It was a special night for all elected city officials as their family members and peers gathered at the Senior Center to honor them during the inauguration ceremony following the 2015-16 election.
There were several new faces joining boards and some familiar ones who were re-elected, but all of those who were sworn in on Nov. 17 shared a feeling of pride and honor to have the opportunity of representing Shelton.
Booth Hill Elementary School’s principal, John Scalice, said his students were responsible for creating the backdrop for the ceremony, composed of more than 350 hand-cut stars. The stars were also used to commemorate the service of veterans, according to Scalice.
The ceremony commenced with the singing of the national anthem by Center Stage co-owner Francesca Scarpa.
The Rev. Michael K. Jones from St. Lawrence Church led the ceremony and administered the oath of office to all the elected officials.
The Board of Aldermen for the next two years is as follows: Anthony Simonetti and John “Jack” Finn are the 1st Ward’s aldermen; Eric McPherson, board vice president, and Stanley Kudej are the 2nd Ward’s aldermen; John Anglace, board president, and Lynne Farrell are the 3rd Ward’s aldermen; and Jim Capra and Noreen McGorty are the 4th Ward’s aldermen.
Members of the Board of Apportionment and Taxation for the next two years are as follows: John Belden Jr., Karen Battistrelli, Cris Balamaci, Louis Dagostine III, Joseph Knapik, and Adam Heller.
Board of Education members for the next two years are Dr. Darlissa Ritter, Vice Chairman Thomas Minotti, Kathleen Yolish, Win Oppel, Faith Hack, David Gioiello Jr., Kate Kutash, treasurer Arlene Liscinsky, and Chairman Mark Holden.
The Planning and Zoning Commission swore in Virginia Harger and Thomas McGorty.
The Library board of directors swore in Jean Cayer and Stephen Bellis.
Mayor Mark Lauretti made his acceptance speech after all of the other city officials were sworn in and commended them for accepting a position in which they can serve the city.
“Public service is a noble calling and an important one, and sometimes it’s a lonely one, but most of the time I think you’ll take stock in the fact that when you’re able to accomplish things that perpetuate the betterment of society, that it’s well worth some of the things that you’ll have to go through, so I thank you for your service,” said Lauretti.
He made it a point to thank his wife, his children, and the people of Shelton for their endless support as he enters his 25th year in office.
“No one does this alone; it requires teamwork from a lot of different people. Pulling the boat in the same direction, fortunately we have had that in this community, and I think it’s no secret that our success stands out,” said Lauretti. “We’ve set the bar high.”
Lauretti said the people of Shelton can expect more of the same.
“The business of the city never stops, it continues to evolve. Every day brings a different challenge. There will always be obstacles to overcome, there’ll always be disagreements, but those are the things we’ll have to look past and generate positive conclusions,” said Lauretti.
He added that the city is on the uprise and called it an “employment center.”
The mayor closed his speech by thanking all the city officials for being a part of Shelton’s equation for success, but reminding them that their work is never done.
“There will always be a punch list, a road to repair, a building to fix, there will always be a problem to solve, but that’s just the nature of government and public life.”