The First One Hundreds Days

Ever since the day President Franklin Roosevelt came to power, the measure of success for a political administration has always been assessed at the 100-day milestone.

Roosevelt, of course, took over the presidency at a black time in our national history.

The stock market crash of 1929 had led to a near collapse of the economy.

On the day he took the oath of office in January 1933, millions were out of work, businesses were closing and a few days after his inauguration, Roosevelt shut down all of the nation’s banks when the vast bulk of them couldn’t meet the demands of depositors.

One hundred days after his inauguration, Roosevelt had galvanized the nation with his dramatic inaugural speech espousing the idea that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Roosevelt’s desire to change the course of American History took shape and form during that first 100 days. That first 100 days made all the difference for the nation and America started anew to remake itself with bold action.

Mayor Dan Rizzo is not Franklin Roosevelt and the effort here is not to compare him to Roosevelt, who served 12 years as president and might very well go down in the history books as one of the most important figures in America and the world during the 20th Century.

Still, 100 days in office is a mark on the man or woman in office. It is an important milestone that does not tell the entire story of what is in store but rather points to a direction.

Since Rizzo was inaugurated about 100 days ago, he and those around him now making strong efforts to change the culture of city hall have been working hard to do just that.

The Rizzo Administration has, so far, acted boldly to make the municipal government more responsive, more responsible and more competitive.

Perhaps the two boldest acts so far are the naming of the new police chief Joe Cafarelli and the removal of city owned automobiles from high-ranking command officers.

In addition, the hiring of John Festa as the city’s development chief will inevitably lead to a substantial development somewhere of some kind in this city such as we have not had in recent years. Festa is a commanding figure for this administration and he will produce, the only questions are when and what.

He has been working day and night during this first 100 days to produce – and he will because he is dogged about his job and smart. He knows about development first hand.

Earlier this week, the mayor met with the entire city council to discuss the budget over a simple lunch of sandwiches at city hall – this, too was a sign he is continuing to seek consensus in order to lead the city forward.

What he has succeeded at mostly, however, is capturing the public’s interest and its belief that he is the right man, at the right time to lead this city forward. The people right now believe in him.

This by itself in 100 days is a big accomplishment in the city of Revere.

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