By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
Democratic Mayor Nancy R. Rossi will serve as West Haven’s chief elected official for another two years when she and the rest of the city’s elected officials are administered the oath of office at noon Sunday.
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz will swear in Rossi for a second term during a ceremony at West Haven High School, 1 McDonough Plaza.
The public is invited to the inauguration, which is being held in the school auditorium.
City Planning and Zoning Commissioner Christopher M. Suggs will serve as the master of ceremonies, and Bysiewicz will serve as the keynote speaker.
Rossi defeated City Clerk Deborah Collins and former Mayor Edward M. O’Brien in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary and Republican challenger Michele P. Gregorio in the Nov. 5 general election.
Rossi, 61, is the 12th and first female mayor of West Haven since it was incorporated as a city by the General Assembly in 1961.
Retired Probate Judge E. Michael Heffernan will swear in incumbent Democratic Treasurer Michael P. Last, and Superior Court Judge Trial Referee Edward J. Dolan will administer the oath of office to incumbent Democratic Tax Collector Dorothy Chambrelli. Bysiewicz will swear in elected Democratic City Clerk Patricia C. Horvath.
Heffernan will also swear in the five incumbents and eight newcomers on the City Council.
Returning council members are Bridgette J. Hoskie, D-1; Mitchell L. Gallignano, D-4; Robbin Watt Hamilton, D-5; Peter V. Massaro, D-6; and Ronald M. Quagliani, D-at large.
New to the council are William X. Conlon, D-2; Elizabeth Johnston, D-3; Treneé McGee, D-7; Chrystal Fanelli, D-8; Robert Bruneau, D-9; Barry Lee Cohen, R-10; Gary Donovan, D-at large; and Colleen O’Connor, R-at large.
Probate Judge Mark J. DeGennaro will swear in members of the Board of Education, including incumbent Republicans Robert J. Guthrie and Patricia B. Libero and elected Democrats Anne Heffernan, Andrea Talamelli and Caryll “Cebi” Waterfield.
DeGennaro will also swear in incumbent Republican Ralph P. Biondi and elected Democrats Joseph W. Harvey III and Mark P. Palmieri to the Board of Assessment Appeals.
The West Haven Charter mandates that all elected officials take the oath of office on the first Sunday in December.
The inauguration will commence with a procession led by the West Haven Police Color Guard and a mayoral honor guard composed of fire and police chiefs from the city and the University of New Haven.
The ceremony will feature Rossi’s inaugural address and include musical selections performed by the West Haven High School Band under the direction of Cassandra K. Marcella.
Vietnam veteran William “Bill” Benson, grand marshal of the city’s 2019 Memorial Day parade, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Jaclyn Chiarelli will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and West Haven High junior Nora E. Mullins will sing “America the Beautiful.”
The event will also include a special cheer routine performed by West Haven Seahawks cheerleaders.
The public is invited to a reception that will follow in the school cafeteria.
Rossi, a certified public accountant most recently at Whitten, Horton + Gibney LLP in Orange, is no stranger to public service in West Haven.
She is a former five-term councilwoman who was elected to represent the 7th District on the City Council in 2005. She served as chairwoman of the Finance Committee from 2007 to 2015.
Rossi lives in the 7th District with her husband of 38 years, Arthur Rossi. They have two sons, Angelo and Stephen, and two grandchildren, Arthur, 9, and Julianna, 4 months.