By Melissa Moore-Randall
A permanent resident of Revere and Director of Municipal Services, Michael Wells enjoys many aspects of the position to which he was appointed in 2020.
However, helping the people of Revere is what he loves the most. “I love helping the residents of our beautiful city! I’m a sociable person ! Residents really appreciate you returning their calls and responding promptly to their emails and their needs. And more importantly, help them through a process or guide them in the right direction to where they need to be. Every day is different. We deal with many different issues. However, we also educate residents on city rules and ordinances and make a difference in the community, by being transparent with residents and ensuring that our department provides the services residents need. ”
Wells was born and raised in Revere. He attended Paul Revere School (K-8) and graduated in 1992 from Revere High School. He comes from one of Revere’s most popular and well-known families. Her father, Stanley, is a retired firefighter from Revere, her mother, MaryEllen, was a waitress for 38 years at the popular Maggio’s restaurant on Revere Street, and her sister, Jen, a former RHS softball and field hockey player, is physical education teacher. at Revere High School.
Michael has married his college sweetheart, Joan Dudley, with whom he will celebrate 25 years of marriage in October. He is the proud father of four children. Mackenzie, 23, a graduate of NE Metro Regional Technical School in Wakefield attends SNHU majoring in business administration and works full-time at Salem Five Bank’s head office as a senior commercial loan specialist, Jenna, 21 years old, a graduate of RHS where she was President class and currently attends Salem State University majoring in elementary education in the master’s program and is a student teacher at Hill Elementary School, Michael, 19, also a graduate of NE Metro Regional Technical School who works for the City of Revere in the Water and Sewer Division of the Department of Public Works, and Jonathan, 15, a freshman at RHS.
His road to inspection services began at Johnson & Wales University where he earned an associate’s degree in cooking and a bachelor’s degree in food service management. After graduating from JWU in 1996, he joined Spirit Cruises (Boston Harbor Dinner Cruise) in Boston as a restaurant manager. He then spent the next decade working in the foodservice industry at Salem Beer Works as Assistant General Manager, 99 Restaurants as Managing Partner, and Bertucci Italian Restaurant – Children’s Hospital Location. as managing partner.
After leaving the foodservice industry, he started working for the City of Revere in 2016 as a Code Enforcement Inspector, then became a Food Inspector in 2018 before becoming a Manager in 2020.
His department oversees a variety of divisions that occupy his days. “Every day is different! “I am at work almost every day at 7:30 a.m. My day mainly involves in-person meetings, Zoom calls, conference calls, phone calls, visiting residents, addressing the concerns of councillors, after-hours meetings and answering over 100 emails a day. It’s a good thing I’m organized! I love my job and the team we have at ISD! We We’re a big “working family!” Everyone gets along well and works together to serve the citizens of our city!
One of the main aspects of his position is his interaction with the residents. “We don’t get instant results! We have to go through a process. If we receive a complaint about a property, we must contact the owner. We send letters and ask them to respond. This doesn’t always happen. If we have any properties that are not up to code or properties that are degraded and the landlords do not comply with our advice, we will ask our Safe Housing Task Force to resolve the issues. Properties are fined and, if necessary, an administrative search warrant is obtained from the courts to resolve the issues.
Another part of his department’s day-to-day operations is related to the processing of municipal ordinances/building codes. “The Refuse Ordinance is important and is enforced daily. It is the job of the inspection services to enforce the city’s ordinances. Although not always popular, it is about the safety and well-being of our community. Ordinances are the rules and regulations of the City. Often residents or contractors work without permits. A permit is required for most home renovations (building/plumbing/electrical). If in doubt, ask us! A permit is to ensure that the work is done correctly by a licensed professional. That the wiring in your house is safe, that the gas burner has been installed correctly, that the new terrace will not collapse, etc…! Safety first!”
One of the most unpopular enforced ordinances is related to garbage. “Four years ago, our town was inundated with rodents. We didn’t have any trash can rules in place at that time. The administration heard loud and clear that there was a serious rodent problem. The city hired 4 extermination companies and each company was responsible for solving rodent problems in their respective areas. The city provided free bait to homeowners (and continues to do so) with their consent by signing a rodent bait waiver. This is also when the city issued blue garbage carts and a citywide garbage ordinance was signed by the city council. We have 3 outdoor bin inspectors who follow the routes of the bins every morning from 7am. Inspectors investigate waste violations.
When asked what constitutes a trash violation, Wells went on to say, “The use of non-city-issued blue carts, open lids, trash on the floor, and trash on top of the carts are violations. I tell residents when they come to talk about their offense that it’s not about the $25 fine. It is about changing behaviors and correcting violations. Our department has worked very hard to get to where we are today with respect to the rodent population. We will never have a rodent free environment, but I can say that we receive very few complaints and the hard work to enforce the waste ordinance has paid off! Often we have to go through the process of bringing the owner’s attention to correcting the violations. Often the owners do not live in town.
With so many new restaurants and residential developments, the Sanitary Inspections Division has been busy closely monitoring the sanitary health of properties and food establishments. “All establishments that have a food license issued by the City of Revere (full-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations, schools, bakeries, bars, etc.) are inspected at least twice a year. We have approximately 250 food licenses. All routine inspections are unannounced. A detailed inspection is carried out by the food inspector ensuring compliance with the food and sanitary code. If violations are found during the inspection, establishments have up to 10 days to correct all violations and a re-inspection will be carried out to ensure that all violations have been corrected. Here are some examples of violations: inappropriate temperatures, contact with bare hands, inappropriate storage of food products, sanitation of premises, expired products. The food inspector is also responsible for responding to any reported complaints. All rental properties are inspected when there is a vacancy. The Interior Housing Inspector manages certificates of suitability to ensure that rental units are habitable. The housing inspector also responds to housing complaints (no heating/broken appliances/etc…) The inspector will remedy the situation between the tenant and the landlord/landlord and ensure that the issues are resolved.
Mayor Brian Arrigo’s administration is “dedicated to providing efficient, high-quality municipal services to residents and business owners” of Revere and Wells echoes that sentiment. “We are always looking for ways to facilitate the delivery of better services to our residents. 311 has been an invaluable addition to our city. They received all telephone calls to the City and routed them to the appropriate departments. They follow up on all resident requests. We are currently working on online bill payment for inspection services. We are almost there!”
For more information on orders, permits and inspections, you can contact Michael Wells at 781-286-8311 or [email protected] His office is located in the American Legion Building (Basement), 249R Broadway, Revere, MA 02151.