Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Let me begin by saying, first, that I am truly honored and humbled by the confidence of my colleagues and their support to be New Rochelle’s next Mayor. And, Marianne, thank you in particular for your very kind words, which meant so much to me. This is an outstanding Council, reflective of the diversity and talent within our city. I have the highest respect for each of its members. And I look forward to drawing upon their wisdom, as we move forward together, as a team.
I am also so pleased that Mayor Idoni is joining us this afternoon. Fourteen years ago, Tim took charge of a city in deep distress. Thanks to his leadership, Tim will leave a city that is enjoying success on almost every front, and is poised for still more in the years ahead. All the people of New Rochelle should be very grateful for Tim’s exceptional efforts and his unparalleled record of accomplishment.
So that there’s no confusion: we have only one Mayor at a time, and Tim will remain our leader until he assumes his new responsibilities in January. But I hope it is not too early, Tim, to wish you well in the next phase of your professional life. And to say that you will be sincerely missed here in City Hall.
Second, I would like to offer my thanks to our City staff and employees for the hard work they do every day to serve New Rochelle. I believe with all my heart that public service is an honorable calling, and that whatever our specific responsibilities, whether we work in this building or in the field, whether we keep our streets safe or keep our streets clean, whether we write the law or enforce the law, all of us are engaged together in the mission of building a stronger, more vibrant community. And I will be proud to serve with each of you.
In particular, I would like to express my confidence in our City Manager, Chuck Strome. I have enjoyed working with Chuck for the past ten years, as he has acquired progressively larger responsibilities. He is a skilled and responsive public servant, and I know we will extend and deepen our relationship in the months ahead.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to say to all the people of New Rochelle that I will work my hardest, to the best of my ability, to serve you and to make our community an even better place.
It is a source of pride to me, that those who know me best, in the Fifth Council District, have three times chosen me to be their representative. I am aware, however, as I prepare to assume this new office, that many in our community as a whole do not know me, or at least not yet. It will be my goal — indeed, my responsibility — to build a relationship of trust and openness with the people in every part of our city.
There is so much for us to do — from enhancing our planning and development efforts downtown and on the waterfront, to investing in our neighborhoods, environment, and quality of life, to relieving the financial burden on taxpayers and homeowners, to establishing common objectives that unite our diverse city. These are big goals, and they require us to work together.
So I want every resident to know that their voice counts, and that the talents and contributions and ideas of every well-intentioned citizen will be embraced with gratitude by me and by our City government.
I have lived in New Rochelle all my life. I love our city for what it is and what it represents. We have been on a long journey, and today we face new challenges, but I am filled with optimism about the future and hope you will share my enthusiasm for the exciting job ahead.
I wish you a happy holiday season. May God bless each of you. And may God bless our great city.
Thank you very much.