By Josh LaBella
In her inaugural address, Mayor Nancy Rossi said she was looking forward to working with the slate of elected officials sworn in alongside her. The mayor, now sworn in for a second two-year term, campaigned on “staying the course” and getting the city back on the financial straight and narrow.
The event, which saw the mayor, 13 City Council members, five Board of Education members, the City Clerk, Treasurer, and Tax Collector take their oaths of office, was held in the auditorium of the new wing of West Haven High School. The keynote speakers were Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Bysiewicz described the group of elected officials being sworn in as diverse and said “our diverse team can’t wait to work with your diverse team.” Speaking of Mayor Rossi, she said Rossi was a committed to making this city even better.
“One thing I know from having the honor of being the secretary of the state for twelve years is that West Haven politics a rough and tumble kind of thing and it’s not for the faint of heart,” said Bysiewicz. “Nancy has embraced that vibrant city and that public spirit endeavor in a very gracious way. She is a person of grace. She is a person of humanity and compassion.”
Sen. Blumenthal said local politics was the brick and mortar of the country’s democracy, calling it “where the rubber meets the road.” Speaking of the mayor’s responsibility to the city, he said “the buck stops here.”
Mayor Rossi started off her address by thanking her family, friends and supporters. She said she started her time as mayor two years ago looking to instill a culture of financial responsibility.
“Although I did not anticipate being called to Hartford on my second day in office and being told the city was being placed under the oversight of the Municipal Accountability Review Board, called also the MARB, I am proud to report that we have made great progress with two balanced budgets and a grand list growth of $30 million,” said Rossi. “All of which went to a bond rating upgrade from Moody’s (Corporation).”
Rossi said the road had not been easy, adding many unpopular decisions had to be made. She said the city was in the process of recovery and is positioned well for future success.
“We have strategically and successfully moved stalled economic projects forward,” said Rossi. “New businesses have opened and existing businesses have expanded. The next two years, we will need to focus on completing these economic development projects and continuing our aggressive marketing campaign for new investors and businesses.”
Rossi said her administration had proven their financial responsibility and serious positions on growing the local economy and grand list to the business community. She also spoke to continuing a good relationship with the board of education to ensure a “first class education” for West Haven students.
The mayor also said her administration will continue to improve and repair the infrastructure of the city.
“I look forward to working with our newly elected officials and the city council to continue this important work,” said Rossi. “Thank you, again, for your trust and continued support and congratulations to all of our elected officials. I am looking forward to working with you all as we continue on the path of success and complete the work we were likely to do.”