MAYOR FIORENTINI'S > Inaugural Address
Thank you, for coming here this morning. To my
Martha, my children, parents and extended relatives—thank you all
of you for coming.
There are several former Mayors in the room, and I want to thank then
for their service and for the advice that many of them have given me
over the past few weeks: John Guerin, Jim Rurak, Ted Pelosi, William
Ryan, Lewis Burton, and James Waldron. I particularly thank John Guerin,
for his years of service when things were toughest, and for his extraordinary
efforts to make my transition the smoothest in history.
To our many public officials, past and present, who have taken the time
to be here today, thank you. I see State Representative Brian Dempsey,
State Representative Harriett Stanley State Senator Steven Baddour and
Congressman Martin Meehan.
Today we speak of sacrifice. I want to recognize some members of the
audience who have sacrificed for their country and thank them publicly
for their service. To the crew that put all of this together,
to the young people who have stepped forward to help us out – thank
To our city clerk, who came back from retirement to help her city once
again, thank you! To a young man who spent four months in Iraq,
who fought in Baghdad for our country, please join me in welcoming Specialist
Alan Wheeler. Thank
you, Specialist Wheeler, for your service to your country.
To Pvc Joshua Brewster who as we speak is serving our country in Baghdad,
I welcome his father and later will present them with a citation thanking
their son for his service. In addition, I would be so remiss if
I did not recognize Evan O’Neill,
who paid the ultimate price for freedom by fighting in Afghanistan. His
parents could not be here but after later, we will send them a citation
for their son’s sacrifice for our country. Most of all, I welcome
all of you, the people of Haverhill, I welcome you to your auditorium,
to your city hall. I accept the job you have
given me and promise you, in words of the great coach Vince Lombardi,
I will give it my all.
Today, Haverhill begins a journey to a newer and better city.
Nine tenths of a century ago, a 12 year old boy left his home with
a brother only two years older to set out on their own journey.
One can imagine that in that journey the seas were often rough, that
were times when it seemed that their problems were so great that
they could not make it. However, they did make it. The journey
of those two young boys, like the journey of so many millions of
ended here in America, where,
with determination and sacrifice, they were able to create a better
life for themselves and their families.
That 12 year old boy was my grandfather. We stand here today, the
immigrants and their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren
in the great
city that they built.
Today, that city sets forth on its own journey,
a journey to build a new and better city for ourselves, our children
and our grandchildren.
Our journey will be long and difficult. The seas may be rough at
times. There will be times when it may seem that our problems are
that they can not be solved. We will succeed. We will build a better
Haverhill for our families and ourselves.
When some see Haverhill today, they see a city with immense financial
problems, with a ballooning deficit and a crushing debt.
If that is all that we see, we miss the forest for the trees. We
are so much more than that. We are a city with immense resources,
open space, in so many ways, when it comes to quality of life, we
have it all. This quality of life will be so critical to building
The Haverhill of tomorrow, the Haverhill that we will build will
be different from the city that our grandparents settled in. The
they settled in was a manufacturing city, where people were lured
by the quality of factories and the quality of life was often an
The new city that we will build is what urbanologists call a consumer
city, a city where we will attract people and jobs not by the quality
of our factories by the quality of our life. It is here that we have
so much to offer and where our future is so bright. The new Haverhill
that we will build will be the great city that we know we can be—the
cultural center of this region. It is those new people and those
new jobs that will give us the resources to get through this crisis
build the city of tomorrow.
To complete that journey to a consumer city, we need to see the beauty
of Haverhill that others see: magnificent rivers, lakes and ponds,
- lush fields and woods- loads of open space. We have the beginnings
of an artist and restaurant zone—. We already have the historic
and cultural sites and we are close enough to Boston, to the oceans
and to the mountains to have them at our side.
To complete our journey and build the new Haverhill, we need to see
all of this, but we still need to see so much more. We need to follow
the words of the play-write George Bernard Shaw as quoted at the
funeral of Robert F. Kennedy, it is not enough to look at things
and ask why,
we must see things as they could be, and ask why not.
We need to look at our school system, and ask how we can do more to
reward those students who do well, and offer extra after school and summer
school programs to those who fall behind.
We need to look at our parks, our playgrounds, trees and libraries and
we need to ask, how can we do more.
We need to look at our downtown, at the great factory buildings that
once lured our grandparents to work, and ask how can we put them back
to use as housing and artists lofts, how can we remake that area?
We have so much to offer and so much more we can do. Stressing our quality
of life, selling Haverhill, will put us on the path to bring in the tax
base we need, to revitalize our city and complete our journey. We know
that we can get there.
But we also know that to complete this journey to the great city we
will be tomorrow, we know that we must first confront our fiscal crisis
To meet that crisis, to get to the Haverhill of tomorrow, we will need
a government that is leaner but not meaner. For the short term on our
journey, we will not be able to offer all that we want, all that you
deserve or all that we offered before. To get to the new Haverhill we
will need a common sacrifice, and a common sense of mission. Some will
get less, some will be asked to do more, and some will be asked to pay
more. The sacrifices we will be called upon to make will sometimes seem
too great, try our patience, but compared to the sacrifices of those
that came before, they will seem tolerable.
As we proceed on our journey to the new city that we
can be, we know that we will make mistakes and wrong turns. I ask in
advance for your
forgiveness for mistakes that will be made, but in the end, we will build
together a new and better Haverhill. More than forty years ago, John Kennedy said, that government “is
not a set of promises-it is a set of challenges.”
Today I challenge ask you to join us on that journey to a new Haverhill.
Lend your city your hand, lend us your ideas, and lend us your energy.
Together we will complete that journey and build a new Haverhill.