Phelan joins incumbent Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy in the race for the corner office. Kennedy announced on April 24 that she will be seeking re-election.
Councilors-at-Large Hong Net, Buzzy Barton, and Daniel Cahill, Councilors Darren Cyr, Wayne Lozzi, Peter Capano, William Trahant, and Rick Ford and School Committee members Charlie Gallo, Maria Carrasco and John Ford attended the event. Also seen in the hall were former Mayor Edward Clancy Jr. and Deb McManus, wife of the late former Mayor Patrick McManus.
Debra Ruggiero, principal of the Harrington Elementary School, was the first speaker of the evening.
“I’ve known Tim Phelan since I was eight years old and there are two things that I know we both have in common: we are both products of the Lynn public schools and we both have been dedicated to the city of Lynn and its children,” said Ruggiero.
Ruggiero said that when she became principal six years ago she made the decision to integrate the importance of character into the learning and the entire educational process.
“Tim also puts the importance of character in everything he does – trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, caring, fairness and citizenship,” said Ruggiero. “He has been loyal to the city for many years and continues to work toward making Lynn one of the best cities in the state. He is a caring family man and community member who would help and support anyone who needed it.”
Lynn resident, teacher and soccer coach Chris Pedro and John O’Brien, register of deeds for Essex County, also addressed the large gathering.
“Tim and I both coach Lynn Youth Soccer and through this, I’ve experienced Tim interacting with many different ethnic backgrounds, kids of all ages, of disabilities, and through everything, he has always treated everyone equally and specially,” said Pedro. “Tim has also impressed with me with his work with the community, making Lynn better and taking into consideration every different group and what he wants to learn from them to make our city better.”
O’Brien spoke about his longtime relationship with the Phelan family.
“I have had the privilege and pleasure of knowing the Phelan family since 1971,” said O’Brien. “When I served on the City Council, Tim’s mother was on the School Committee and subsequently his father became a state rep,” said O’Brien. “I got to watch all the Phelan kids grow up and I watched Tim become a member of the School Committee and I saw what he was doing on behalf of the children in this city with education. Then I watched him become a member of the Lynn City Council and rise to the presidency of Lynn City Council.”
O’Brien introduced Stacy Phelan, who had the honor of introducing her husband for his announcement for mayor.
“I’ve been around a long time and I have introduced a lot of people but I have never introduced the next First Lady of the city of Lynn – this is an honor,” said O’Brien.
Stacy Phelan called upon her daughter Meghan and son Ryan to join her at the podium.
“When Chris [Pedro] was up here, he spoke truthfully when he said that [Tim] looks out for everybody,” said Phelan. “I’ve watched it through the years. He’s been a wonderful father to my son Ryan and my daughter Meghan. He’s been a fabulous coach to the girls that he’s coaching right now. He’s been a team player with all of the guys he’s played basketball with for years. All this comes in to make a recipe and this recipe is for mayor.”
Noting that her husband had all the right ingredients to lead the city, she told the crowd of supporters, “He would be a wonderful mayor – this is my husband, Tim Phelan.”
Tim Phelan said he grew up in the city, was raised here, and graduated from Lynn English High School, “as did my eight brothers and sister, my father and grandfather.
“I got married here, bought a home here, raised my family here and became an active member of the community because I love this city,” said Phelan. “I stand here tonight humbled by you and the task before us, grateful for the opportunity this great city gives us to seek public office, yet mindful of the challenges we face as a city.”
Phelan noted some of his accomplishments in office such as “the establishment of a downtown dental clinic, protecting children from Level 3 sex offenders, the Disability Commission, the VNA Building, Manning Field, school discipline and dress code, removal of the power lines, and the ban on teenage smoking, the bond for infrastructure improvement, banning strip clubs.”
But Phelan said the election should not be about past accomplishments.
“This race should not be about the past – this race should be about the future because Lynn is at a crossroads right now. We have made strides but we’ve been here before. We’ve been here in the seventies, we’ve been here in the eighties, we’ve been here in the nineties, only for a variety of reasons to take major steps backwards. Right now the city is ripe to prosper. We are on the verge again.
“Through the efforts of a multiple parties our city is growing, but a growing city comes with growing responsibilities. We have a foundation in place to grow socially, economically, educationally – a foundation that no other municipality has, that other cities and towns are envious of. Over 100,000 people have visited the Lynn auditorium since it was done over by the former administration.”
Phelan offered some innovative ideas during his speech relating to such topics as establishing satellite campuses of Salem State College in Lynn, the expansion culinary arts programs, regionalization efforts, construction of a new Lynn YMCA, the creation of a business corridor on Market Street, and the use of the latest computer technology to help the fire and police departments in their public safety efforts.
Phelan said he recently organized an inter-municipal idea exchange meeting with leaders of surrounding communities.
“The idea was to start a dialogue with our neighbors to find out what does or doesn’t work in their hometowns,” he said. “Ordinances, neighborhood issues, and education were discussed. We talked about expanding regionalization. How can we do things together that will save us money?”
Phelan said in 1991 he asked Lynn residents for the opportunity to serve on the School Committee. Two years later he was re-elected with the highest vote total in the city. He then ran for a seat on the Lynn City Council and was successful in his bid, winning election as the top vote getter seven times.
“I stand before you once again, an open book, a family man and ask you for that opportunity, an opportunity to serve you as the mayor of Lynn,” said Phelan.