Thank you all for coming tonight. The warmth of your welcome and your enthusiasm are both greatly appreciated and a source of motivation for all elected officials.
Before I begin I would like to ask all of you for a moment of silence in honor of Michael Borucki, a Trumbull Police Officer who recently passed away after a long battle with cancer. He will be missed by all in our Community.
Thanks to everyone who organized this event this evening with special thanks to Eve McGrath and Kathy Champion. Please join me in a round of applause for them. I also want to thank my extended family and many of my friends for being here tonight. And of course I must thank my husband Tom and the other two most important people in my life my daughters Laura and Melissa for their love, encouragement and support.
I want to congratulate all who stood for election this November. Those who won deserve hearty congratulations for a job well done. However, those that did not win should know that they too deserve our thanks.
Standing for election is not an easy thing but it is an absolutely necessary thing. The strength of our Town, our State and our Nation rests on the shoulders of those who put themselves forward, exchange in a battle of ideas and give our Citizens the opportunity to reinforce, time and time again, the founding principles of our nation.
That this is a nation of the people, by the people and for the people and that those who govern do so with the consent of the governed. So don’t be discouraged if you did not win.
I won’t repeat all the introductions make by Dave Galla but I do want to acknowledge all the First Selectmen who preceded me. Each and every one of them helped shape this wonderful Town we call home. I pledge to do my best to honor their legacy and I ask you all to join me in a round of applause for all the First Selectman of Trumbull.
Elections, by their nature, are divisive things. You want your team to win, you work for that result and there is elation if you win and disappointment if you don’t.
Now the election is over. We have to put aside our elation or disappointment and come together as neighbors working for the common good. That is how Trumbull will prosper and this is how we all will win.
That does not mean we will always agree. But we have a task, a task set out clearly by former President Kennedy when he said:
Let us not seek out the Republican answer or the Democratic answer but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix blame for the past . Let us accept our responsibility for the future.
That is our task and our responsibility.
Let’s embrace it.
Let’s embrace the challenge of putting aside animosity and replacing it with civility.
Let’s embrace the challenge of putting aside the need to always be right and replace it with the commitment to work together to make it right.
Let’s embrace the challenge of putting aside politics as usual for something new, inclusion, cooperation and mutual respect.
Who knows, maybe, right here in our small new England Town, we can not only accept our responsibility for the future but become role models for a better future.
That is a tall order but we took a small step in that direction tonight when we break with the tradition that only Democrats swear in Democrats and Republicans only swear in Republicans and replaced it with honored citizens swearing in other Citizens who have the responsibility to lead our Community.
Let’s build on that first step. Let’s work together to solve our challenges.
Let’s work together to create a community that does not divide us into groups but unites us in a common purpose to make this community better for all its citizens.
We have holes in our budget that need to be filled. Let’s work together to meet that challenge.
We all want stable taxes so let’s work together to make that happen.
We want a safe community so let’s work together to insure that our first responders have the equipment, the manpower and the training they need to do their jobs.
We want a strong education system at a fair price. Let’s see that that continues.
I ran on a platform of giving the people a voice. Let’s have a referendum on the Community center. If the people want it we will build it. If not, then we need to start fresh without rancor or recrimination.
It is time we had an open debate on the configuration of our Town Government. It is not what the elected officials want, it is what you want because it is your government. Your voice needs to be heard and it will be heard.
Let’s look at our senior tax relief programs, not to take things away, but to insure that those in need get the relief they deserve.
Finally, let’s open the Charter and work together to restore balance on our Board of Education, enact term limits if the law permits, and do those things that make Trumbull a model of transparency and good government.
I pledged to be a First Selectman who actively seeks out differing points of view. That is what I will do.
I pledged to be a First Selectman who leads by example. That is what I will do.
I pledged to be a First Selectman who treats everyone with respect. That is what I will do.
I pledged to be a First Selectman who puts the Citizens first and Party second. That is what I will do.
So tonight let’s celebrate. The hard work has already begun. I ask all those on this stage and everyone here tonight, to join me in creating a stronger future for our great Town. We are better together and together we will make our wonderful community even better.