New London welcomed its first strong mayor in 90 years into office on Monday in a swearing-in ceremony that also brought in the new complement of City Council and Board of Education members.
Daryl Justin Finizio, who won the election for mayor out of a field of six candidates last month, took the oath of office at the . Finizio said he considered last year’s vote to change from a city manager form of government to a strong mayor form of government a call for honest and aggressive leadership.
“New London needs a leader who will set a steady course, and see the vision for our city’s future through to completion. We need committed, dedicated leadership," he said. "I committed to you that all that I am—indeed, now, my very life—belongs to New London.”
Finizio promised to seek no other public office or employment during his time as mayor, which extends through 2015 for this term. He said the improvement of the city must also be a cooperative effort among the entire city government, as well as New London residents.
“To those who have waited, waited for so long for the moment to come when New London might finally turn that corner, the moment when the great power of the people in this city might be at last unleashed, I say to all of you that this is that moment,” Finizio said. “This is our chance. This is our time. Tonight, New London’s renaissance begins.”
“Viva New London”
The event also swore in the City Council, which has four new members after November's election. Newly elected City Councilor Marie Friess-McSparran nominated returning City Councilor Michael Passero to be president of the council.
“You do not have to look far to see how deeply involved in New London Michael Passero is,” said Friess-McSparran.
Passero delivered a brief speech, saying the success of the city depends upon the government’s partnerships with the community. He said the city cannot rely on any one person or faction, but must always strive to build a consensus.
“This city has persevered through the bad times and has been successful in the good,” he said. “I am confident that this new government we herald in today brings a new era of prosperity to our glorious city. Viva New London.”
Returning City Councilor Wade Hyslop was named as the council’s president pro tempore. The title was created as part of the City Charter revisions to replace the deputy mayor’s role.
Also sworn in were incumbent City Councilor Adam Sprecace and new members Donald Macrino, John Maynard, and Anthony Nolan.
Board of Education
The seven members of the Board of Education were sworn in at the start of the evening. Returning member Bill Morse was named president of the board, while new member Elizabeth Garcia Gonzalez was named vice president. Jason Catala, the current board secretary, will remain in the role.
The swearing in ceremony also issued the oath of office to new members Margaret “Peg” Curtin, Sylvia Potter, and Delanna Muse. Democratic Town Committee Chairman Bill Satti, master of the evening’s ceremonies, said returning member Barbara Major had been sworn in before Monday.