At a recent City Council meeting I proposed a change to our City’s ordinances that would allow the City Council to vote on any grant money before it is spent. While most cities in the Commonwealth require a vote of their City Council before grant money is spent, in Revere we are stuck with an opaque and unaccountable process. This lack of collaboration and oversight can ultimately lead to poor decision-making.
A prime example of this type of mismanagement is the newly installed granite water fountain in front of City Hall. Residents of the City of Revere deserve the level of transparency and accountability they were promised. Unfortunately, the residents of Revere are learning a difficult lesson: talking about transparency and accountability is a lot easier than the actual practice of them.
Contrary to the statements, the only “agenda” I have is to do what is right for the entire city. I refuse to sit quietly and watch public money being wasted on distasteful, self-aggrandizing propaganda. The newly installed memorial in front of City Hall is not only a poor use of public money, but it is a slap in the face to anyone who really cares about the revitalization of Broadway. Prioritizing a self-memorialized water fountain over meaningful revitalization projects that would have a more immediate impact like sidewalk renovations, the re-paving of Broadway and the painting of crosswalks is not only arrogant but it is truly a low-point for our city.
The time, effort, energy and money spent on cementing the Mayor’s legacy would have been better spent on advancing innovative ideas like “Wi-Fi pillars” on Broadway to provide residents and business owners access to high speed internet, the installation of more outdoor seating, including the potential for benches with built-in charging docks or promoting public artwork that could tell the story of Broadway’s past. These are the kinds of ideas that will attract people and businesses, and spark an era of economic and cultural recovery in Revere.
While my original motion to give the Council more oversight was voted down I look forward to continuing this discussion. I believe it is clear that the City Council should have more oversight when it comes to the city’s finances. I would especially like to thank Councillors Jessica Giannino, Steven Morabito and John Powers for voting to give my motion a public hearing.
In closing, everyone should remember the words of the Greek statesman Pericles: “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”