The Revere City Council unanimously approved two communications calling for transfers totaling $725,000 at the council’s meeting Monday night.
The first transfer moved $325,000 from the free cash account to the sick leave buy-back program for city employees. The account had a balance of $72,000 before the transfer, but now has a balance of almost $400,000. The program will reimburse city employees for their unused sick leave for the fiscal year that ends on June 30, 2020, as per the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
The second transfer added $400,000 to the Workers Compensation Insurance Fund for school and city employees. The city is self insured as many state municipalities, and the account had a negative balance of $56,000, but after the transfer it now has more than $344,000.
Both communications were presented by City Auditor Richard Viscay. He assured council members that with the transfers, there should be more than enough money in both accounts to cover any obligations for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Viscay also noted that under state law, unlike other city accounts, officials can carry balances in these line items into the next fiscal year.
The appointment of Richard Viscay to the Revere Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, as well as Director of Finance, was referred to the Appointment Sub-Committee for its next meeting on March 16.
Coyotes received a lot of attention at Monday’s night meeting. A motion by Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino seeks to have Mayor Brian Arrigo request Revere 311, in coordination with the Revere Police Department’s Animal Control Officer, to place a Code Red Robocall to residents of a given neighborhood when a coyote sighting occurs. Serino said that there have been coyote sightings in West Revere in the vicinity of St. Mary’s Church, as well as around the dog park.
Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso added that there have been sightings near the Revere School and on Martin St. Guinasso also conjectured that the coyotes could be responsible for the decrease in the rodent population in the city.
Councillor at-Large Jessica Giannino urged residents to be aware of their surroundings, not only for themselves, but also for their pets. She said that the coyote problem was a regional issue, not just a local one.
Councillor-at-Large Tony Zambuto agreed that Serino’s motion was a good idea. Zambuto mentioned that there have been coyote sightings on High Street, which have been of concern for residents. He also said that while state action is needed, state officers will not respond unless the coyote is aggressive. Zambuto urged residents to be aware of their surroundings and stated that coyotes can jump over a six-foot fence.
Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky said that the 311 system only operates Monday through Friday, and that an alternate method of notifying residents of sightings on weekends should be used, such as the police scanner or Twitter.
Serino’s motion passed unanimously.
Councillor Steven Morabito received praise from all of his colleagues for a motion to hold a Pride Flag-raising at City Hall and to light up the bridge in honor of Gay Pride Month in June. The motion passed unanimously.
Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna, who was out sick with the flu, had a motion presented on her behalf to have the the street cleaning extended until December. Ward 5 Councillor John Powers said that leaves keep falling after November and that an extended cleaning period could prevent the leaves from clogging the catch basins.
Novoselsky said he would like to see a vacuum truck be used to collect the leaves, but he said that the council needs to hear from Department of Public Works Director Paul Argenzio.
The motion passed unanimously
Councillors unanimously approved a motion by Powers to recognize Randall Modestein of Revere’s 311 Team for receiving the 2020 Black Excellence On The Hill Award. The Black Excellence on the Hill award celebrates black culture, excellence, and achievement in the Commonwealth. The award by the Massachusetts Black and Latino Caucus honors the unsung heroes that make our communities thrive. Modestein was honored at a State House ceremony on Feb. 11 with a citation.
Another motion that passed unanimously was offered by Councillor at-Large Gerry Visconti to present a Certificate of Commendation to Andrew Biggio, President of the Boston Wounded Vet Run, on the occasion of the group’s 10th anniversary. “This organization has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help wounded veterans,” said Visconti in support of his motion.
The next meeting of the Council is scheduled for March 16.