Revere officials joined a new initiative Tuesday morning promoted by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito in being one of the first communities in the state to sign on to the Community Compact program.
“We’re the eighth community in the Commonwealth to sign on to this and none of our urban neighbors have done so yet,” said Mayor Dan Rizzo. “This firms up a partnership with the Baker-Polito Administration and the City of Revere to work cooperatively to implement best practices and deliver services more efficiently…Revere can’t go it alone. There are things we need assistance on and it’s great to be able to turn to a partner like Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. Polito when we need that help.” Polito was on hand with Mayor Rizzo and Councillor Tony Zambuto and Arthur Guinasso – as well as Fire Chief Gene Doherty and Police Chief Joe Cafarelli – to sign the official document linking Revere with the administration.
Community Compacts are one tool the administration is utilizing to strengthen the partnership between cities and towns and the Commonwealth. In entering into Community Compact, a community agrees to implement self-selected best practices. As part of this partnership, the Commonwealth agrees to fulfill its own set of commitments and work to provide assistance for a community in implementing their chosen best practice.
In signing their Compact, Revere plans to improve information technology through a first in class online permitting system, introduce new capital planning procedures for increased participation and transparency, and begin a public-private partnership to address housing, business development, and youth employment needs.
“The program is solely for helping our communities in the Commonwealth achieve a higher level of service to the people they are serving,” said Polito. “What I like about the program is the community leadership gets to decide what priorities it want to go after. It’s not the state telling them what direction to go. It’s their choice and it’s voluntary. No one from the state is mandating it. It allows choices at a local level and state assistance to help those priorities happen.”
Polito said Rizzo had been one of the first municipal officials to buy into the new program – which was created with the first executive order made by Gov. Baker in January.
“The mayor attended many of the initial meetings that helped to form the program,” she said.
Polito said Revere will be given technical assistance for getting licensing online – such as yard sales and building permits.
“When residents need to get a permit, from a yard sale to a building permit, they’ll be able to do that online with the technical support we can provide,” she said.
Rizzo added, “This will be a significant step forward in technology to help our residents and go a long way to increase our efficiency at City Hall to give people the ability to not have to come and see someone face-to-face when they don’t necessarily have to. It will help our residents and it will help our workforce.”
The second piece that will be a Capital Plan that the City will be able to carry out.
The City has had a Capital Plan for quite some time, and a real effort to improve that plan was undertaken by the Collins Center on behalf of the City. However, once the priorities were set in that plan, the
training and resources weren’t available to make it come to life, Rizzo said.
“For the first time in history, Revere will have a real Capital Plan,” said Rizzo.
Meanwhile, the Compact will also give Revere added points and consideration when applying for grants to help carry out the goals in the Compact. For instance, if the City applies for a competitive grant from the state, it will get added consideration over a community that is not part of the Compact.