Inaugural Exercises and Organizational Meeting

DATE 01/07/2008
TIME 7:00 pm
ADA Yes
LOCATION John F. Flaherty Auditorium, Woburn High School, Montvale Avenue, Woburn, MA, United States

Meeting Agenda

INAUGURAL EXERCISES AND ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING

JOHN T. FLAHERTY AUDITORIUM, WOBURN MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL

WOBURN, MASSACHUSETTS

MONDAY, JANUARY 7, 2008 AT 7:00 P.M.

 

The following were present:

 

MAYOR-ELECT:  Thomas L. McLaughlin

 

ALDERMEN-ELECT:

 

Charles E. Doherty                                   Raymond B. Drapeau James J. Dwyer                                         Scott D. Galvin

                              Richard Gately, Jr.                                    Joanna Gonsalves

                              Paul J. Denaro                                           Darlene Mercer-Bruen

Michael L. Raymond

 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE-ELECT

 

Patricia E. Chisholm                                 Christopher T. Kisiel

Joseph T. Crowley, Jr.                              Denis M. Russell

John M. Wells

 

 

CURRENT SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBERS

 

Margarette F. Masotta                             Michael P. Mulrenan

 

 

REGIONAL SCHOOL COMMITTEE

 

Debra P. Davis

 

*************************

Master of Ceremonies was Ruth P. Walton and the Invocation was by Rev. Dr. Neal Pearson, St. John’s Baptist Church, Woburn, Massachusetts.

 

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The official returns of the Municipal Election held on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 were read by the City Clerk, William C. Campbell. The oaths of office were administered to the Mayor-Elect, the Aldermen-Elect and to the Members of the School Committee. *************************

I, Thomas L. McLaughlin, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and will support the Constitution thereof, so help me God.

 

I, Thomas L. McLaughlin, do solemnly swear and affirm that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as Mayor, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the rules and regulations of the Constitution and Laws of the Commonwealth, so help me God.

 

I, Thomas L. McLaughlin, do solemnly swear that I will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and that I will oppose the overthrow of the government of the United States, or of this Commonwealth, by force, violence or by any illegal or unconstitutional method, so help me God.

 

 

__________________________________

Thomas L. McLaughlin, Mayor

 

Sworn to before me, by the above-named Thomas L. McLaughlin.

 

 

                                                                            __________________________________________                                                                Honorable Eleanor C. Sinnott

Associate Justice, Boston Municipal Court

 

________________________________

William C. Campbell, City Clerk

 

*************************

I, Charles E. Doherty, Raymond B. Drapeau, James J. Dwyer, Scott D. Galvin, Richard Gately, Jr., Joanna Gonsalves, Darlene Mercer-Bruen, Michael L. Raymond do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and will support the Constitution thereof, so help me God.

 

I, Charles E. Doherty, Raymond B. Drapeau, James J. Dwyer, Scott D. Galvin, Richard Gately, Jr., Joanna Gonsalves, Darlene Mercer-Bruen, Michael L. Raymond do solemnly swear and affirm that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as Alderman, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the rules and regulations of the Constitution and Laws of the Commonwealth, so help me God.

 

I, Charles E. Doherty, Raymond B. Drapeau, James J. Dwyer, Scott D. Galvin, Richard Gately, Jr., Joanna Gonsalves, Darlene Mercer-Bruen, Michael L. Raymond do solemnly swear that I will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and that I will oppose the overthrow of the government of the United States, or of this Commonwealth, by force, violence or by any illegal or unconstitutional method, so help me God.

 

 

_________________________________      __________________________________

Charles E. Doherty                                         Raymond B. Drapeau

 

_________________________________      __________________________________

James J. Dwyer                                               Scott D. Galvin

 

_________________________________      __________________________________

Richard Gately, Jr.                                          Joanna Gonsalves

 

_________________________________      __________________________________

Darlene Mercer-Bruen                                    Michael L Raymond

 

 

Sworn to, before me, by the above named Charles E. Doherty, Raymond B. Drapeau, James J. Dwyer, Scott D. Galvin, Richard Gately, Jr., Joanna Gonsalves Darlene MercerBruen, Michael L. Raymond.

 

__________________________________                                                              William C. Campbell, City Clerk

and Clerk of City Council

 

*************************

 

I, Patricia E. Chisholm, Joseph T. Crowley, Jr., Christopher T. Kisiel, Denis M. Russell, John M. Wells, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and will support the Constitution thereof, so help me God.

 

I, Patricia E. Chisholm, Joseph T. Crowley, Jr., Christopher T. Kisiel, Denis M. Russell,

John M. Wells, do solemnly swear and affirm that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as a member of the School Committee, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the rules and regulations of the Constitution and Laws of the Commonwealth, so help me God.

 

I, Patricia E. Chisholm, Joseph T. Crowley, Jr., Christopher T. Kisiel, Denis M. Russell, John M. Wells, do solemnly swear that I will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and that I will oppose the overthrow of the government of the United States, or of this Commonwealth, by force, violence or by any illegal or unconstitutional method, so help me God.

 

_________________________________      __________________________________ Patricia E. Chisholm    Joseph T. Crowley, Jr.

 

_________________________________      __________________________________

Christopher T. Kisiel                                      Margarette F. Masotta

 

_________________________________      __________________________________

Michael P. Mulrenan                                      Denis M. Russell

 

_________________________________

John M. Wells

 

Sworn to, before me, by the above named Patricia E. Chisholm, Joseph T. Crowley, Jr., Christopher T. Kisiel, Margarette, Masotta, Michael P. Mulrenan, Denis M. Russell, John M. Wells.

 

__________________________________                                                              William C. Campbell, City Clerk

and Clerk of City Council

 

*************************

Former Mayor the Honorable John C. Curran, Former Mayor the Honorable Robert M. Dever, former Mayor the Honorable John F. Gilgun, Jr., State Senator-Elect J. James

Marzilli, Jr., State Representative Jay R. Kaufman and State Representative Patrick M. Natale were acknowledged and the Mayor presented his Inaugural Address. The Mayor’s Inaugural Address was as follows:

 

Reverend clergy, Honorable Justice Eleanor Sinnott, former Lt. Governor candidate, state representative and State Police Col. Reed Hillman, former Gloucester Mayor Bill Rafter, elected officials, distinguished guests, family and friends, ladies and gentleman, welcome to the new Woburn Memorial High School and Woburn’s inaugural ceremonies.

 

Please allow me to recognize my wife, Sheryl, whose love, support and especially her understanding of the commitment of time and energy it takes in, not only being a mayor, but also being the wife of a mayor, certainly makes it easier for me to function in this challenging position, thank you.

 

Let me also take the time to say a special thank you to the inaugural committee Pat Dyer, Sue Leavitt, Charlie Culhane and many others for having this event come together for all of us this evening. I would like to recognize and thank the members of my family who are here tonight, my daughters Sherri and Sharyn, who are seated in the front row, my sister, Ruth, our Master of Ceremonies; my brother and former Ward 2 Alderman, Jack, who led the procession, my sister, Mary, who drove down here yesterday from upstate New York, and my mother in law, Shirley Piazza.

 

This event is especially notable because it is the very first inaugural exercise held in this new facility. Since our last inaugural ceremony, two years ago, the old high school has been demolished and we are now seated in this new state-of-the-art auditorium. You will note that this auditorium contains the statutes and friezes from the old high school. In my opinion, these unique artifacts serve to tie our memorable past to a new and exciting future here at WMHS. Thanks again to Bob Shure and his staff who restored these treasures and made them so presentable.

 

I would like to extend our appreciation to the School Department and our Department of Public Works for the work they accomplished in preparing us for tonight’s inaugural. Thanks especially to Superintendent (Vincent) Ferlisi and Deputy Superintendent (Thomas) Quinn. Thanks also to the Woburn Police, Woburn Fire and the United Veterans Council for providing the honor guards, lighting units and traffic control officers.

 

Thank you Chief (Philip) Mahoney and Chief (Paul) Tortolano for ensuring that all of us have arrived and will depart safely tonight. I want to extend a special thank you to the Honorable Justice Eleanor Sinnott, the former Chief Legal Counsel of the State Police and a former colleague of mine, for being here tonight and administering the oath of office to me. Thank you your Honor.

 

Before I continue, how about a nod to the Woburn football team who won their recent Thanksgiving football game against Winchester? This was the very first game played at our newly rededicated Connolly athletic stadium. The game included a spectacular 78yard kickoff return by Chris Martin that resulted in a touchdown on the very first play of the game. More importantly, it provided the opportunity for our seniors to finally attend and play a football game at home after a 4-year absence. Our congratulations to our, athletic director Jim Duran, coach Rocky Nelson and congratulations to our dedicated and professional coaching staff for, what, I am sure will become, one of Woburn’s most memorable and long talked about sporting events.

 

I went back and read over my first inaugural speech to try and determine how we did since I first took office two years ago. I promised you a more open, democratic, inclusive and representative government. I made a commitment that your local government would be accessible and responsive to your concerns. It is my sense, as I humbly stand before you tonight that you feel we have met those important commitments.

 

I also made a commitment to you that your local government, which spends approximately $100 million of your tax monies, each and every year, would be fiscally responsible. I promised to “hold the line” on property tax increases.

 

To that end, please allow me to provide you with an impressive snapshot of your city. Before I became mayor, there was a 63 percent increase in your property taxes from 2000-05. In the two years since I assumed office, the increase seen in your property taxes on a median household has dropped significantly down to a total of an eight percent increase from 2006-08.  If we are fortunate enough to sustain these reductions over three more years, then that would essentially amount to a 43 percent reduction in property tax increases from the 2000-05 period. I want to let you know tonight that Woburn stands as a “diamond in the rough” during an otherwise sluggish Massachusetts economy in which a number of other municipalities are facing unprecedented fiscal challenges. Despite the fact that Woburn has seen the same dramatic increases in the virtually uncontrollable costs for health care, retirement, special education along with increases in energy and trash collection costs, Woburn will only realize a $44 increase in its median residential tax rate this year. We are among the lowest residential tax rates of 311 cities and towns in the commonwealth that have already reported and set their tax rates for 2008.

 

Despite these modest increases, we have still managed even a higher and more efficient level of services through budget cuts, better business practices, sound management principles, cost effective strategies, along with my steadfast refusal to use any of our reserves to pay for recurring expenditures. The result has been, as I promised, that we have held the line on excessive property tax increases.

 

Additionally, in the last two years, working in cooperation with this City Council, and relying on our impressive reserves, cable fees and creative financing, Woburn has:

  • embarked on an ambitious capital improvement program to improve some of our  school buildings,
  • purchased new sidewalk plows,
  • purchased new computer hardware and software for our police and fire departments,
  • introduced a new award winning web site,
  • purchased new communication technology including a new city wide priority telephone alert system and we replaced an antiquated phone system at City Hall.

 

We were also able to fund an additional million dollars (at no additional increase to our property taxes) to add a second athletic turf practice field here at WMHS. Please take my word for it, not many communities today are in a position to even consider these types of expenditures.

 

Then, I may add, that Woburn remains one of a few communities that still provide a full range of services which include, police, fire, health, DPW, schools, sports and education programs, trash and recycling pick up, school bus transportation, abundant recreational activities, a highly-regarded and active senior center and a full slate of senior activities and other services and benefits for all of our veterans.

 

On supporting education and academic achievement, Woburn has managed to build three new elementary schools and a new high school since 2001 thanks to the efforts of my predecessors, Mayor (Robert) Dever and Mayor (John) Curran. And, more importantly, to demonstrate our support and commitment to our schools, Woburn exceeds net school spending by $8 million.

 

All this, while we are still holding the line on property taxes, not imposing any additional fees for these services and never having proposed or relied upon any Proposition 2 1/2 overrides.  And, let me add that we are one of the 83 communities, (among hundreds of submittals) recently selected by the Mass. School Building Authority that is in consideration for building a new elementary school.

 

Furthermore, assuming that we receive the go ahead from the Mass. School Building Authority, we are in a position to finance our portion of this construction obligation because we had the foresight to save $9 million toward this eventuality. Even better, we estimate that the interest alone will serve to carry our portion of debt over a borrowing period of 20 years that would result in no additional increases in your property taxes. Hence, I am feeling very optimistic that we will soon see the beginning of a process that will result, finally, in a much needed and newly constructed Goodyear Elementary School.

 

Because of Woburn’s favorable bond rating, the City Council and I recently authorized a $34 million bond to provide needed improvements to our water and sewer infrastructure This includes a new $10 million water filtration plant and a new $5 million  Rag Rock water storage tank.  Woburn, of all cities, cannot afford to compromise on its water quality. And, even after the completion of these projects, I am certain that Woburn’s water and sewer rates will continue to be competitive or lower when compared with other MWRA communities.

 

We are indeed a fortunate community, “a diamond in the rough” as I have previously stated. I still believe firmly, however, that our greatest strength is the commitment, cohesiveness and pride our citizens have in their city. Residents of Woburn look forward to serving their community and they do so willingly and unselfishly in a multitude of different ways. As your mayor, I can attest that apathy does not exist here in Woburn.

 

Now, having taken most of my time to provide you with a reassuring snapshot of our community, it has left me very little time to talk about all the other things that we have achieved. I have plans to make Woburn a more stronger and healthier community as we move forward into the next two years.

 

But, I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on some important points. I think it is important for me tonight to take time and acknowledge and commend our city and school employees who effectively deliver essential services day in and day out. I would like them to know that they are all deserving of a fair, just and reasonable resolution of their contracts that expired on June 30, 2007, and I will take a leadership role in working diligently with their respective representatives to get the contracts negotiated, settled and funded by the City Council.

 

In the spirit of that endeavor, I have extended an invitation to all the different bargaining units to meet with me and begin a dialogue on the issues and concerns surrounding the ever-increasing costs of health care insurance. I am confident that, working together, we will make headway on this all-important issue and move forward to getting new contracts executed, and it is my hope that this will occur before the fiscal year 2009 budget is submitted to the City Council.

 

Our new high school is essentially complete and on budget, except for about a month’s worth of routine site work that had to be delayed to the spring because of the early onset of winter. We have a newly painted and rededicated City Hall that is certainly one of Woburn’s most important gems. At night, it is bathed in light enhancing its most attractive features. Another of Woburn’s gems is its downtown common which we have begun to improve with lighting, new trees and landscaping that has served to make it more inviting to the public. And, how about those lights this year that were put up for the holidays? I think our common looks better than ever thanks to the combined efforts of our Parks, DPW and a number of our dedicated civic organizations.

 

Thanks to our partnership with the Woburn Redevelopment Authority, our other downtown areas; business and restaurants are coming back to life slowly but surely. The long-standing eyesore known as the Berlandi building located at 239 Main St. will be demolished within the next two months or sooner thanks to actions taken by the City Council, our City Engineer, our Fire and Police Chiefs in conjunction our law firm of Kopelman and Paige. It seems to me that downtown Woburn is becoming a destination of sorts lately.

 

We expect, in partnership with the MBTA, that we will soon have another new 92 space parking lot downtown at Magazine Hill and we were also able to redesign, resurface and repaint our existing downtown parking lot at Walnut Hill. We have demolished the old Reeves School and, thanks to cooperation and support from the school department and the City Council, this summer we will provide the new Reeves with long overdue landscaping and design changes that will finally improve student safety and enhance recreational activities.

 

To our honorable state delegation here with us this evening, we urge you to continue to support the efforts of the city of Woburn and the town of Burlington in partnership with the well-organized sound barrier committee to gain the funding necessary for sound barriers which will serve to enhance the quality of life for residents living along the I-95 corridor. We request your assistance in our efforts to finally complete the New Boston Street bridge and for your assistance in securing local aid and debt service relief for our community.

 

Over-development, traffic congestion, density issues truck traffic, traffic lighting, and the widening of key intersections will continue to be challenges for this community. The long standing Archstone appeal has now been scheduled for early February at the Supreme Judicial Court and we hope the Supreme Judicial Court provides us with some relief from this overly- ambitious Chapter 40B proposal. We need to continue to be diligent in our opposition to the New England Transrail trash transfer proposal in Wilmington and we need to continue to support all of the recommendations of I-93/95 that will ultimately benefit Woburn and the other adjoining communities.

 

One major initiative in my next term that I have already begun to undertake is to place Woburn at the forefront of the energy conservation effort. This will serve to lower our energy costs, improve air quality and health, reduce fossil fuel emissions, reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy and help offset impending global climate change. I have already enlisted Woburn in the Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Community Energy Challenge and we have met with officials of NStar to pursue other creative energy-saving audits and ideas. I will create and appoint persons to a new Woburn Clean Energy Committee which will expand our efforts to save costs and make recommendations to help Woburn become a municipal leader in the use of clean power.

 

It is time to move tonight’s program along. I could talk about Woburn all night, but I’m done. It has been my distinct and humble pleasure to serve as your mayor and I look forward to serving you to the best of my ability during the next two years. Thank You. _________________________

 

The Benediction was read by Rev. James M. Achadinha of St. Charles Borromeo Church, Woburn, Massachusetts.

 

_________________________

 

 

CITY COUNCIL

MEETING FOR ORGANIZATION

JANUARY 7, 2008

 

Members Present

 

Charles E. Doherty                                   Raymond B. Drapeau James J. Dwyer                                         Scott D. Galvin

                              Richard Gately, Jr.                                    Joanna Gonsalves

                              Paul J. Denaro  – absent                            Darlene Mercer-Bruen

Michael L. Raymond

_________________________

 

Pursuant to Title 3, Section 11 of Chapter 172 of the Acts of 1897 of the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as amended, known as the Charter of the City of Woburn, the City Clerk and Clerk of the City Council called to order the City Council.

 

Further, pursuant to said Act, the City Council proceeded to the election of a President by roll call vote.

_________________________

 

ROLL CALL: Denaro – Absent; Doherty – Doherty; Drapeau – Doherty; Dwyer – Doherty; Galvin – Galvin; Gately – Doherty; Gonsalves – Galvin; Mercer-Bruen – Doherty; Raymond – Doherty.

 

On the first ballot, Alderman Doherty received six votes and Alderman Galvin received two votes. Alderman Doherty, having received the necessary majority vote, was declared elected to the position of President of the City Council.

 

*************************

I, Charles E. Doherty, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and will support the Constitution thereof, so help me God.

 

I, Charles E. Doherty, do solemnly swear and affirm that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as President of the City Council, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the rules and regulations of the Constitution and Laws of the Commonwealth, so help me God.

 

I, Charles E. Doherty, do solemnly swear that I will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and that I will oppose the overthrow of the government of the United States, or of this Commonwealth, by force, violence or by any illegal or unconstitutional method, so help me God.

 

 

_________________________________

Charles E. Doherty

 

Sworn to before me, by the above-named Charles E. Doherty.

 

 

_________________________________                                                              William C. Campbell, City Clerk

and Clerk of the City Council

________________________

 

ORDERED     That the Rules and Orders of the City Council of 2006-2007 be ADOPTED as the Rules of the present City Council until otherwise Ordered.

 

s/Alderman Doherty

 

Motion made and 2nd that the ORDER be ADOPTED, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (Denaro absent).

_________________________

 

Motion made and 2nd to ADJOURN, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (Denaro absent). Meeting adjourned at 8:19 p.m.

 

A TRUE RECORD ATTEST:

 

 

 

William C. Campbell

City Clerk and Clerk of the City Council

_________________________

 

COUNCIL CHAMBER

WOBURN CITY HALL

WOBURN, MASSACHUSETTS

SUNDAY, JANUARY 13, 2008 AT 10:30 A.M.

 

 

I, Paul J. Denaro, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and will support the Constitution thereof, so help me God.

 

I, Paul J. Denaro, do solemnly swear and affirm that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as Alderman, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the rules and regulations of the Constitution and Laws of the Commonwealth, so help me God.

 

I, Paul J. Denaro, do solemnly swear that I will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and that I will oppose the overthrow of the government of the United States, or of this Commonwealth, by force, violence or by any illegal or unconstitutional method, so help me God.

 

 

__________________________________

Paul J. Denaro

 

 

Sworn to, before me, by the above named Paul J. Denaro.                                                      __________________________________                                                      William C. Campbell, City Clerk

and Clerk of City Council

 

_________________________

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