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  • Writer's pictureJulie Smith-Galvin

Remarks upon being elected Town Council Chair

Thank you to my fellow Town Councilors for electing me Chair of the Town Council on Monday. Congratulations to Mehreen Butt on being elected Vice Chair. I look forward to serving and am sharing below my remarks delivered to the Council upon being elected Chair.

I am honored that you have elected me to represent you as Chair. The past year has been unlike any we have ever experienced. It been incredibly difficult for families, businesses and our community as a whole. I have great hope that this coming year will be a chance to recover and thrive again. We are emerging stronger thanks in no small part to the tireless work of our town employees, especially our public health and public safety teams.

I am looking forward to Wakefield residents being able to return to the activities that bring us together as a community. Big events, like the 4th of July celebration and Festival by the Lake, as well as simple occurr

ences, like running into a friend at the library, are important to rebuilding. The fact that the Class of 2021 is going to be able to graduate together is just one sign that we are emerging from this difficult period.

I want to thank Ann Santos for her tremendous leadership during this time. Not only did she lead us through a period no one could have imagined, she has been a friend and a mentor to me as I served as her Vice Chair. Her breadth of knowledge and insight is invaluable to this body.

We have a strong Town Council, each of us with individual strengths and interests.

I look forward to working with Peter May, who, as Chair during my inaugural year on the Council, has taught me much about leading this body. The need for a strong vision is clear, and I thank Jonathan Chines for his ongoing work on the Vision 2030 effort. With the Albion Street improvements making progress, this is the year we are going to start to see tangible outcomes from the extensive downtown revitalization work championed by Ed Dombroski. I welcome and look forward to serving with Anne Danehy who brings fresh perspective and solid experience to our Council. Finally, I appreciate Mehreen Butt's commitment as liaison to multiple boards and departments, including the Human Rights Commission, library and police; experience that will be hugely helpful as we continue to strengthen our committee processes.

I also am grateful to have the benefit of Steve Maio, Tom Mullen and Sherri Dalton's expertise and guidance as I take on this role.

To conclude, I just want to say that I am honored and humbled to lead this extraordinary group of strong and committed Town Councilors. I know that we will work together with each others and all residents to continue to strengthen our beloved town.

Photo: Current Town Council at Spring Town Meeting: Jonathan Chines, Ann Santos, Julie Smith-Galvin (Chair), Mehreen Butt (Vice Chair), Anne Danehy, Ed Dombroski (not pictured: Peter May)

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