AGAWAM – Agawam’s recently elected officials took their oath of office on Jan. 3, signaling the start of the next term. Mayor Richard Cohen was sworn in for his sixth term in office, as well as members of the City Council and School Committee.
Judge Mary Hurley read the oath of office for the ceremony.
In his inaugural address, Cohen stressed the progress Agawam has made in his tenure and where it needs to go. Collaboration, he said, would be the key to continuing the progress in the city.
“Nobody can do this alone. It will take all of us to give the best of ourselves,” Cohen said. “I continue to pledge to you the best I have to give and give you the opportunity to offer your best efforts as well … By working together, we can have a community that works for all.”
Cohen spoke about the role the mayor plays and how “local government is a vehicle for hopes for a better society.” He pledged to continue to serve all citizens of Agawam and not a select few.
“As your mayor, I will always focus on making a positive difference in people’s lives,” Cohen said. “I believe in inclusion, an open, inviting and accessible style of leadership that gives every citizen the opportunity to feel the ownership of their local government.”
In addition to Cohen’s oath of office, all previously serving School Committee members were sworn in to continue their duty for another term. Anthony Bonavita, Shelley Borgatti-Reed, Roberta Doering, Carmino Mineo and Wendy Rua attended the ceremony, and Diane Juzba was unable to attend.
All but one of the former City Council members were voted back for another term. George Bitzas, Cecilia Calabrese, Paul Cavallo, James Cichetti, Chris Johnson, Gina Letellier, Joseph Mineo, Donald Rheault, Robert Rossi and Anthony Suffriti have been re-elected for 2016. Former City Clerk Richard Theroux, who has previously served on the council, will make his return as a councilor, as well.