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Fall River’s Best Days are Ahead

Jane O'Brien '15
Staff Reporter
January 8, 2014

On Monday, January 6, 2014, at ten o’clock in the morning, the Mayor, followed by the City Councilors and School Committee members, filed into Durfee High School's Nagle Auditorium for their inauguration.

To begin the day's events, Alison M. Bouchard, the City Clerk, called the meeting to order. Before the swearing in of officers began, Durfee alumna Isabelle Morimoto led the audience in her rendition of the National Anthem. Bouchard then took to official business and administered the oath to newly elected.

Mayor William A. Flanagan was sworn in to office for a third time by Allison M. Bouchard.

                                          -Hilltop File Photo


Mayor William A. Flanagan, who is no stranger to the oath, this being his third inauguration as mayor of Fall River, was sworn into office. Following Flanagan, the members-elect of the City Council received the oath. The 2014 City Council members include Joseph D. Camara, Patricia (Pat) A. Casey, Paul G. DaSilva, Michael L. Miozza, Raymond A. Mitchell, Leo O. Pelletier, Linda M. Pereira, Daniel M. Rego, and Cathy Ann Viveiros. Viveiros, however, declined to fulfill her position on the City Council. Jasiel F. Correia II was inducted in her place, holding the next highest number of votes.

The members-elect of the School Committee, Gabriel T. Andrade, Mark Costa, Paul B. Hart, Joseph Martins, Robert Maynard, and Melissa K. Panchley, were then obligated to repeat the oath recited by Bouchard and were officially sworn in.

Bouchard's next order of business to conduct was the electing of the City Council President. With a close vote, 5-4, Joseph D. Camara was awarded the position.

“We can ensure that good things will happen to this city,” Camara stated in his address. He reassured the public that he would do everything in his power to unite the council and “work together to ensure Fall River is as safe as possible.”

Camara went on to explain that one of the council's main focal points would be education. “It starts with a good educator,” he exclaimed that every child should “receive the best education we can provide.” Camara also touched on points such as cleaner streets and assessing the landfill problem by using it to create energy.

Raymond Mitchell was unanimously voted into the Vice President position. He began his acceptance speech by commending Pereira on a job well done in her past years as serving as president of the City Council. Mitchell emphasized the need for communication on the council in order to serve the public effectively. “Never forget that our public elected us to serve them.” He went on to state that “the needs of our city should drive our future.”

The audience welcomed Mayor Flanagan with a standing ovation. The newly re-elected mayor was honored to give another inauguration speech. “Our city is second to none,” Flanagan exclaimed. He continued to state that he intends to continue to provide Fall River with stronger schools, safer streets, and more jobs. He ensured that new opportunities and a secure economy is on the horizon. “It’s time for a change in fortune,” said Flanagan.

In his plans for the future of the city, he hopes to attract business and new jobs. He also explained that strides to improve education and promoting arts and culture are necessities. “We’re taking strides towards a better Fall River... I understand the value of hard work and determination.” Flanagan went on to praise the hardworking men and women of our city. “It’s what I love about our city.”

Flanagan went on to state that soon every child in our public school system will graduate with skills to be productive in their future. “It will take all of us to ensure that Fall River's best days are ahead.” Flanagan ended his speech by exclaiming his high hopes for the city and followed with his desire to continue to pursue the American dream. “Thank you for instilling your trust in me to lead this city for the next two years.”

Durfee students from Student Government, the National Honor Society and various Social Studies classes were invited to attend the event. "I learned a lot more about the local government. American citizens usually watch the President being sworn into office on television, so actually watching the process on a local level made me feel connected," said junior Cheyenne Quintal.