Public officials welcomed Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito to the city Tuesday morning to talk about the commitment she and Gov. Charlie Baker are making to Massachusetts cities and towns.
As part of their first executive order, the administration released $100 million in new Chapter 90 funding for local roads and bridges.
During her visit with Mayor Dan Rizzo, Councillor Anthony Zambuto, Fire Chief Eugene Doherty, Police Chief Joseph Cafarelli, and Chamber of Commerce President Kerri Abrams, Polito discussed how they are restructuring the Department of Revenue which will include a new senior commissioner for the Division of Local Services. They are also creating a Community Compact Cabinet that will work toward mutual accountability, work to reduce red tape, promote best practices and develop specific “community compacts” with local government.
“It was a tremendous meeting,” Rizzo said, adding that it has only been a couple of months since Polito and Baker took office.
Cafarelli told Polito that one sticking point for him is the state’s procurement law, also known as 30B. He explained that when he purchased tazers for his department he wanted to get 20, but that would require three competive bids. The problem is that there is only one company in the world that makes tazers. As a result he ended up purchasing 12 tazers and bypassed 30B. Doherty added that often times it’s less expensive to use a private vendor.
As part of her “listening tour,” Polito held private conversations with officials in the mayor’s office.
Abrams, president of the Chamber of Commerce and owner of Kinship Florist, said Polito talked about the business needs in the community. They also discussed the economic development plans the city has.
“Business is down all over,” Abrams said. “Make the best decisions possible. Take time to plan for the spring.”
Zambuto said the meeting with Polito was a productive one.
“She talked about initiatives to partner with cities and towns and wanted to know about our vision.” Zambuto said. “They are city and town friendly and want to streamline to get the most bang for the buck.”
Polito said she love the city of Revere and has fond memories of playing bocce on Revere Beach.
“The city has a vibe to grow its economic development, especially with Suffolk Downs and Wonderland,” she said.
Sue Ellen Woodcock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org