Forward Momentum: Rizzo Honors Several Residents in Annual State of City Address

January 15, 2014
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From one mayor to another, former Mayor Bob Haas shakes hands with Mayor Rizzo following his speech. The Council seemed to be on the same page with the mayor in all his initiatives outlined in Monday’s speech

From one mayor to another, former Mayor Bob Haas shakes hands with Mayor Rizzo following his speech. The Council seemed to be on the same page with the mayor in all his initiatives outlined in Monday’s speech

Mayor Dan Rizzo recalled several noteworthy events from 2013, made an extensive pitch for the casino project at Suffolk Downs and honored several residents for achievements during a 40-minute State of the City speech in front of the City Council Monday night.

In a speech that was less about policy and more about highlighting certain areas of the City, Rizzo began by going through a number of achievements from 2013 he felt were milestones for the City.

Among those things were MCAS scores in the public schools, the beginnings of the Stadium replacement project, the Broadway beautification efforts and breaking ground on the first residential project at Waterfront Square.

He then moved on to a 15-minute treatise on the benefits of the casino project by Mohegan Sun, saying it would change the City forever if it came to be.

“I’d like to take a moment and talk about one of the most significant, and important, project proposals in the City’s history, the future of Suffolk Downs and resort style gaming here in Revere,” he said.

He highlighted the fact that at a minimum, Revere would see $429 million over 15 years, but as much as $600 million if the casino meets its targeted revenue goals. If it exceeds those goals, even more money would come Revere’s way, he said.

He said they would be allocating any such monies first to property tax and water/sewer rate relief efforts, and then concentrating on police, fire, schools, the Rainy Day Fund and the replacement of Harry Della Russo Stadium.

Rizzo also committed to using any monies to build a new youth center and to build a new or refurbished senior center.

That announcement drew heavy applause.

One program he highlighted was the new CitiStat – called RevStat locally – program that looks to use data and collaboration between departments to help solve problems and keep things from falling through the cracks.

So far, the Police, Fire and DPW have come on board with the effort and have been learning how to use the system all year long.

This year, he said, they plan to bring on the Inspectional Services Department.

Finally, Rizzo took time to highlight several individuals, including State Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein, Revere High Principal Lourenco Garcia, Veterans advocate Eileen Merullo, Pop Warner President Marc Tango, Chief Joe Cafarelli and the North Metro SWAT, and the new financial literacy program being run by financial professionals in the schools.

The speech was Rizzo’s second State of the City since taking office.

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