SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 11, 2014

Cahill: Let us shape the brightest future


---- — Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill's inaugural speech, as prepared for delivery Monday.

Good afternoon. To my colleagues on the City Council and School Committee, to our many family, friends, supporters, interested citizens, and Beverly High School students in the audience, I am honored to address you today for the first time as your Mayor. 

Before I say anything else, I want to thank my family. My mother and father were everything parents are supposed to be and so much more – their love for my brothers and me was boundless, and the joy they took in us was and is awe inspiring to me. To my late Nana Parker, to my brothers, sisters-in-law, nephews and niece, along with special family friends the Buraczynskis, Mooneys, Pintis, Rices, Brennans, and O’Sheas – you have always made my aspirations possible. I love you all very much. 

This is an exciting day for our city, a day that holds great promise. 

We who know and love Beverly recognize the promise. People who come to Beverly often grow roots of their own just as my parents Bill and Jeanne Cahill did in 1957 when my mother’s desire to live close to her parents in Peabody, together with my dad’s need to commute by train into Boston drew them to Millbrook Road in Centerville. People who are raised in Beverly – like me - often choose to stay or to find our way back eventually. 

Many things make Beverly the special city it is – our coastline, our beautiful parks and open spaces, the sense of place in our neighborhoods, our vibrant local economy and strong educational system. And most of all our people and our sense of community that bind us together when it matters most. 

I want to sincerely thank Mayor Scanlon and everyone else – including many people in this room - who have contributed so much over the last twenty years to keep Beverly strong. Their – and your - efforts allow us today to look ahead with confidence and optimism. 

As we stand poised to take our turn in shaping Beverly’s future, I believe our main challenge will be to keep Beverly great and to improve our quality of life in a time that will continue to be marked by limited public resources. We will need to commit to identifying creative new funding streams as well as doing more with our existing resources. Some examples will include: 

- Efficient regionalization of services 

- Bold, creative new partnerships with our business and non-profit communities, as they help us to implement needed programs that our operating budget alone cannot support 

- Proactive and creative strategy for securing grant funds 

- Meaningful and appropriate new economic growth, largely in our downtown, on our waterfront and throughout the Brimbal Ave/Rte. 128 corridor 

 

I am determined that our children and grandchildren will live in a Beverly with outstanding schools, safe neighborhoods, open spaces to enjoy, a strong local economy to provide jobs and needed tax revenues, safe drinking water and clean air, and a community that continues to care for its own. 

I – and many of my colleagues on the City Council and School Committee – have promised that we will accomplish all this through an open and inclusive city government. Starting today, we work to make that promise real. 

I believe that when talented, committed people come to the table in good faith, understanding the ground rules, a dynamic public process will lead to outcomes that will make Beverly a better place to live, to work, to raise a family, and to make a life. Beverly is filled with these talented and committed people – we see them all around us in our residents, our businesses, our non-profits, and in our students. So we will invite you to the table – and we will partner with you. 

Today, we have been sworn into office as your elected representatives. You have elected us to make decisions and implement policies – and we will do that to the best of our abilities, recognizing that when we successfully engage you (the community) in effective, dynamic public process, the proposals we then act on 

will be stronger, the decisions we make will be better informed, and Beverly will be a better place. 

Keeping this commitment in mind, my administration together with the leadership of our City Council and School Committee will move quickly in the coming months. Among our early actions, we will: 

- Assess our citywide grant writing capacity and develop a comprehensive grant acquisition plan 

- Evaluate our city’s Master Plan and determine how best to update this plan to guide our work in the coming years 

- Unlock our waterfront to allow for restaurants, shops, a harbor walkway, and other public amenities 

- Move our new middle school project forward to ensure timely construction of a 21st century middle school that provides our students what they need 

- Engage our business and non-profit communities and identify one or more key initiatives our city needs help with to make reality – likely to include an educational focus 

- Create a Rantoul St/Route 1A Mitigation Committee to address concerns of business owners and residents throughout the two year life of the upcoming repaving project that is scheduled to start later this year 

- Engage with neighbors and other interested parties to ensure that the Brimbal Avenue project helps to improve traffic safety, brings needed new economic development, and mitigates traffic concerns of neighbors, while protecting the character of surrounding neighborhoods 

As I take office today, I believe that I have some good ideas – and that so do each and every one of you. That is why I believe so strongly that we will shape the best future possible for Beverly by doing it together. In the coming year, we will hold a series of community meetings on various topics and projects. We will bring our city government to the people of Beverly – both for people to better understand what is happening and to solicit your input and good ideas. 

Please share your talents generously with our city. Please volunteer your time for a city board or commission, or for any of the upcoming special projects we will 

undertake. As of this afternoon, my office will be on the third floor of city hall. Yet, the whole community will be my office and you should expect to see me all over town. Please come to see me at city hall. Please stop me when you see me around Beverly. This is both an exciting time and a critically important one for Beverly’s future. Join my elected colleagues in Beverly’s government and me in this undertaking. Together let us shape the brightest future we can imagine, and our city will thrive for years to come.