The era of good feeling will continue in Beverly for at least two more years.
Mayor Bill Scanlon, City Council President Paul Guanci and others adopted an optimistic and cooperative tone at Tuesday's inaugural event held at the new high school, which has become symbolic of the pride Beverly residents take in their community.
Scanlon and Guanci, back at the helm of the council after an absence of four years, appear to have the makings of a good team. And after flirting with change by giving Scanlon challenger Mike Cahill a plurality in the September preliminary election, Beverly voters decided to stick with the fiscal conservatism and responsible growth policies that have been the hallmark of the incumbent's previous 16 years in office.
Renovation and expansion of the high school — completed on time and, according to the mayor, "slightly under budget" — was the crowning achievement of his last two years in office. Expect much of the focus this year and next to be on gaining approval and funding for a new interchange at Route 128 and Brimbal Avenue.
As Scanlon has often noted, the "appropriate new growth" represented by projects like the new interchange, which will open many acres of land on both sides of the highway to development, make possible the provision of quality municipal services and capital improvements like the renovation of the city's high school and elementary schools. That same strategy will be critical to the city taking care of other priorities, such as the replacement of Briscoe Middle School and construction of a much-needed new public-safety facility.