Nancy R. Rossi will be sworn-in as the city’s first female mayor when she and the rest of the city’s elected officials are administered the oath of office at noon on Sunday, Dec. 3. The public is invited to the historic event, which is being held in the WHHS auditorium, 1 McDonough Plaza.
The Honorable E. Michael Heffernan will swear in Rossi and newly elected Treasurer, Michael P. Last, as well as the elected council members, members of the Board of Education, and the Board of Assessment Appeals. Attorney Vincent Amendola, Jr. will swear in incumbent City Clerk, Deborah Collins, and the Hon. Edward J. Dolan will swear in the new Tax Collector, Dorothy Chambrelli.
State Rep. Dorinda Keenen Borer (D-115) will serve as the master of ceremonies while U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal will be the keynote speaker. Rossi, 59, was elected Tuesday, Nov. 7, becoming the first female chief elected official city’s history. She will be the city’s 12th mayor since the State Legislature incorporated the city in 1965. The West Haven Charter mandates that all elected officials take the oath of office on the first Sunday in December.
Returning council members include: Nicholas W. Ruickoldt, District 2; Robbin Watt Hamilton, District 5; Tracy A. Morrissey, District 8; Sean P. Ronan, District 9; Louise Martone, District 10; and at-large city councilors: Ronald M. Quagliani and David C. Forsyth. New to the council are Bridgette J. Hoskie, District 1; Aaron Charney, District 3; Mitchell Gallignano, District 4; Retired Fire Chief Peter V. Massaro, District 6; Portia Bias, District 7; and Richard DePalma, councilman-at-large.
The new City Council will elect a chairman, majority leader, minority leader and clerk during an organizational meeting to be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4, in the council chambers of City Hall.
First-time candidate, Lauren A. Aceto will join re-elected members of the Board of Education, James W. Morrissey, Rosemary Russo and Rosa Richardson. Incumbents Ralph P. Biondi and Joseph M. Palmucci will be joined on the Board of Assessment Appeals with the newly elected Richard Standish.
The Board of Education has postponed its organizational meeting, set for Monday night originally. Superintendent of Schools Neil Cavallaro announced the meeting was canceled in an email sent last week. Still to be determined is the chairman and vice-chairman over the next two years.
The inauguration will commence with a procession led by the West Haven Police Color Guard, and a mayoral honor guard composed of officials from the police and fire departments. Freddie L. Jackson, VFW Post 9422 Commander and United States Army veteran, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jaclyn Chiarelli will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” followed by a patriotic selection sung by Nora Mullins. Also, musical selections by the West Haven High School Band, directed by Cassandra K. Marcella, will perform, along with a special cheer routine by the West Haven Pop Warner Seahawks. The public is invited to a reception that will follow in the school cafeteria.
The ceremony will feature an inaugural address by the new mayor, who is no stranger to public office in West Haven. Rossi, a certified public accountant at Whitten, Horton & Gibney, LLP in Orange is a former five-term city councilor, who was elected to the represent the 7th District on the City Council in 2005, and who served as the Finance Committee chairman from 2007 to 2015.
Rossi lives in the First Taxation District, also known as the Center District, with her husband of 36 years, Arthur Rossi. They have two sons, Angelo and Stephen, and a grandson, Arthur, 7, all of West Haven.