|It was an honor to take the oath of office on January 2 for my second term on the City Council. I was pleased to have so many of you come to the polls in November and cast your ballot for me. Even though the outcome wasn't in doubt, as I was running unopposed, it nonetheless was gratifying to have 702 of you in Ward 2 vote for me.
Special thanks to those of you who hosted lawn signs for me and who helped in other ways in the weeks leading up to the election.
I look forward to continuing to work diligently on issues affecting us here in Ward 2 as well as city-wide. It is challenging and complicated to be part of local government in a time of swirling national resistance agendas. In the months and years ahead you can continue to expect me to be progressive without being knee jerk, and on preferring common sense and balance to absolutism.
I was moved and inspired by the benediction remarks by Reverend Todd Weir (First Churches of Northampton) at the close of last week's inauguration ceremonies:
"This morning we pause to give thanks for our unity as people, gathered to charge and empower governing officials in our city. We are grateful for the character of our community, for the relative prosperity, tolerance and desire for the common good to be enacted among us. We are grateful for people who dedicate themselves to leadership and service. Together we charge them to always be truthful, gracious and diligent in their responsibilities. May they be guided with wisdom as they face the challenges of a world that changes so quickly. May they seek a unity of purpose in a turbulent and divisive time. Grant them boldness when it is necessary for justice, let them be bridge-builders in overcoming what may be necessary conflict, and lead them to be people of depth, purpose and responsibility.
May we as citizens offer our support and generosity of spirit to those who are given authority to administrate and serve the common good in our community. Help us to recognize our mutual responsibilities, and guard against apathy and resignation. Let us not shrink from honest questioning and necessary debate, but to always begin with good will, curiosity and a desire to grow and change and learn from one another.
And may the blessings of providence be upon us together, as we pray to the God of our understanding. In this New Year 2018 may we all be a light of compassion, wisdom and justice. Empower us in a vigorous pursuit of our best ideals than we may not falter in the face of our challenges."
I was especially pleased that Mayor David Narkewicz was reelected with such a mandate - he received 79% of the votes cast, vs. 21% for challenger John Riley. I look forward to working closely with our excellent Mayor in the years ahead.
I recommend the Mayor's inaugural speech.