WOBURN - City officials stripped much of the pomp-and-circumstance from the community’s inaugural ceremonies last night as Mayor Scott Galvin gave one of the shortest state-of-the-city addresses in recent memory.
With the city and most of Massachusetts awash in what has become the pandemic’s third surge in as many years, Woburn’s leaders stuck to the agreed-upon abbreviated inauguration format as City Clerk Lindsay Higgins and a few of the mayor’s immediate family members watched the gathering remotely from home after recently testing positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the viral infection.
Later in the evening, the City Council voted unanimously and without debate to elevate fifth-term Councilor-at-large Michael Concannon to the position of council president. Concannon takes over for former City Council President Edward Tedesco, who did not seek re-election last fall.
Meanwhile, the city’s School Committee in similar fashion nominated board veteran Dr. John Wells to chairman during a brief reorganizational meeting in City Hall’s committee room. Wells received the leadership gavel from School Committee member Ellen Crowley, who just finished a rare back-to-back stint as committee chair.
During his extremely brief address to the City Council, School Committee, and citizens of Woburn last night, Galvin immediately thanked Assistant City Clerk Joyce Gray for stepping in to fill Higgins’ shoes on such short notice.
“Joyce stepped up and is doing a great job,” said Galvin. “All of us would have loved to have had a much grander procession, but given what’s going on, COVID does not seem to want to abate its grip on the city, the state, and the country. So we’re doing our part [by keeping this short tonight].”
Gray, a veteran City Hall worker who has now been employed by the City of Woburn for the past 33-years, also served as acting city clerk last spring during the job search that ultimately resulted in Higgins’ hiring.
According to Galvin, who upon being sworn into office last night became Woburn’s longest serving chief executive in history, he has been humbled by the voters’ confidence in his leadership over the past 12 years.
Heading into his seventh-term, the mayor later promised to deliver continued improvements to city services and programs.
“Over the next couple of years, we’re going to continue to do the things that make Woburn a great place to raise a family, to live, and to work. That means investing in our schools, in our infrastructure, and in amenities like fields and parks,” said the mayor.
“I’m truly honored and blessed and can’t thank the voters enough for their continued confidence in me. I’d also like to recognize my family, [some of whom] have also come down with COVID, so they can’t be here tonight,” he added.
Before the mayor’s speech, Gray swore all of the city’s top elected officials into office, including new Ward 7 Councilor Charles Viola and new Ward 6 Councilor Lou DiMambro.