As Mayor Erin E. Stewart, Council members and more were sworn in Tuesday morning hopes for bi-partisan rang throughout the ceremony.
Master of Ceremonies Sharon Beloin-Saavedra started the event saying, “Babe Ruth once said: the way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individuals in the world – but if they don’t play together – the club wont be worth a dime. I ask you to think of this quote as a metaphor for good government.”
The next two years will see a Republican Mayor and a Democratic led Common Council.
“Political parties are the vehicle by which folks get elected – however, it should not be the method by which we govern,” said Saavedra. “Erin has a proven track record of reaching across party lines and various political affiliations to have conversations and be inclusive in the decision making process. Erin and I have not always agreed but we have always afforded one another respect in our dialogue.”
Town and City Clerk Mark Bernacki was sworn in by Antoinette Spinella, president of the town clerk association.
“In these difficult economic and fiscal times it is imperative that the government work for the betterment of New Britain, our region and our state,” said Bernacki. “You are all in positions that have been around for 160 years. Perform your duties with pride, honor and distinction. Do your homework, learn, listen and honestly and openly debate the issues.”
Constables, board of assessment, board of education, treasurer, tax collector and common council members were sworn in.
Council members included Brian Keith Albert, Aram Ayalon, Katie Breslin, Carlo Carlozzi Jr., Jamie Giantonio, Eva Magnuszewski, Don Naples, Wilfredo Pabon, Richard Reyes, Kristian Rosado, Daniel Salerno, Emmanuel Sanchez, Iris Sanchez, Francisco Santiago and Robert Smedley.
Mayor Stewart was sworn in by her father and past Mayor Timothy Stewart.
“Back in 2013, we embarked on a new political journey. In 2013, I stood before you and said that to move New Britain forward requires a new style of leadership. In 2013, I told you all that as mayor, it will not be about me,” said Mayor Erin Stewart. “It will be about we. We the people, coming together. Putting politics aside. Listening to each other. We the people, forging relationships across political lines. Finding common ground and common sense solutions.”
Stewart spoke about the difficulties she faced when she first came into office including the City being on the brink of bankruptcy. She also spoke on the changes the City has seen in the past two years including 50 new businesses and 700 new jobs.
“We’ve changed the way we talk about New Britain and altered the way others view us. We are a community full of residents and business owners who are now cheerleaders for the place they call home,” stated Stewart. “That has invited longtime residents, visitors and investors to take another look at New Britain and come “Experience the New”.
She said most of it has been done in a bi-partisan manner.
“No party has a monopoly on what is right and New Britain is proof. All politics are local and national politics are not New Britain politics,” Stewart emphasized. “Whatever is happening in Washington right now is not what we stand for.”
She concluded that the campaign is over and now is the time to govern.
Performances at the ceremony included the Northend Cheerleaders, the New Britain High School Marching Band and the NBHS Madrigals.
The invocation was by Rev. Joseph Keough of St. Joseph Church. Dylan Washington, student ambassador led the pledge of allegiance. The benediction was by Pastor Thomas Mills of Grace Church.