Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy thought she was attending an anniversary for Jay and Linda Collins, owners of Fran’s Place.
But when she and her chief of staff, Jamie Cerulli, walked into to the establishment July 22, the mayor knew that the large gathering assembled was, in fact, there for her special occasion.
Colleagues in city government, friends, and family members had come to fete the city’s chief executive on her 53rd birthday.
Yes, the Mayor was surprised.
“I was told I was going to a surprise anniversary for Jay and Linda Collins,” said Kennedy. “I was told they would be arriving at 7 p.m., so I figured I would get there at 6:15 to make sure that I was there for the surprise.”
She walked through the door and saw Jay and Linda Collins.
“Did I get the timing wrong on my schedule?” the mayor thought to herself. “At about the same I time realized I knew everybody in the room and I knew the party wasn’t for Jay and Linda. Everybody else yelled ‘Surprise,” and confirmed that for me.”
The Mayor said she had a great time at the party that featured a buffet, musical entertainment, and desserts.
Judith Flanagan Kennedy was born at the Winthrop Hospital on July 22, 1962. Her family moved from East Boston to Lynn later that year and the rest, as they say, is history.
Kennedy graduated from Lynn Classical High School in1980 (She was inducted in to the school’s Hall of Fame in May). She went on to receive degrees from two prestigious institutions, Tufts University (Class of 1984), and the Ivy League’s University of Pennsylvania Law School (Class of 1987).
After serving on the School Committee and City Council as a councilor-at-large, Kennedy was elected the first female mayor in Lynn city history in 2009. She was re-elected mayor in 2013.
The mayor’s birthday party comes at a time when the city is reaching new heights and the optimism for Lynn future is soaring, with new and
proposed developments making Lynn a hot place to live and build a business.
One major success story during the Kennedy mayoral administration has been the Lynn Auditorium and its entertainment offerings. The Mayor said she will be attending two events there this week, the Sixties Reunion Happy Together Tour (July 31), and the Paul Anka concert (Aug. 6).
Like the famous song, “My Way,” that Paul Anka wrote and Frank Sinatra popularized, Mayor Kennedy has done things her way and the city has responded well to her leadership and plans for the future.