Flip-Flopping on Development
As we discuss the future of our community, there’s no doubt that any development that happens on our vacant properties – residential, commercial, or otherwise – comes with trade-offs. Traffic and congestion are absolutely issues that need to be discussed, and are the downsides of any economic growth.
But as I read Councillor Dan Rizzo’s op-ed in the September 18 Revere Journal, I can’t help but wonder if we’re living in an alternate reality in which the years 2011-2015 didn’t exist.
Councillor Rizzo rails against redevelopment of Suffolk Downs because it would create traffic and congestion, after he spent the entirety of his term in office and staked Revere’s economic future on constructing a massive, destination resort casino on that very same property – a casino that would have generated significant 24/7 traffic, the vast majority of which would have come from out of town.
The councillor expresses concern over the $13 million in additional cost to city services, while not mentioning that the development is likely to generate $40+ million in annual revenue that can be used to strengthen our schools, improve the city’s infrastructure, and support police, fire, and DPW. A casino would have also faced similar trade-offs.
I voted “yes” for the casino, just like Councillor Rizzo did, because even though I’m not wild about gambling, I felt that the positives – revenue, jobs, and the redevelopment of a historic property – outweighed the negatives. But it’s hard to align Councillor Rizzo’s newfound concern for traffic with his boosterism for a massive casino (and later saying that Revere would be “well-served” by Eugene McCain and his team coming into build.)
But it’s not just at Suffolk Downs where the Councillor wants to pretend his actual time in office didn’t happen.
During Councillor Rizzo’s time as Mayor, multiple large-scale, residential-only towers got the green light on Revere Beach.
In fact, when Councillor Rizzo was Mayor, the city’s Economic Development department had an entire website – “Revere on the Rise” – dedicated to selling Revere as a place for large-scale developers to build.
Councillor Rizzo’s call for a “residential moratorium” didn’t come until late in the 2015 election year, when he faced opposition for the large, residential-only property his administration was prepared to support at the Shaw’s site on Revere Beach Parkway.
The Councillor’s pitch to voters ultimately depends on them forgetting his actual track record in office.
All development will have trade-offs. Let’s have an honest conversation about the pros and cons.
Thank You, Revere
I would like to thank everyone that either came out on Sept. 14, 2019 or sent donations in order to support me in my battle with stage 4 Liver Cancer. To all those that made this fundraiser possible I am so very thankful. I would especially like to give a shout out to Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representative Robert DeLeo, City of Revere’s Mayor Brian Arrigo, Ward Counselors Joanne McKenna, and Patrick Keefe, Revere School Committee member Carol Tye, and Councillor-at-Large Daniel Rizzo for showing their support. I would also to thank all my friends both old and new for their continuous support. Last, but certainly not least my amazing family, who has always been there for me with support and assistance whenever I need it. I am very humbled by the show of support.
Our family would like to express our appreciation for the outpour of cards, prayers and donations.
Your personal commitment was incredible, helpful and allowed us to defray medical expenses, which made it possible for Mike to be med flighted back home to a local hospital, after Mike became extremely ill in Aruba.
The generosity from the people of Revere was remarkable and their kindness continues today.
We especially would like to thank City Councillors Steve Morabito and Arthur Guinasso, Reps. Bob DeLeo and Roselee Vincent for quickly responding to our family’s need in a time of urgency and getting Congresswoman Katherine Clark involved. She was in direct contact with the embassy and her team stayed connected with us to make sure our accrued bills didn’t prevent us from getting Mike to a hospital back in the United States.
Our family is so proud to live in Revere. We have the kindest people and some of the best leaders representing our city!
Phyllis & Mike Prizio and Family