With a packed house, Mayor Dan Rizzo delivered his first State of the City Address on Monday night; using the time more for laying out upcoming plans than for revisiting last year’s accomplishments.
Virtually every City Department Head, Chief and Board member was in attendance, as well as the entire School Committee, Superintendent Paul Dakin, and state legislators Bob DeLeo, Kathi-Anne Reinstein and Anthony Petruccelli.
Also in attendance was state Treasurer Steve Grossman, who has made quite a habit lately of visiting Revere.
Rizzo started off his speech by thanking his mother, father and wife, Jane, but after that he wasted no time in getting to the meat and potatoes of his 20-minute oration.
While many expected Rizzo to go over what has been done in his first year in office, he actually spent little time on last year’s achievements – only using them as a foundation for what he wants to do in 2013.
While discussing the increased police foot patrols on Broadway and the appointment of Chief Joe Cafarelli, he told the audience that he has identified money that will allow the hiring of five new police officers.
“Through re-allocation of existing resources and information gathered via our new CitiStat program, we have identified funding to hire five new police officers immediately,” he said.
He highlighted the new McKinley School building plan that is in the process of being approved at the state level, and then used that moment to formally announce a $2.7 million state grant to refurbish Harry Della Russo Stadium next door to the proposed school.
“This will be a brand new, state-of-the-art facility that will serve the community for decades to come,” said Rizzo.
He touched on the new Revere High School JROTC program, and the Economic Development Showcase held last fall.
“There were more than 150 developers in attendance who got to see opportunities in Revere and I’m happy to say follow-up conversations with many of those in attendance are ongoing,” he said.
One of the main points of discussion in his speech was the coming implementation of the computer-based CitiStat program – which uses hard numbers to analyze programs and services so that money is put where it’s most effective.
Rizzo said a PILOT program has been in place for the latter half of 2012, using two interns from Harvard and UMass-Boston. However, the real program will roll out in April.
“All City Departments will have to produce clear, specific goals or results,” he said. “We’re looking for results and we’re looking to spend taxpayer dollars the best way we can so we can produce results.”
Rizzo used the latter half of his speech to praise the work of City Departments like the Department of Public Works (DPW) under Superintendent Don Goodwin, like the Finance Department under George Anzuoni, and like the Inspectional Services Department under Nick Catinazzo.
Rizzo concluded by saying he has tried to make his first year all about laying a foundation for all residents to have a voice in the operations and priorities of City government. In addition to existing organizations like the Revere Beach Partnership, Rizzo highlighted three new bodies that he has created for residents to use. They are the Revere Neighborhood Advisory Council, the Broadway Advisory Council and the Office of New Revere Residents.
“We all have a role to play in our community, neighborhood by neighborhood and block by block,” he said.
The speech was followed by a first-ever buffet dinner on the first floor of City Hall for all who attended, courtesy of the mayor.
With former City leaders looking over his shoulder from their portraits, Mayor Dan Rizzo delivered his first State of the City Address on Monday night in the City Council Chambers.