, Gloucester, MA

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January 1, 2008

Inauguration: Text of Mayor Carolyn Kirk's speech

Good afternoon. Thank you Kristian.

Citizens of Gloucester, former mayors, state Rep. Anthony Verga, state Sen. Bruce Tarr, my colleagues on the Gloucester City Council and School Committee, distinguished guests from our neighboring communities, family, and friends who have come here today | Welcome.

It is my great honor to address you as the mayor of Gloucester. Before I begin my remarks, let me extend my warmest congratulations to the new City Council President Bruce Tobey, the City Council Vice President Sefatia Romeo, the new Chairman of the School Committee Greg Verga, the Vice Chairman Amy-Beth Healey, and the Secretary Val Gilman. Congratulations also to each member of the City Council and School Committee on your election or re-election to the office you now hold.

In many ways, we begin this New Year with heavy hearts. One block from here, the operation to find Mr. Taylor's remains continues so that he may be brought to his final resting place and buried with dignity. In addition to the many families who lost their homes, the Cape Ann Jewish community lost its Temple in the devastating fire of Dec. 15.

We also begin this New Year with great hope. The outpouring of donations from our community for the victims of the Lorraine Apartments fire is tremendous. The Jewish faith community started their plans for rebuilding while the fire still smoldered. And Gloucester firefighters have donated their time to search for Mr. Taylor.

I ask all of you to take these lessons of altruism and renewal into the New Year as Gloucester faces its challenges ahead.

The City of Gloucester does face challenges, and there is no shame in admitting it. We begin first by facing up to some facts. The first fact we need to face is to come to grips with the fiscal reality of the City of Gloucester. These realities include the following three issues:

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