Easthampton Elected Officials Swearing In

Alice Wanamaker, Journalist

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Fire trucks were moved out of their bays on Tuesday, January 2nd, and were parked in front of the Easthampton Public Safety Complex. The space they normally held was instead filled with people-around 100 in total, all there to watch the swearing-in of Easthampton’s next group of elected officials.

The 2017 election gave Easthampton a significant number of new officials-there are three new city councillors and four new School Committee members. Our new mayor, Nicole LaChapelle, was also sworn in on Tuesday.

In her speech after being sworn in, Mayor LaChapelle discussed her goals for the future. “Easthampton, like no other time in its history, will have a seat at the table-in our region and in the federal government,” she said, adding that part of her role as mayor will be serving as that voice for our town in Washington, D.C..

I spoke to our previous mayor, Karen Cadieux, after the swearing-in ceremony. Cadieux expressed pride at leaving our city in good financial condition, and in the initiatives she started while serving as mayor (such as round-table discussions with businesses).

LaChapelle expressed an intention to continue those discussions. She also discussed how she views input from citizens, and making government accessible to everyone, as a priority. When State Auditor Suzanne Bump spoke at the ceremony, she praised LaChapelle for these goals. “What I most admired about her wasn’t her brain, sharp as it is; or her commitment to her principles, admirable as it is; or her energy, ample as it is. It’s been her openness for others, her inclusivity, her commitment to dialogue that has most impressed me,” she said.

When I spoke to LaChapelle shortly after the ceremony ended, she expressed her excitement for working with the young people of Easthampton. During her campaign, she turned to Easthampton youth to learn what issues were most important to us, and she plans to continue working closely with us. “I think that’s something that they need to see, really concrete support from the city government, and they deserve the support,” she said.

“I think it’s going to be a very exciting change, and new times for the town,” said Easthampton resident Amy Pybus, regarding the influx of new officials. “I hope things continue to get better.” LaChapelle spoke on the same note, and discussed her excitement about starting the job. “I am eager to get started,” she said, “and I know all of you are too.”

List of all who were sworn in on 1/2/18:

(*=incumbent)

City Councillors:

Daniel Carey*

Margaret Conniff*

Salem Derby*

Homar Gomez

James “JP” Kwiecinski*

Joseph McCoy*

Thomas Peake

Daniel Rist*

Owen Zarrat

 

School Committee:

Marissa Carrere*

Alexandra Dodge

Shannon Dunham

Laurie Garcia

Cynthia Kwiecinski*

Jonathan Schmidt

 

Mayor Nicole LaChapelle

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Easthampton Elected Officials Swearing In