Mayor Brian Arrigo, beginning his fourth year as the city’s chief executive, said the state of the city is “strong” during his Annual State of the City Address Feb. 7 before a large audience at the Susan B. Anthony School Auditorium.
Arrigo highlighted some of the achievements of his administration, including the city achieving its highest bond rating in history, but added that “we are not done.”
He said “with the support and cooperation of our City Council and our School Committee, we continued Revere’s progress, now in 2019, our City is thriving.”
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito had the honor of introducing Arrigo. She praised the mayor and other city leaders for having done ‘’a phenomenal job in really setting the tone and creating an environment that is very welcoming to your residents, but really welcoming to others who want to grow a business here, start a business here, and think about the opportunities here in this city.”
She also noted the many successes in the Revere school district, especially in mathematics and the sciences.
“This is a night to reflect the values in the hard-working people that are here in this community that care so much about the future of Revere,” said Polito. And while it’s great that you have a strong mayor who cares deeply about this community, not only because he graduated from high school here, his roots are here, the father of two young boys who are growing up here – he cares deeply about you and he cares deeply about the next generation of people who call Revere home.”
Arrigo made some announcements within the speech, including the launch of pilot program “using the Garfield School as a true community center where our residents can enjoy the gym, the swimming pool, and attend classes in a variety of interesting topics.”
Arrigo also announced that the City will unveil a new website “that will make it even easier for anyone to do business with the city.”
He said the City intends to convert an old senior shuttle van in to a Mobile City Hall, “where residents will be able to do everything from pay a bill to get a library card.”
Arrigo noted the accomplishments of the Revere school district, saying that “the quality of our students directly reflects the quality of our teachers.”
He signaled out the excellence of Revere High School advanced placement calculus teacher Erin Cronin. “In the past two years, all of her students have passed the AP Calculus exam,” said Arrigo.
Arrigo recognized four Revere students, Questbridge Scholarship winners Julia Tran (Dartmouth College) and Tran Nguyen (Washington and Lee) and Posse Foundation Scholarship winners Seba Ismail (Bucknell) and Ebrar Yilmaz (Bryn Mawr) for their academic successes.
Jaedan Wixon, a second grader at the Hill School who won a charity drawing for lunch with Mayor Arrigo, was delighted when the mayor called upon him in the audience.
“He [Jaedan] said he thought it was cool to be mayor,” Arrigo told the audience. And on this memorable evening, thanks to the mayor’s stirring and thoughtful speech that some called “brilliant” in its execution, it was “cool” to be Jaedan Wixon.
The mayor received a prolonged standing ovation at the conclusion of his address.
Some city councillors said the mayor delivered one of the most outstanding addresses in many years.
“I thought it was an excellent address to the city,” said Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna. “I really liked the way he individualized certain people like Erin Cronin and the students. It made it more of a personal touch. I think his community center idea at the Garfield School is wonderful. Anything for the schools, I think is great.”
Councillor-at-Large Jessica Giannino said, “I was very happy to hear that our city is in such a great state, which I attribute to the leadership we have. We’re very lucky to have great leadership as well as the work the Mayor’s Office and the Council have done as a collaboration over the past couple of years.”
“I’m really happy to hear that we’re in a really good place and I’m excited to see some of the new things coming forward such as the possibility of a mobile City Hall, a community center at the Garfield School, and some other great resources for our residents,” said Giannino. “It was a great speech, a wonderful night for the city and a very positive night, and it was great to have Lt. Gov. Polito join us.”
Ward 5 Councillor John Powers chose a baseball reference to laud the mayor’s address and the progress the city has made during his three years in office.
“I think for the past three years, the mayor has been out there making sure the bases were loaded, and in his State of the City Address, he hit a home run and drove it out of the park – nothing but positive things are happening in the city right now,” said Powers.