It is a new beginning in New Britain as Mayor Tim O’Brien and newly elected officials were sworn into office at New Britain High School Tuesday.
Hundreds of residents attended with cheers and applause as aldermen, board of education members, tax collector, city treasurer and more were officially sown-in. The New Britain High School band performed various songs including “Bingo” during the celebration. The madrigal singers sang the national anthem. The JROTC performed the color guard presentation and Korean War Veteran Robert Smith led the pledge of allegiance.
Guest Speaker was Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. She said Gov. Malloy would have been there, but he was out of the state.
“I really want to thank elected officials and your families,” said Wyman. “It is a big job…It is the toughest job at the local level. Mr. Mayor you gave a lot. As a state representative you always pushed for your constituents. You will be back here doing the same thing for all the citizens of New Britain.”
Master of Ceremonies State Sen. Theresa Gerratana took a few minutes to honor outgoing Mayor Timothy Stewart.
“He has served us well for the past 8 years. This is no mean feat,” Gerratana said. “His firm hand has guided the City towards new economic development and civic improvement. We are grateful for his commitment to public service.”
Gerratana continued, “Today a new mayor elect will assume the responsibilities and duties of our City’s government. I have known Tim O’Brien for almost 20 years….Tim distinguished himself with anti-blight ordinances and insured district representation on the common council here in New Britain.”
Town Clerk Peter Denuzze gave the oath to all officials.
“Serving all the wonderful people of this City has been my highest aspiration. To work with you on the pressing issues and challenges to move New Britain forward is my mission and my passion. I will respect the office of mayor and will revere and honor the oath I have just taken,” said O’Brien. “Times right now are tough. Cities like ours have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn.”
O’Brien said the quality of life is not what it used to be.
“Each of us knows New Britain faces difficult challenges. But, we have some very significant opportunities that I am anxious to address. Hear me now the future of our City is bright,” he said. “To get that bright future we need bold action; Bold action to create jobs and revitalize our economy in the present.”
He said there needs to be high quality jobs within the City. He also emphasized the importance of education.
“We can create opportunities for New Britain kids and we will. Quality education for our children will be a priority for my administration,” he said. “We must and we will work together to ensure quality education that our kids deserve and in the meantime preserve our middle class tax base.”
He said the City’s future will be made by all City residents.
“New Britain residents will always have a seat at the table,” O’Brien added. “We can only get things right if we work together.”
Democrat O’Brien, a former state representative, won the mayoral election Nov. 8 beating out three opponents.
Newly elected Alderman Pastor Rha-Sheen Brown, of Right Now Ministries, performed a rousing benediction to close the ceremony.