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Revere mayor named Mass. conservation and recreation commissioner

Revere Beach, which is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, May 25, 2020. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Revere Beach, which is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, May 25, 2020. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

The mayor of Revere is joining the Healey administration as the commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, where he will oversee the state's network of public parks and beaches.

Brian Arrigo was introduced as commissioner of the DCR early Monday morning. He plans to resign as mayor on April 21, ending a run that began in 2016, and to start work for the state on April 24.

In making the announcement, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs credited Arrigo for his work developing Revere's first master plan in more than 40 years, the creation of a 311-constituent service office, and the construction of a new Department of Public Works facility and a new Point of Pines Fire Station, as well as efforts to encourage public and private investments along Revere Beach, Shirley Avenue and Suffolk Downs.

Arrigo previously served on the Revere City Council and in 2014-2015 he worked as operating budget manager at the MBTA. For three years starting in January 2006, Arrigo was deputy budget director and fiscal policy analyst at the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Arrigo's city is home to Revere Beach Reservation, which DCR describes as "the first public beach established in the United States."

"Policymaking is about more than laws and budgets — it's about building happy, healthy communities for our residents. Mayor Arrigo understands, as I do, that DCR is central to those efforts," Gov. Maura Healey said in a statement. "He has extensive experience transforming Revere's waterfront and managing public lands. I know he will work tirelessly so everyone in our state has access to well-maintained green spaces and fun activities for all ages."

Said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper: "It's time we think bigger about the role of the Department of Conservation and Recreation in our state. DCR manages 450,000 acres of land in Massachusetts — from forests to urban oases. We need a Commissioner like Mayor Arrigo who understands the vital role our parks system, tree planting efforts, and conservation work intersect with public health and the climate crisis."

The new appointee mentioned stepping up tree-planting efforts and improving park maintenance as priorities.

Arrigo was first elected mayor in 2015 and reelected in 2019. He is currently serving the last year in his four-year term.

Healey has proposed a $150.5 million budget for DCR in fiscal 2024. That would represent a 12% increase and includes $5 million to begin addressing a backlog of maintenance projects. House Democrats this week are expected to release their redraft of the governor's budget.



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