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News

Council passes marijuana ordinance

Restricts sale to Technology Enterprise District

The Revere City Council passed a citywide ordinance that would only allow businesses to sell recreational marijuana in the Technology Enterprise District (TED) by way of special permit. The revised ordinance defines the type of retail business which would sell the marijuana, the products to be sold and the location where it can be sold. The city can opt-out of the law, which allows the city to approve two marijuana retail shops with a majority vote by April 1, 2018.

Many cities and towns throughout the state – especially in the North Shore, such as Peabody and Lynnfield – are looking to opt-out or create an ordinance banning the retail sale of marijuana. The councillors agreed in their opposition to recreational marijuana use, but considered the ordinance as a way to protect themselves legally.

Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso reminded his fellow councillors of the Moonlight Video lawsuit decades ago – brought against the city for denying a license to an adult video store – which cost the city millions. “You will hear people say, ‘I don’t care, I’ll go to court’,” said Guinasso. “But I care. I don’t want to go to court and spend millions of dollars that could go elsewhere.”

He also said the fact that it has to be obtained by a special permit also protects the city. “You need to get eight votes for that,” he said.

Ward 4 Councillor and Council Vice President Patrick Keefe said he was against recreational marijuana because of the message it sends to children. “The more ‘okay’ we make it for everyone, the more ‘okay’ it is for the children of our city,” he said.

However, he was in favor of the ordinance. “I was reading news stories about how liquor stores might also want to start selling [marijuana] – so this would protect us against that,” he said.

Councillor-at-Large Steve Morabito wanted to make sure Revere residents know where the council stands on recreational marijuana. “It would be easy to misconstrue this vote and say that we are in favor of marijuana,” he said. “That is not the case. This is a way to protect our city.”

Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky agreed. “The voters already made up their minds on this issue in the state [election],” he said. “We are just setting up rules on location.”

The council unanimously voted in favor of the ordinance. Council President Bob Haas and Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo were absent.

 

Lt. Det. Goodwin begins new chapter with Winthrop Police

After a 20-plus year career in the Beach City of Revere, Lt. Det. John Goodwin is getting ready to say farewell to the Revere Police Department and begin a new chapter in his law enforcement career. Goodwin recently accepted a position as Deputy Chief in neighboring Winthrop beginning April 13. He admits the decision to leave the city was a tough one.

“I am a Revere guy through and through,” he said. “It was a difficult decision but I believe it is the right one for my career.”

Goodwin has been on the police force in Revere for 22 years. He describes his career as a “well rounded” one starting as a patrolman in 1995 to sergeant, night shift commander, a liaison for the License Commission to lieutenant detective.

“I have had some great opportunities here,” he said. “I’ve had the chance to try and do so many different things that many people don’t get to do and I am very thankful for that.”

However, what he will miss most about Revere are his colleagues. “The people I work with are great people and I will miss seeing them every day,” he said.

Goodwin says he has worked with a few Winthrop police officers in the past and knows Police Chief Terrence Delehanty very well. “I think the Chief and I will complement each other well. I am ready to do whatever he needs me to do,” he said. “I am stepping outside my comfort zone but it will be interesting – I’m ready to learn.”

Goodwin said he’s looking forward to bringing his budget skills to the department as well. His new role will also consist of daily operations, personnel and case management.

“For the past few years in Revere, I’ve been working on our budget expenses and helped make cuts for over half a million dollars. It was new to me to be looking at that stuff and learning about it and how to save effectively, so I’m looking to bring some of that to Winthrop,” he said. “However, the first priority is to make sure the quality of life is the best it can be.”

While it is bittersweet to say goodbye to Revere, he is ready for the next step in his career. “It’s a great department with great people, so I am really excited,” he said.

   

City’s Free Cash Certified

The Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue has certified the City of Revere’s free cash figure for 2015 and 2016.

In a communication to Mayor Brian Arrigo, as of June 30, 2016, the amount of free cash in the city’s General Fund totaled $4,524,556 and, in the Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund, the total amount is $2,335,715 which represents the combined Free Cash for FY2016 and FY2016, according to the city’s Director of Finance George Anzuoni requesting a transfer of funds to Stabilization Funds.

The City Council approved Free Cash to the Stabilization Account of $678,683; and Free Cash to the Water and Sewer Enterprise Stabilization Fund totaling $350,357.

According to the Mass. Dept. of Revenue, Free Cash is a revenue source that results from the calculation, as of July 1, of a community’s remaining, unrestricted funds from its operations of the previous fiscal year based on the balance sheet as of June 30. It typically includes actual receipts in excess of revenue estimates and unspent amounts in departmental budget line items for the year just ended, plus unexpended free cash from the previous year. Free cash is offset by property tax receivables and certain deficits, and as a result, can be a negative number.

Cities and towns generally use free cash to support current-year operations or to provide a revenue source for the ensuing year’s budget. However, free cash is not available for use until after the accountant, auditor, or comptroller submits a prior-year balance sheet to the Division of Local Services (DLS) and the Director of Accounts certifies the free cash. The DLS certification protects communities from relying on free cash that might not materialize due to inaccurate local estimates.

Any free cash use requires an appropriation approved by the city council on the mayor’s recommendation but only after DLS has certified the free cash total.

   

Revere fares well following latest winter blast

Despite the gale-force winds and threat of blizzard-predicted snow amount forecast, Revere handled Tuesday’s onslaught very well, according to Mayor Brian Arrigo. “Overall, things went smoothly during the storm,” Arrigo said.

During the height of the storm on Tuesday afternoon into early evening, rates of over two inches of snow and rain per hour were being reported with reduced visibilities of less than ¼ mile. According to the National Weather Service, much of Greater Boston fared very well when the snow turned to rain by late afternoon. Logan Airport reported only 6.6 inches of snow with high winds hitting around 60-plus miles per hour.

The school department cancelled school on both Tuesday and Wednesday. City Hall was closed, and a parking ban was in place most of the day on Tuesday.

“DPW crews did a good job keeping the streets clear, and residents were largely cooperative with the request to stay off the roads,” Arrigo said. “Only 13 cars were towed during the parking ban, which is a testament to the residents’ cooperation – for which we are very appreciative.”

During the last major storm in February, 18 cars were towed, so the decrease was a sign of improvement and that the city constantly updating their social media with the latest information was working. “We’ve worked hard to be as clear as possible in communicating information about parking bans to the public, and we’re glad to see those efforts paying off,” Arrigo said.

Approximately 1,100 Revere customers experienced power outages at some point due to the storm. Some customers were still without power on Wednesday.

“Some parts of the city experienced power outages during the storm. Our team was in constant communication with National Grid, ensuring that work was ongoing to restore service as quickly as possible,” Arrigo said. “Let’s hope this is our last storm for this year.”

Imagine, with this weekend’s expected forecasts of flurries and continued winter weather, it’s hard to believe spring is only a week away.

   

Thankful for event’s success

~ Letter-to-the-Editor ~

Dear Editor,

I’d like to thank everyone that helped make our 18th Annual St. Patrick’s Day event another great success last Wednesday night! It was so good to see so many old friends, along with many new ones. As I announced my candidacy for Councilor-at-Large, I couldn’t help but reflect back over the many years that I’ve been privileged to serve our city, and how I’ve been blessed to have the support of so many of our residents and members of our business community. From my days in the Revere Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce, to my years on the City Council and then on as Mayor, we have done some great things together. And there is much more to do.

Thank you for your ongoing support. Have a happy and healthy St. Patrick’s Day.

Sincerely,

Dan Rizzo

 

   

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