of the year hit Revere in late January over the Dr. martin Luther King weekend, and Mother Nature threw in snow, freezing rain, and sub-freezing temperatures. Mayor Brian Arrigo said, “Revere endured the effects of the season’s first winther storm with no major consequences or problems.” The rest of the year weatherize was uneventful.
Longtime CAPIC Executive Director Robert Repucci announced that he will be retiring as head of the agency after 47 years. Councillor at-Large Tony Zambuto who has served on the CAPIC Board for more than 20 years, said about Repucci’s retirement. “I do not know a better public servant .. he has dedicated his whole life to serving people living in the margins.” CAPIC does services helping people with such items as heating and federal programs aimed at the most needy residents of Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop.
Good news for workers and residents doing business at City Hall. The mold issue in the auditorium and second floor that occurred after the tornado in 2014 was officially over as samples taken from the these areas contained no mold.
The Revere High School football team surprised many with an unbelievable stark of victories. Revere advanced as far as the North final before falling to Melrose. Revere High football running back Joe Llanos was named Division Four player of the year.
In early January a standing-room only crowd filled the Susan B. Anthony auditorium to hear about the city’s massive master plan, Next Stop Revere. At the meeting, Mayor Brian Arrigo outlined the goal of thinking and planning what Revere will be like in the next 20 years.
In March Arrigo outlined to the City Council about the strong financial footing that the City is on. Calling it “spectacular financial shape,” Arrigo told Councillors that the City is now sitting on $6 million in the general fund and $8 million in the rainy day fund. Throughout the year, Arrigo announced the awarding of millions of dollars in state and federal grants for projects in the city such as $7.9 million grant for a Revere St. Housing project; $1 million infrastructure grant for work on Ocean Ave. and $1.7 million grant for traffic signals upgrade along Broadway.
These were some of the top stories that shaped the year in Revere for 2019.