WESTFIELD – The inauguration of elected officials and the start of Mayor Brian P. Sullivan’s second term in office took place on Tuesday morning in the Westfield High School auditorium, where elected officials filed in as the Westfield High School Band played under the direction of leader Patrick Kennedy, and were followed by the American Legion Post 124 Color Guard.
Newly re-elected School Committee member Cindy A. Sullivan welcomed everyone, and called upon elementary student Domenic Maynard to lead the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner sung “a cappella” by WHS senior Julia Bussell.
Robert A. Sacco, elected Ward 6 representative of Westfield Gas & Electric Commissioners asked Fr. Joseph Soltysiak of St. Joseph’s National Catholic Church to read the invocation; then St. Mary’s sixth grader Shea Braceland, who Sacco said was “fresh off her performance at Fenway Park,” sang “America the Beautiful.”
Westfield City Clerk Karen M. Fanion then read election results, and administered the oath of office by committee, starting with the School Committee, Municipal Light Board members, Trustee (Jayne M. Mulligan) of the Westfield Athenaeum, and City Councilors. Mayor Brian P. Sullivan was sworn into office by his father, Richard Sullivan, Sr., with his family at his side.
In his inaugural address, Sullivan thanked the band, saying, “It’s not an event of mine if the Westfield High School band is not a part of it.” Next to thank was “his rock,” his mother, who he said just received the new title of great-grandmother. “I want to thank you for everything you’ve given me,” he told her. He also thanked the rest of his family members, of whom he said, “We keep ourselves grounded – none of us lets us get too high or too low,” and thanking them for their laughter and advice.
Sullivan thanked city personnel and department heads for their support. “Your job is to make me look good, and my job is to give you the tools to continue to do that,” he said. He also thanked Rep. John C. Velis and Sen. Don Humason, Jr. for their support and being a conduit to the state house.
Sullivan said at his first inauguration, he spoke about building bridges to the future and repairing some in the past. He called the planning for the 350th anniversary a bridge to the future, and thanked Harry Rock for taking the lead. He also thanked Westfield State University President Ramon Torrecilha, who started when he did, for his openness. He said Westfield Public Schools Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski, who also had been new with him, had become a regular meeting “buddy,” and asked him to keep doing what he’s doing.
He talked about successes in improving traffic intersections under City Engineer Mark Cressotti, while acknowledging more needs to be done; and also the business development with the help of Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kate Phelon, Community Development Director Peter Miller, and City Advancement Officer Joe Mitchell. Sullivan said he attended 28 ribbon cutting ceremonies in his first term.
Some of the priorities Sullivan listed for his next term included further improvements to bridges and roads; the completion of the Elm Street Urban Renewal plan; a new elementary school downtown; Whip City Fiber’s connections throughout the city, and the completion of the renovation of the Westfield Athenaeum.
Sullivan addressed the elected City Councilors, saying “There’s nothing we can’t accomplish.” He also said it was important to him that he still loves what he does.
Sullivan ended with a quote from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
Following the ceremony, everyone was invited to a reception in the cafeteria, prepared by Westfield High School culinary arts students under the guidance of Family Consumer teacher Margaret Toomey. Following the reception, the City Councilors headed over to City Council Chambers to elect a new president.