Mayor Thomas C. Hoye Jr.
January 2, 2012
Thank you! It is truly an honor to stand before you today as your new Mayor. To say that I am excited is an understatement. I would like to thank several people and organizations for their attendance here today; First Lt. Gov. Murray we are honored by your presence, my colleagues in federal, state, and local government, Rev/Clergy for offer of prayer and reflection, all of our honor guards (Taunton Police, Taunton Fire and Taunton Jr. ROTC), the VFW Post 611 for the Pledge of Allegiance, and our entertainers who have graced us with their talents. I would also like to congratulate and welcome all of our newly elected officials as well as our returning veterans to all of our elected boards. I look forward to working with each and every one of you. I would like to thank Mayor Crowley for being here
today and for your help and guidance as we transition from your administration to my own. I have had the great fortune to serve with Mayor Crowley and former Mayors Bob Nunes and the late Ted Strojny and have had the opportunity to learn from each of them. I have to mention the hard work of Sandy Thomas, for her preparation, in putting today’s special event together. Let’s give her a round of applause. I would be remiss if I did not mention my fantastic campaign organization, without all your hard work and dedication; we would not have gotten over the finish line. Thank you all!
I would like to take this time to give special thanks to my wife Stephanie, my children, my entire family and friends for their support during the last several months. My journey to stand before you today started over a year ago with deliberation, planning, and lots of hard work. I learned a great deal throughout this process and continue to learn each day. As members of this community, we need to be life long learners that continue to evolve and challenge ourselves. As elected officials, we need to educate ourselves on various issues in an attempt to make the best decisions possible, to make us better public servants, and to make Taunton a better community. I look forward to learning from you, with you and for you.
As I begin my tenure as Mayor, I hope to usher in a renewed spirit of cooperation, commonality and community within city government. There is a reason why all of our elected officials are on stage together here today. It is beyond symbolic and points to the fact that each and every person on this stage is equally important and plays a vital role in our city. Our boards must work together for the overall good of our community! A synergistic relationship between our boards, including my office, starts right now! No longer can elected bodies operate in an atmosphere of isolation, but must work with collaboration and most importantly cooperation! Political affiliations must be put aside for the greater good of our community. Partisan politics no longer has a place within our borders and will not be
tolerated! I know with the talent and dedication here today we will achieve this modest goal immediately!
Today, we stand upon the threshold of opportunity. Our Taunton is a tremendous City, steeped in history and filled with hard working intelligent people who are holding on to hope. Hope that our community will strive to achieve the status that it once enjoyed, one filled with industry, employment and opportunity. It is opportunity that will ultimately make people beam with pride when they call Taunton home. As I have prepared to take office I have been overwhelmed by the amount of people that have volunteered to assist in our transition. Our transition team is not a feel good group looking for a little publicity, but it is a working group donating lots of time and energy to make Taunton a better place to live and to work. I cannot say enough good things to compliment this intelligent
dedicated group of people. Each group will hold a public meeting in the next month to solicit public input. I encourage all of you to attend one or more these meetings. Today, I extend my hand to each of you, not simply as a gesture of community and of unity, but as a reminder that when we work together, there is no limit to what we can achieve. Taunton’s improvement will not be the result of a single idea or concept, but collaboration among our citizens. All voices must and will be heard.
One lesson that I have learned in my ten years as a City Councilor is that I cannot make promises that I cannot keep. Unfortunately, and I think that my colleagues in government would agree, is that we often learn this lesson the hard way. I hope not make this mistake as Mayor. Taunton is a community with many needs and we must start addressing them one by one, because we are not going to solve all of our problems overnight. Like many communities’s Taunton has struggled due to the unprecedented national and state recession. It is my job to lay the foundation so that Taunton can improve its standing not in just the next several weeks or months, but for the foreseeable future. We cannot make the mistake of choosing short term profit over long term growth and stability. Our city must
control its own destiny! The further development and expansion of our industrial parks, including Phase IV and Phase V of Myles Standish will drive this process. We must replace businesses that have left, and rebuild our historic downtown and we do that one step at a time.
Through each election cycle comes the promise of the rejuvenation of our historic downtown. The promise has not been one filled success, but I am happy to report the foundation is now in place to change our outlook. There are currently two mixed use developments in the planning stages, as well as new sidewalks, for downtown. I would like to thank the Business Improvement District for taking a leadership role in this process. This group has put its money where its mouth is. With the proper vision, I see no reason that our downtown cannot thrive and be our economic base once again. A discussion on downtown cannot start without City Hall entering the equation. City Hall is the heart of downtown and must be restored. It will be a top priority of my administration.
Change is a tricky six letter word that does not always come easy. Positive change comes through people working together to reach a common goal. Change should not be feared, but embraced. We must facilitate the permitting process in Taunton. Taunton must cut the red tape and welcome business. Small business is the engine that drives our economy and we must and will do a better job in attracting it. Our local entrepreneurs need the opportunity to succeed, which in turn, results in good jobs and opportunity for our residents. Taunton needs to become a place where it is easy to do business and the concerns of our business leaders are not only heard but addressed. I have been encouraged by the discussions between our transition team and departments heads involving permitting reform. I am confident that positive change in this area is well on its way to becoming reality.
Our infrastructure has improved over the past several years, more than it ever has over a short span, but my friends, there is still much work to be done. Taunton will continue to pursue low interest monies to fix our streets, improve our water distribution system and extend our city sewer. Improved infrastructure will make our city more attractive to businesses reliant on our resources. Taunton has missed opportunities because it did not have the available resources. We cannot afford to let this happen again. Sewer expansion in our Westville section will lead to much needed economic opportunity in that area; opportunity not seen since the Taunton Dog Track closed its door over 35 years ago.
I am thrilled for the opportunity that I have been given and will not take it for granted. I recognize not only the challenges, but also the honor and privilege of serving the people of Taunton.
Taunton will not take a back seat to other communities. We must strive to excel in economic growth, job creation, and of course education. Our city must assure our residents that our neighborhoods are a safe place to raise a family. We must restore community pride and be proud of our city and what it has to offer.
As Tauntonians we often speak of our great and proud history. I deliberately selected the bible of our one of most famous citizens the Rev. Caleb Barnum, upon which to receive the oath of office. During revolutionary times Rev. Barnum stepped down from his pulpit to join the cause he felt was so vital to our young nation’s existence, this part of our county, this state, this city, so much history, so much tradition. My friends lets embrace and learn from our past and now, in these trying times, lets collectively go out and make some history and tradition of our own.
Thank you all for coming this morning and may God bless you all!