Question and Answer Forum for Candidates for City Councillor-at-Large

October 27, 2017
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The Revere Journal has asked each candidate for Councillor at Large the following question: What do you consider the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity facing Revere in the next two years?  The following are their responses:

Our challenges are many, but so are our opportunities

By Dan Rizzo

Revere is changing.  That’s not a secret.  But so has our nation.  We are in an era of unprecedented growth with regards to both population and development.  It is how we balance this growth that will determine our success as a community.

Residents I’ve spoken to are upset with the seemingly endless onslaught of new large-scale, construction projects, increased traffic, and obvious lack of planning.  My call for a two-year building moratorium, coupled with a long-term zoning overhaul (Plan Revere), would have led to a slow down, and given the city a chance to provide a solid assessment of where we’re at.  Unfortunately, the new Mayor and City Council didn’t agree with my approach.

And sadly, we are still dealing with an increase in opioid overdoses, despite solid efforts at the state level by the legislature and Baker administration.  We must advocate for more funding to support mental-health outpatient services, and more aggressively educate our children about the dangers of these deadly drugs.

Our opportunities are many.  Revere Beach provides a tremendous source of passive recreation for the region, but few options for retail and restaurant offerings.  Our public transit should help draw residents that might not need vehicles to get around.  Studies show that by the year 2040, those utilizing public transportation will double.  And with ride sharing growing by the day, controlling traffic is a real possibility.

Suffolk Downs and Wonderland Dog Track provide some of the most incredible development opportunities for any community, maybe in the entire Commonwealth.  If planned correctly, the jobs we’ve always hoped to create will become a reality.  But it will take neighborhood collaboration and real leadership to ensure its success.

A 350-word limitation makes it hard to articulate an entire vision for a better Revere.  But if elected with one of your five votes on Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 7, I will do my best as I always have, to make our city, one we can all be proud of.

Commercial development is the greatest opportunity

By Tood Braid

My name is Todd A Braid and as many of you know I am a fourth generation Revere resident. I have lived and witnessed the changes in our great city.

I have attended Revere Public Schools and my beliefs are that these schools were also  a community post for information. They  helped you get to know your neighbors, your kid’s friends, their parents or grandparents. Times have changed, both parents are working, and we depend on our elected officials to make common sense decisions for taxpayers.

I am a candidate for Councillor-at-Large. I realized speaking to my friends, neighbors and many residents that either allowed me into their living rooms, took the time to have a conversation or allowed me to speak. that many feel our greatest challenge is the course of action to develop a smart plan for abundance of residential growth and the influx of school children. Many were hoping for some casino funding to help the correct the situation..

I along with many residents feel our greatest opportunity is our available commercial development at  Wonderland that could create great places.  By building vibrant business areas, that our surrounding neighborhoods and residents, especially young people, want within walking distance.

Our 42 acres in Revere plus 118 acres in East Boston at Suffolk Downs, many feel the size of the project can move our city into the future.

A proper development map to show to the  many potential employees who could want to  relocate to Revere, and become homeowners who would spend and shop locally..

I  am not a politician, but I am a real estate broker of 20 years.  I am a Local 25 Teamster. I have managed a 24/7 multi-Union 30 in-house employee service center, I have co-owned and operated a 24/7 consumer based multi-million dollar center,. I have Managed and maintained 24/7 commercial real estate.

I am ready to be your Councillor-At-Large, and I am ready to get us through our greatest challenges and to maximize our city’s opportunities.

There is untapped potential to restore Revere’s good name

By David Ramos

The greatest opportunity and challenge facing the city of Revere is the untapped potential to restore its good name and vitality both as an economic engine and a high quality-of-life community.  Here in Revere, we have cornered the market in terms of potential with our beautiful beaches, major roadways, proximity to downtown Boston and Logan Airport, three T stops and the vast amount of developable square footage. That said this potential is nothing new to Revere and it is time we elect leaders who know how to transform potential into action. As your candidate for City Council, I seek to bring my proven track record from the private sector to our local government and to our main street businesses as well.

Our city has been over-developed with transient housing, which only benefits out-of-town developers and overburdens our schools and infrastructure. We need to reignite the economic engine of Revere and put money back into the pockets of residents in the form of tax reductions by growing sales tax and corporate tax revenue.  This means we need to shift attention away from housing development and increase the focus on attracting top tier organizations like Amazon and introduce programs to grow our Main Street businesses that will drive sales-tax revenue growth.

To realize this potential, we need leadership on the city council to work with the mayor’s office to collaboratively identify and tackle hard and in some cases costly problems.  We need leaders who will bring new ideas yet are willing to listen; leaders not afraid to fail and take ownership and learn from those failures.  We need to be weary of politicians that force discussions of inapplicable divisive issues or propose and support “do nothing” measures because these are a clear indication of the lack of desire or ability to confront the real issues facing Revere.  My name is Dave Ramos and I am seeking one of your five votes for City Councilor at Large this election to provide the type of honest, open and collaborative leadership our city desperately needs.  Thank you, and God bless you.

Greatest challenge for Revere is rapid rate of development

By Councillor Steven Morabito

One of the greatest challenges that our city faces in the next two years is the rapid rate of development

Two prime parcels of real estate were sold in our city.  One being Suffolk Downs and the other being   Necco. This challenges our city to monitor these developments and work closely with the developers to bring businesses to our city without the residential component.

This is an opportunity to bring in businesses that will viable dynamic of our city for years to come and to bring more jobs to our city to keep our economy thriving. The city must have a good mitigation agreement with developers to increase city services, hire more firefighters and police officers, to improve our roadways and give to our schools and Senior center.

The parcels of land were privately sold and not owned by the City of Revere. We may not be able to control the sale of someone’s proper, but we can influence the type of businesses we want in our city as residents.  I urge you to reach out to me with any suggestions you may have for our city. I can be reached at stevemorabito@revere.org.   I feel an open line of communication is the best line communication.  My direct phone number is (781) 420-6975.

Let your voice be heard on November 7.  I ask you to please consider me for one of your five votes on election day for Revere city councillor-at-large.  I can assure you that your voice will never go unheard.

The growth of our commercial tax basis is needed

By Mike Zaccaria

Thank you for this opportunity to express my views.

I believe that the greatest opportunity available to the City of Revere over the next two years is the growth of our commercial tax base, including the development of Hotels and other currently available commercial sites.  By properly and professionally managing the progress on these sites we can maximize the return to the entire City of Revere which will be to the benefit of all our citizens.

As for the greatest challenge facing our city, I strongly believe it continues to be the growing substance-abuse issues that we all need to confront.  In my opinion, the best way to deal with this massive issue is by working with our youth to create programs geared toward education and prevention before our children become involved with illegal and/or unhealthy substances.  This clearly is a Community wide issue that will take a lot of work and effort to bring about positive change.  The City of Revere is outstanding in so many ways and our youth are our future.  By meeting this particular challenge head on, we will benefit our City and all who live and work here in both the near and long term.

Thank you for allowing me to express my thoughts and I respectfully request every Citizen’s vote on Tuesday, November 7.

We need better commercial and residential planning

By Nick Moulaison Sr.

The City of Revere has perhaps most negatively been impacted by poor residential and commercial planning. Given this city’s prime location on a Blue Line stop and easy transportation to Boston and surrounding cities in the Greater Boston Area, we should not be content with the central planning that has brought us to this point.

As a prospective councillor-at-large, I will fight for smart developments–developments that consider our present needs, our need in the immediate future, and our needs a decade down the line. We’ve committed to too many residential projects with too little foresight. We will encourage developments that bring over the right jobs and stimulate local commerce. We will consider traffic and the effect hasty developments have on schools.

Development projects in Revere should only be implemented if they fit the conditions of  preparing the city for now, five years from now, and 10 years down the line. We should not commit to anything that will be incompatible with evolving needs and demographics.

Developments like what HYM wants to do at Suffolk Downs is what Revere needs. As was stated by HYM that with or without Amazon the development is going to happen, and will be the best plan possible. 40 acres of open space such as parks and ball fields is a huge deal for me and for the City Of Revere. We need to hold HYM to what they say they are going to do and to have them help financially with the infrastructure all around the property. My biggest area for infrastructure work is Donnelly Square in Beachmont and the traffic flow off Crescent Avenue and traffic coming in from East Boston.

So as big as an oppurtunity as this is for the City of Revere it is also a huge challenge for the city as well. It needs to be planned properly and needs tobe planned for the future as well.

Commercial development is integral to redefining our local industry. We should encourage professionals to use our city as a base to travel to work from, and the only way this will happen is if we bring in attractive retail outlets and offices to Revere. For example, beachside development should have focused on creating attractions–whether it is retail or entertainment–before initiating residential development that was clearly unattractive to the prospective market.

Opioid crisis is top challenge facing  our community

By Councillor Anthony Zambuto

Challenges:

One of the biggest challenges and probably the #1 challenge is the opiate crisis. It has devastated so many families, and we have to work together to find a solution.

Another challenge is controlling future development. For example: we need less apartments and more commercial and more hotels and commercial development that would attract business such as: high tech, robotics and biotech companies.

Opportunities:

Continuing to give honest taxpayers focused representation.

Continuing partnership with Baker/Polito administration with the community compact to continue best practices.
Converting city government to a high tech community friendly atmosphere.

There are great opportunities on the horizon with the proposed development at Suffolk Downs whether or not we are successful with the Amazon proposal. Revere is very fortunate to have had HYM, one of the premier development investment groups in the country, purchase Suffolk Downs. We are guaranteed a first class development no matter what.

I look forward to honest representation. I will continue to look out for taxpayers, and always strive for controlled economic development.

Our greatest challenge is also our greatest opportunity

By Councillor George Rotondo

Currently Revere is on the verge of monumental change. Wonderland dog track , Suffolk Downs and Caddy Farm in North Revere present the potential for commercial growth  if we change our zoning and provide the proper open and protective zoning while streamlining and access to allow prompt and sound commercial development in Revere.

We must attract companies and incentivize them to develop next generation technologies that will dominate he global economy of the future. Industries such as artificial intelligence,  drones and self driving vechiles; security, medical and communication based lasers technology,  life sciences, nano technology and similar industries that will increase our commercial tax base and provide jobs for our children’s children .

Equally challenging is we have to resist those developers who want to put thousands of residential units under the guise of transit-oriented development.

That said, we have other pressing issues that I can’t address in such a limited venue. Therefore, I ask that you visit Rotondo for Revere on Facebook for further information.

Thank you and on Tuesday Nov. 7 I ask for with one of your five votes to elect me Revere city Councilor at Large.

The growth of our commercial tax basis is needed

By Dimple Rana

Revere’s greatest challenge and opportunity is to strengthen our local economy, especially as the city looks to bring in one of the biggest businesses in the world, Amazon. As a city we need our values to drive our economic development. Revere will need to have a clear vision for choosing how we move forward as we grow.

Growing up working in my family’s convenience store in the North Shore, I learned firsthand about the struggles and successes of small business. A major key to revitalization efforts in Revere must be local businesses and I will do all I can to support, promote and position them for success. Family-owned businesses like those on Shirley Avenue, Broadway, Revere Street, Squire Road, and Beachmont will be especially important, and I will continue to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of our hardworking families.

Fair, livable and family-sustaining wages strengthen cities and communities. I fought hard to raise the State’s minimum wage, mobilizing Revere youth to educate and advocate for the cause to our state delegation as part of the Raise Up Massachusetts Coalition. We must continue to fight for livable wages and reduce income inequality in our communities.

In Revere we know about food, how to grow it, how to cook it, how to eat it and how to share it with friends and neighbors. A locally food-based economy can be a major part of revitalizing Revere. Promoting our outstanding diverse local markets, restaurants, festivals, and farmers, as well as creating a food innovation district and spaces for locally owned food trucks has the potential to make us a food destination and to grow our economy.

I support fair and innovative transit centered development. Revere is lucky to be connected by public transit to Boston and surrounding areas by the MBTA. Development centered around MBTA train stations draws people to local businesses and attracts new residents, but it needs to be done the right way. I will fight for development that works for everyone from our local businesses to our residents, and that creates good paying jobs. Development should always benefit the many and not the few, and should never result in the displacement of those who’ve built the community from the ground up.

I humbly ask for one of your five votes on November 7. To learn more visit www.RanaForRevere.com or call 781-629-9695. It’s very simple, vote Dimple Rana.

The opiate epidemic is greatest challenge for Revere

By Wayne Rose

The greatest challenge in Revere for the next two years is undoubtably the opiate epidemic, which is not only destroying our family members and our beautiful city but families and cities all over the country.  I do not know of a single family in Revere that has not been touched by or knows someone who is affected by this horrible epidemic.  This is a subject I feel extremely passionate about as it is just absolutely heartbreaking to see how this breaks all families apart.  As councillor at large I will work relentlessly against the fight of opiate addiction and will not stop until this crippling addiction comes to an end.

The greatest opportunity in the next two years is to help our children have a better life.  Starting by putting together both more youth programs and more after school activities. By doing so, we will see our children flourish and in turn, our city.

It begins in our homes and with our children. They are the biggest gift we have and by providing them with a safe place to be we are providing them with the biggest gift, a bright future and a solid start in this world.

We need to maximize the development opportunites

By Councillor Jessica Giannino

The greatest opportunity the City of Revere faces over the next two years is maximizing the extraordinary, commercial economic development-opportunities and ensuring they translate into tax relief for the residents of the city. Revere has several very large vacant parcels of land that have proven to be quite attractive to developers. The decisions we must make regarding what can, might and should go where come with great responsibility. If we get it right, the quality of life for the citizens of Revere will improve significantly. If not, we will spend considerable time lamenting what could have been.

Directly related to our greatest opportunity comes our greatest challenge: residential development. There is no doubt Revere has become incredibly overcrowded. Apartments that drain our services such our schools, police and fire continue to be a serious concern. While it is vital to our economic future as a city to develop these properties to attract large, commercial tenants, ensuring they have as little impact as possible on our police and fire departments and no impact on the already stressed school system is a priority. If done properly, these opportunities will ensure the people of Revere have more options for jobs, retail and recreation. I am committed to continuing to work hard on behalf of the voters and residents of Revere, and to always do what I believe is in the best interest of the future of Revere.

Overdevelopment is the biggest issue facing our city

By John R. Correggio

I would like to take this time to review some of the accomplishments during my years of community service. I believe my experience will qualify me to answer the question on the “challenges and opportunity” facing the City of Revere.

I have served 32 years as a career fire fighter. As you all know, Revere Fire Fighter have saved countless men, women ,and children in the City of Revere and else where.

As a former Revere School Committeeman and Revere City Councillor I am honored to have helped provide the educational needs for the children in our city .

I have worked for the funding of Revere’s new schools,

  • The Garfield Middle School
  • The Susan B. Anthony
  • The Rumney Marsh Academy
  • The Paul Revere School
  • The A.C. Whelan Elementary School
  • The New Hill School

The new Fire Station in North Revere located at 5 Overlook Ridge Drive. The new Police Station and Fire Station on Revere Beach Parkway . As well as new public works and new police & fire equipment.

I believe the biggest issue facing our city is overdevelopment. The hundreds of new apartments that were approved by “special permits” are now causing traffic and gridlock , all over the city. We need to respect the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

We need to stop putting huge apartment buildings in our neighborhoods which disrupts our every day quality of life.

We all pay for the overdevelopment of our city. The over building is causing traffic and gridlock throughout the city. I believe the overbuilding is effecting the quality of life, in all neighborhoods and effecting our young people and our senior citizens. In every neighborhood across the City of Revere , people tell me the traffic and over building is out of control.

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