The City Council unanimously approved Mayor Brian Arrigo’s request to have Revere enter into an inter-municipal agreement for the establishment of the North Suffolk Office of Resilience and Sustainability.
According to Hydropoint.com, The definition of resilience is “the capacity of a system, be it an individual, a forest, a city, or an economy to deal with change and continue to develop.” The definition of sustainability is “the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
At the request of Councillor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto, Project Manager Elle Baker gave an overview of the agreement, stating that the North Suffolk Office will be a regional effort among Revere, Chelsea, and Winthrop, which are three of the four communities within Suffolk County (The City of Boston is the other). The actual office will be located in Chelsea.
“The North Suffolk Office of Resilience and Sustainability has been a work in progress for Revere, Chelsea, and Winthrop in collaboration with MAPC and this is a great opportunity for the city to unlock approximately $600,000 of funding from the [Boston-based] Barr Foundation.
“As we are well aware, Revere is faced with some severe coastal resiliency challenges on many fronts around the city and we are currently embarked on three separate studies to produce recommendations for what we can do to move forward,” said Baker.
She added that the regional effort with Chelsea and Winthrop “would give us a lot more manpower and focus and support when we seek grant opportunities to move some of these initiatives forward.”
The Office would consist of one employee for resilience and one employee for sustainability. The Office would be fully funded through the Barr Grant for 2021 and 2022. In 2023, each of the three communities would be asked to provide funding for the Office.
Zambuto asked whether the first commitment is at no-cost to the city.
“The first two years are fully supported,” responded Baker. “At the beginning of the new fiscal year [in 2023] we would be looking to offer some financial support to pay these staff members. I believe the first year is roughly 80 percent that we would contribute.”
Council President Patrick Keefe praised the idea, but wanted to know if the two positions would be a budget item at some point after the first two years.
“It will be a budget item [after the first two years],” replied Baker.
Keefe also asked about the hiring process for the two positions in the North Suffolk Office, adding that he believes the positions should be full time. “I don’t feel these positions should be taken on as a part-time or a side role because I just don’t think it will get the attention it deserves,” said Keefe.
Baker said the positions will be full time and their roles would be to support each municipality somewhat equally. “Some projects would entail regional efforts. Some would be individual efforts.”
Baker indicated that there would be a board of directors, with each municipality having one seat on the board
Ward 5 Councillor John Powers asked what the salary range would be for the two positions and what Revere’s financial contribution would be.
“The salary for each position is $75,000 per person, per year,” said Baker. “That would be split among three municipalities (Revere, Chelsea, and Winthrop).”
(Information from Hydropoint.com was used in the compilation of this story).