To the Editor:
On behalf of the City Council and School Committee, I offer my heartfelt thanks to all those who made our recent Inauguration at the Crowne Plaza so meaningful and memorable. Community, faith and family are important for many of us in public service, and those values were certainly reflected in the evening’s ceremony.
Our police and fire department honor guards, together with the Rhode Island Professional Firefighters Pipes and Drums and the Pawtuxet Rangers R.I.M. and its fife and drum corps, provided an air of solemnity and ceremony for the evening. Retired Fire Captain William Tyler’s stirring rendition of the national anthem, the pledge of allegiance led by RI Veteran Affairs Director Kasim Yarn and songs performed by Sharon Kathleen Santos-Leonard reminded all of us present that our country, even with its challenges, is the best in the world. Our thanks, too, to Father Edward Nedder and Father Robert Marciano, who offered prayers that evening, and to our student ushers from Pilgrim, Toll Gate and Hendricken who handled the daunting task of guiding the more than 700 people in attendance.
On a personal note, I am grateful to Rhode Island Supreme Court Associate Justice and former Mayor Francis Flaherty, who spent the night of his birthday with us all and administered the oath of office. The participation of the Honorable Michael Solomon and Milan Azar, my wife Cindy and my son Joseph made the evening very special for me.
As the Beacon reported in its inaugural coverage, the “Taste of Warwick” component of the festivities was tremendously successful and helped to showcase some of our community’s terrific restaurants. This would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of Central Rhode Island President and CEO Lauren Slocum, her hardworking staff and, of course, the establishments that so generously donated their time and specialty menu items: Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Harbor Lights, Iggy’s, Iron Works Tavern, Not Your Average Joe’s Kitchen & Bar, Uno Pizzeria & Grille, Safehouse Modern Neighborhood Eatery, Sam’s Inn, Tavolo Wine Bar & Tuscan Grille, The Trap Brew Pub & Grill and Warwick Ice Cream. Without hesitation, these restaurants stepped forward to show their support of our City. I urge you to show your support of them in return.
I’d also like to recognize the efforts of the planning committee, which consisted of Joanne Cournoyer, Courtney Marciano, Beverly Hall, Karen Jedson, Elizabeth Dunton, Sue Baker, Lauren Slocum and Lisa Andoscia, Peter Goolgasian, and the generosity of our City Council members, whose contributions helped to offset some of the costs associated with the event.
Again, my sincere gratitude to all who participated in and attended the Inaugural ceremony. I look forward to building on the spirit of cooperation and energy present in the room that evening to reinvigorate our community and transform Warwick into the best version of itself yet.
Mayor Joseph J. Solomon