Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Holyoke officials sworn in

Tuesday, January 08, 2008
By KEN ROSS
kross@repub.com




HOLYOKE - City Council President Joseph M. McGiverin was yesterday unanimously re-elected council president after elected city officials were sworn in for two-year terms.

"It's always a special day," McGiverin said, referring to inauguration day.

The City Council, School Committee and Mayor Michael J. Sullivan were sworn in yesterday at a ceremony in the Holyoke High School auditorium. Afterward, the City Council reconvened in the City Council chambers in City Hall to re-elect McGiverin as council president.

A large crowd of residents and some students attended yesterday's swearing in ceremony. Holyoke High School's Madrigal Choir sang several songs during the ceremony. Members of Dean Tech Air Force Jr. ROTC Color Guard also led officials down the aisle at the start of the ceremony and formed a reception line along the auditorium's aisle as people exited the building after the ceremony.

Including McGiverin, 12 incumbents and three newcomers were sworn into office by City Clerk Susan M. Egan. The three new Holyoke City Councilors are At-large member Rebecca Lisi, Ward 3 Councilor Anthony Martin Keane and Ward 4 Councilor Timothy W. Purington.

As for the School Committee, seven incumbents and one new member were sworn in on the 10 member board. The new member is At-large School Committee member Howard B. Greaney Jr.

Mayor Sullivan also serves on the committee. The other committee member - At-large School Committee member Mary S. Signet - was not up for re-election.

The three new City Councilors were enthusiastic about beginning their first terms on the council.

"It's very exciting," Purington said. "It's exciting to think I have more of a voice in the future of the city."

"It feels great right now," Keane said. "We'll see what the position brings."

"I think we have a good team on the council," Lisi said. "It's time to move forward on a lot of issues for the council."

McGiverin outlined some of the issues he hopes the council will address this year. In particular, McGiverin said he believes the council needs to address concerns raised in a recent state Department of Revenue report analyzing the city's financial management.

"We need to look at the current financial management particulars of the city," McGiverin said, adding, "We need to look at those recommendations ... without specific people in mind."

The council also needs to be concerned with the school district's budget for next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The School Committee decides the actual budget. But the council ultimately approves it as part of the entire city budget.

And next fiscal year, the school district will face budget constraints due to an anticipated drop in state aid related to a charter school in the city.




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