If New Year’s Day weren’t an auspicious occasion on its own merit, the start of 2012 was also the seventieth anniversary of Rye’s incorporation as a city and the installation day for newcomer Laura Brett and incumbents Catherine Parker and Joe Sack to the city council.
After acknowledging the recent deaths of former Rye Mayor Mary Ann Ilse and Councilman Ed Collins, Mayor Doug French commended Brett, Parker and Sack for answering the call to public service.
“Few people raise their hand to serve,” noted French, “You should all be commended. And it is that commitment to public service – with no pay or benefits – but simply to volunteer to make ours a better community with which our City was born 70 years ago on this day and at approximately this hour.”
After taking their oaths, each of the council members thanked their spouses and children for the support they received during their respective campaigns.
With the recent passage of the austere 2012 budget still in mind, incumbents Catherine Parker and Joe Sack reiterated their respective commitments to balancing financial constraints and quality of life in the city.
Parker said her top priority is finding alternate strategies for funding capital projects. The recently passed budget eliminated funding for virtually all public works projects and equipment in the upcoming year. Similarly, Sack promised to ensure even more transparency as the council considers the possible reconfiguration of public safety services in coming weeks.
Following the swearing-in ceremony, the gathering-which included former mayors, council members and judges-moved to Square House for an informal reception.