Photo By PAULA MULLER
From left, Peter L. Capano, Hong L. Net, William R. Trahant Jr., Brian P. LaPierre, Darren P. Cyr and John Walsh Jr., at the City Council and School Committee inaugural exercises at the Lynn City Hall Auditorium.
By THOR JOURGENSEN
LYNN — Monday night’s city inaugural ceremonies passed over pomp and circumstance in favor of humor as two new City Councilors and two new School Committee members joined veteran elected officials in taking oaths of their respective offices.
After being sworn in by Lynn District Court Judge James Lamothe, City Councilors Brian LaPierre and John “Jay” Walsh Jr. and School Committee members Jared Nicholson and Lorraine Gately received some gentle ribbing from Mayor — and former councilor and committeewoman — Judith Flanagan Kennedy.
She recalled how her children, Colin and Mia, raved about former Pickering Middle School science teacher Gately’s use of m&m’s in her classroom lessons. She marveled at LaPierre’s campaign work ethic and said LaPierre trotted out a twin named “Ziggy” to help him meet voters.
She drew parallels between Nicholson’s law career and early interest in politics and her successful run for a committee seat in 1991.
“Keep on this path and you will be mayor in about 2025,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy praised the Walsh family’s contribution to the city and called the newly-minted Ward 7 councilor a Generation X addition to the council who “I can get earring tips from.”
Not to be outdone by Kennedy, Ward 4 Councilor Richard Colucci brought a Frosty the Snowman doll onto the Veterans Memorial Auditorium stage and offered $20 to anyone in the roughly 600-person audience who could sing a verse of the song by the same name.
There were serious moments during Monday’s inauguration with Pastor Kurt Lange recalling a 19th-century description of Lynn as a “… a beacon of light and civil liberty.”
“More today than ever our leaders need our prayers to lead this great city,” Lange prayed.
Kennedy reminded the audience that Lynn “is changing and changing for the better” with police logging a 1-percent crime drop in November and new schools and development projects in the planning stages.
Cindy Rodriguez sat near the auditorium stage with college student Jeleana DeFranzo and said she attended the inaugural for two reasons: She supported Nicholson during last fall’s campaign and she wanted to give DeFranzo, 19, a bird’s eye view of democracy in action.
The inaugural featured an array of Lynn talent, including singer MaryBeth Maes, the Mak’n Step Squad and Dance Team and the Angkor Dance Troupe.
Following the inaugural, councilors elected Council President Daniel Cahill to another, two-year term and elected Ward 3 Councilor Darren Cyr vice president and Colucci to be council delegate to the Water and Sewer Commission.
Thor Jourgensen can be reached at [email protected]