City Council President Speech
January 3, 2012
I would like to thank my colleagues for the tremendous honor and privilege to serve as President. On January 6, 1986, Joe McGiverin was first elected as President of the City Council and since that time he has served the city with honor and distinction. I truly thank him for his past leadership. He holds the record for longest service as President and it is a record that I fully expect will never be broken. Certainly not by me, for I have pledged not to serve longer than 6 years as President, if you wish to have me even that long.
The Legislative Branch of Holyoke City Government has taken many forms and names over the last 139 years. During that time, what has been constant is that the people of Holyoke have turned to us to be a positive force for good, to rise above the city’s challenges and be their voice. In us, average citizens drawn from the community, is placed enormous authority. With the overwhelming vote to defeat the proposed Charter Change and its desired change in the balance of power, the people of Holyoke have spoken clearly that they turn to the City Council to be the vanguard against an overbearing government. That our government will not spend more than it brings in and will act in a financially responsible manner. That City Hall and all of the employees who are privileged to serve will act with transparency and integrity. That government is the servant and the citizens its master and never the other way around. It is our scared duty and oath to uphold these principles and the Ordinances of our city and the Constitution of our great nation.
The people of Holyoke have placed great faith in a 22 year man named Alex Morse to lead our city as Mayor. I am reminded that I as a young man of 22 was first elected a member of this body. I am no longer 22 but I still share the same passion, energy and idealism that first drew me to be a servant of the people. Each of us is called to aid our new Mayor to be a success, for the Mayor to succeed means that Holyoke succeeds. The youngest Councilor ever elected serving alongside the youngest Mayor ever elected: it certainly will be interesting.
Over the new term, we are privileged to have a body composed of so many bright and distinguished members. Each of our talents will be put to the test. Many new people will be called to positions of leadership. As we craft law and policy for the city, let us do so with wisdom and reflection. Let us do so, however, with bold leadership. The solutions to our city’s problems require us to think outside of the box and not be afraid to take bold positions. Where we know something is wrong, we must fix it. Previous generations of Holyokers faced challenges similar to or greater than ours and they succeeded. They were the makers of a proud history. It is now our turn to be makers of law and makers of history. Let it be said by our children and grandchildren, that we served faithfully and left the city much better than we received it.
I wish everyone the best of success and look forward to serving with each of you.
May Almighty God keep Holyoke within His Divine Providence and may He Bless the work of our new Mayor and City Council.