Inaugural Address, January 3, 2012
Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan
January 3, 2012
Four Years ago we were given the responsibility to change the way in which Braintree would govern itself. I believe that we have met that responsibility in setting priorities, crafting sound budgets and in strategic planning. Difficult decisions have been made and challenges have been met that have put us on a confident course for a vibrant future.
Today our finances are stronger than they were four years ago. We have reconstructed our roads and schools and made the beautification of our community and recreational facilities an emphasis as to how we feel about ourselves and in our presentation to others. We have hired new teachers and our personnel levels in our Fire and Police Departments are higher than four years ago. The Police Station has recently been modernized while a new pumper truck will soon arrive at the Fire Department and the East Braintree Fire Station is on the verge of a major renovation. Additionally, our Department of Elder Affairs and new Veteran office has been refurbished to offer our seniors and veterans an improved venue in which to gather.
We have done well and I wish to express my appreciation to my department heads as well as all town employees who perform their tasks with professionalism which makes a positive daily difference in the life of our community. Despite all that has been accomplished, today the slate is wiped clean. Our work begins anew. I will remain brief in my remarks today and offer some thematic thoughts rather than offer a laundry list about our plans. Yet, I should note a few particular items we will be focused upon.
Over the next four years, we will need to build a new water treatment plant, whether we do that as regional facility with our neighbors, Randolph and Holbrook or alone. Yes, we will continue to repair our roads and schools. Yes, we will remain focused on ensuring the education of our children is always at the forefront of our efforts and our commitment to public safety, our seniors and veterans, and to ensure our town services are administered at the highest level.
As we accomplish the daily work of government, we need to be mindful of our own collective spirit, our sense of community, and our love for this special place we call home. We will aspire to be the premiere community, not just on the South Shore, not just in Eastern Massachusetts, but in the entire Commonwealth.
The quality of municipal services that we offer today in Braintree at so competitive a tax rate is something that other communities envy. Moreover, as we endeavor to create the balance between the quality of life we enjoy and ensuring its affordability for all families, we must also continue to be a town that strives to provide an environment in which families can believe in their government and in one another.
We are a community that coalesces in times of crisis. I have witnessed it first-hand. Be it the floods of 2010, last winter's storms or hurricane Irene in August of 2011, we defined the word community. We do not only meet nature's challenges we reach out to one another other neighbor to neighbor and across town in offering a helping hand. Time and again when one of our own is in need of assistance or a family is down on its luck or is grieving, we step up. In stepping up, our support of one another recognizes that we are one community that establishes a high standard of helpfulness that is important and inherent to our common identity.
Today as we mark the commencement of this new term and as we continue our focus on the days ahead, we will have reason to pause and appreciate from where we have come. In June of 1913 this building was re-established as the center of town government after the horrific fire that destroyed our Town Hall in 1911. We shall commemorate the 100th anniversary of this building next year with a nod of appreciation, respect and admiration for those who governed before us. We shall also be inspired by the example that was set at that time. Where from ashes a new Town Hall arose and a challenge posed by adversity was conquered by the steadfast spirit of our predecessors.
Additionally, in three years time we will have the occasion to commemorate the 375th Anniversary of our Town's incorporation. We shall take that opportunity as well to not only celebrate our rich history but also our collective achievements that we hope to have accomplished from this day until then.
Today while we cherish the precious present, we remain mindful that our daily mantra of "planning the work and working the plan" will allow us to be positioned for a bright and successful future. Four years ago on the occasion of the establishment of our new government, I quoted these words from our native son John Quincy Adams "patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."
In the days, months and years ahead we shall again heed the words of our 6th President and use the thoughtful work of our past four years as a foundation for the four that lay ahead, a time of excitement and pride and a time of continued commitment to perseverance for the common good. Governance in that way will continue to strengthen our community bond and propel us to a prosperous future.
I am honored to serve as your Mayor. For me, this job is an emotional one. Emotional in that I care deeply as you do about our community. I care as you do that we are taking the necessary steps to position our town for the long term and not being short sighted in our thinking. I care as you do that we shall have the courage and energy to lead with innovation and creativity so that it can be said that we accepted the challenge of our times and that we governed well.
May God continue to bless our Town of Braintree, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States of America — Thank You.