Photographs By John Murray
Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary was sworn in to a second term in office yesterday afternoon during a ceremony at Kennedy High School. O'Leary captured nearly 70% of the vote on election day and has a clear mandate to continue the projects and issues his administration has been implementing.
Maggie O'Leary escourted her father into Kennedy High School and laterr led her 7th grade class from Blessed Sacrament School in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy administered the oath of office to O'Leary. The two men have forged an excellent working relationship between city and state government, and both vow to continue it into the future. Malloy's is up for re-election in November 2014 and is relying on the cities to carry him into a second term in office.
Listening to the mayor's inaugural speech were his wife, Kathy, daughter Maggie, daughter in-law Meliisa, and son Patrick.
Governor Malloy complimented O'Leary as a man who gets things done, and in the coming months the Governor will receive an "ask" from the City of Waterbury about a comprehensive downtown project. O'Leary has stated the "moons are in allignment" for the city to secure millions of dollars in state funds to help revitalize downtown Waterbury. The O'Leary administration is vetting possible projects and has sought advice from an internationally reknowned urban design company about ways to intergrate the projects.
Hundreds of Waterbury residents attended a mass at the Immaculate Conception Church before making their way to the Kennedy High School auditorium for the inauguration. O'Leary selected Kennedy High in rememberance of the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination.
Kennedy student Alijah Gonzalez belted out a moving rendition of the national anthem.
The fifteen members of the Board of Aldermen stood to take the oath of office. In the front row from left to right is Anne Phelan, Ron Napoli Jr., Joe Begnal Jr., Ernie Brunelli, Victor Lopez Jr., Tony Piccochi, Greg Hadley, Ryan Mulcahy and Paul Pernerewski. In the back row from left to right is Larry De Pillo, Paul Ciochetti, Jerry Padula, Steve Giacomi, Stephanie Cummings and Chris Ursini.
Independent Party alderman Larry De Pillo made his presence felt immediately as he challenged rule changes that limited the number of times and the length an alderman could address an issue during a meeting. Although unspoken, the rule change was directed towards De Pillo, who in a previous term as alderman was notorious for asking multiple questions and extending aldermen meetings by up to an hour. De Pillo also balked at a rule change that prohibited the public from addressing issues that weren't on the aldermen's agenda unless they had submitted the question 11 days in advance. De Pillo was supported on both his objections by the five Republican aldermen on the board, but both rule changes passed with the unanimous support of the nine Democrats. De Pillo said it was a message to the public that they weren't welcome at aldermen meetings.
As the aldermen spared over rule changes, some first-time visitors to the political process were less than thrilled. These two young girls were part of the PAL Choir and had to sit through 90 minutes of politics and ceremony before they got the chance to sing God Bless America.
The mayor's Aunt Edna (red jacket) was thrilled when the Police Pipe & Drums escourted O'Leary into the meeting. Standing behind Aunt Edna is Dale Thurber O'Leary, the mayor's ex-wife, and mother of Maggie O'Leary.
Being sworn in to four-year terms on the Board of Education were from left to right; Karen Harvey, Felix Rodriguez, Charles Stango, Juanita Hernandez and Thomas Van Stone Sr..
During his inaugural speech O'Leary, a Democrat, vowed to continue his collaboration with the Republican Party, and vowed that as hard as his administration had worked in the first term, he promised they would work even harder in the second.