By Mayor Brian Arrigo
On Monday night, I submitted to the City Council my proposal for the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. In the coming weeks, I look forward to a wide-ranging conversation with the Council.
This year’s budget continues the progress made last year toward putting Revere on sound fiscal footing and making strategic investments in the future of our city.
Maintaining fiscal discipline: This year’s budget proposal continues to hold the line on unnecessary expenses, ensuring that we are delivering city services as efficiently as possible. The budget includes salary increases negotiated with the DPW, police and fire unions. In spite of these mandated raises, overall non-school spending increases were held under 3%.
No use of stabilization funds: The proposed budget does not tap into rainy day funds at all. Additionally, we added $1 million in free cash to our reserves this year. It is critical to ensure that our reserves remain strong in the event of an economic downturn.
Continued investment in constituent services through the 311 center: Last year’s budget created the Office of Innovation and Data Management, tasked with bringing a “311” constituent services center online. This year, the budget fully funds the call center positions necessary for the implementation of this 311 system, which will officially launch this fall. 311 will be a one-stop resource for residents to call, text, tweet, or message city staff to get non-emergency constituent service issues resolved. 311 represents an important step in my overall goal of making City Hall more customer-friendly.
Professionalizing city government: Another commitment from last year that is strengthened in the FY2018 budget is the Human Resources department. An HR consultant is currently in place, implementing recommendations from the HR audit on how to professionalize workplace standards and practices at City Hall. This year’s budget continues this important work, fully funding the HR Department for this fiscal year. The city is currently in the process of hiring a full-time HR director.
The budget serves as a blueprint for the work we will do over the next year to professionalize our government, strengthen city services, and deliver value for the taxpayers of Revere.
Brian Arrigo is Mayor of the City of Revere.