Special to the Journal
The City of Lynn held its Inauguration Ceremony Monday night at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium in City Hall.
The Honorable Justice Garrett J. McManus administered the oaths of office to the members of the City Council and the School Committee.
The four councillors-at-large receiving their oaths for a two-year term were Buzzy Barton, Brian Field, Hong Net and Brian LaPierre. The seven ward councillors receiving their oaths were Wayne Lozzi (Ward 1), Richard Starbard (Ward 2), Darren Cyr (Ward 3), Richard Colucci (Ward 4), Dianna Chakoutis (Ward 5), Fred Hogan (Ward 6), and Jay Walsh (Ward 7).
Also receiving their oaths were six members of the School Committee, Brian Castellanos, Donna Coppola, John Ford, Lorraine Gately, Jared Nicholson, and Michael Satterwhite.
Cyr, president of the City Council, was the master of the ceremonies for the program. The Lynn English High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC made the official Presentation of the Colors.
Colucci, dean of the City Council, led the Pledge of Allegiance. Reginal Douyon sang the ‘National Anthem.’
Pastor Kurt Lange delivered the invocation. The Lynn Public Schools All-City Band performed Salute to America, Fanfare, and Salute to America during the program.
Mayor Thomas M. McGee delivered the mayoral remarks.
The many guests enjoyed a collation following the Inauguration Program.
Following is the text of Mayor McGee’s speech at the Inauguration Ceremony:
Thank you, Council President Cyr, for the kind introduction.
Thank you to the families, friends and colleagues of our re- elected City Council and School Committee for your attendance this evening. Public service is truly a complex and non-stop job that would be difficult to do without the unwavering love and support of our families and friends.
I want to thank and recognize Senator Brendan Crighton, Representative Lori Ehrlich, Representative Donald Wong, Representative Daniel Cahill and Representative Peter Capano, municipal leaders and members of the Faith community for being here this evening.
It’s great to be here tonight. I’d like to start by wishing you all a very Happy New Year—a new decade really, and by sharing a few words from a speech by a great American president, Theodore Roosevelt, titled “The Duties of American Citizenship”.
Years ago my staff gave me a picture of this speech as a gift. It now hangs in my office and is a reminder of what it means to be a public servant:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Two years ago, I was inaugurated as Mayor. I stood on this stage full of hope, and ready to work alongside the council and school committee to bring our city back to a place where people feel safe and secure; where we are thoughtful stewards of public dollars and public spaces; where we manage our infrastructure so that families and businesses can function and flourish.
Our job is to lead, and I am grateful to be joined in this effort by our Council and School Committee members. Each one of you offers a unique point of view that makes our conversations richer, and our decisions more collaborative.
Being a leader often means finding common ground when there is conflict and disagreement. Our resolutions must be fair and transparent. Leadership is about vision. It’s about setting a compass toward a better future, and forging a path wide enough for all of us to walk through.
The work we have done together over the last two years has not been easy; especially given our fiscal situation. We recognized the need to ask the state for help to dig ourselves out of a seemingly impossible hole. However, we buckled down, we collaborated, we made tough decisions, we compromised, we thought creatively, we set a vision, and now we are seeing it through.
Together, we have moved Lynn forward in so many exciting ways. We can see and feel the progress all around us.
Our city’s public safety is more secure with 20 new firefighters and 29 new police officers.
Our city is beginning a long-awaited economic revitalization. We’re updating our Waterfront Master Plan and Municipal Harbor Plan as well as establishing an Open Space Master Plan, taking advantage of our Downtown Arts and Cultural District, and being designated as a federal Opportunity Zone.
And as our city continues to grow and develop, we are prioritizing investment in our transportation infrastructure with three major infrastructure projects and a community path for runners, walkers, and cyclists that will break ground this coming year.
We will ensure we have the right housing plan in place that captures the broad range of needs of our community, and I am proud to report that we kicked off the Housing Production Planning process just before year’s end.
Improvements to our budgeting process and increased collaboration between our Council, School Committee, Financial Team, and all city employees, give us confidence that we will achieve the financial stability necessary to ensure Lynn’s promising future.
We have made much progress these last two years, but there is more important work to do. Especially for our students.
Finding the capacity to address our Capital needs has been a top priority of my administration. Our Capital Investment Plan, which the Council approved last year, outlined our City extensive needs, 80 percent of which represents a much needed investment in our schools.
In 2029, we will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first settlement in Lynn. In 1929, we celebrated the 300th anniversary. Our city has seen significant changes in the first 91 years of its fourth century, and yet 41 percent of all school buildings have remained in use for all that time. This is a reality that is no longer sustainable, for our hardworking students, or their dedicated teachers.
That’s why every effort we’ve made in this administration, no matter how small it may seem, has been focused on laying the foundation for new schools.
Finding the capacity to begin acting on our Capital Investment Plan has not come easy. As we continue our climb toward fiscal stability, there will be occasions to celebrate and opportunities to tackle the next challenge.
That next challenge is to come together, working from the fiscal progress we have made, and develop an inclusive plan of action that will put us on the path to building new schools that will transform the educational experience for our students and add value to our City.
This should be our goal as we close out Lynn’s fourth century. Together, we can create a safe, modern, and vibrant learning environment that will be our legacy for Lynn’s next century and beyond.
In every corner of this city, homeowners and renters want good jobs, safe neighborhoods, quality schools, and a healthy environment with which to live and raise their families. When we disagree, let us remember that our diversity of opinion reflects the diversity of our residents. Let us govern with respect for each other and with the recognition of our common commitment to creating a community where all Lynners thrive.
When I took office two years ago, I pledged that Lynn city government would be different; that my administration would be one of collaboration and inclusivity. There would be no monopoly on good ideas. I committed to working with anyone and everyone who wants to improve our great city. But the totality of this is not the work of one Mayor or one administration. It cannot be done without those who choose to work as public servants.
Thank you, City Councilors, School Committee members, department heads, and municipal employees who work every day to serve you, the people of Lynn.
If you ever wonder why any of us have chosen to be in the arena, especially in these challenging times for our city and country, it is because of the honor and privilege of working for you.
We still have much to do, but in the words of another great American president, John F. Kennedy:
“All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days . . .nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”
And that is what we have done. Together.
Together, we have begun …….