The following is the Inaugural Address by Rye Mayor Joe Sack from his swearing in ceremony today, January 5, 2014:
Rye City Hall
Clergy, Judges, Elected Officials, Friends, Family and Citizens of Rye:
This is a new year, a new administration, a new beginning.
Today, with all of you here bearing witness, we have a chance for a fresh start.
Rye has high expectations for us. We have high expectations for ourselves.
We aim to restore faith and trust in the way our City is run.
We will do this by re-focusing on the fundamental ideals of integrity and accountability, openness and transparency, checks and balances, communication and consensus building, and common sense and good judgment.
We cannot do this alone. We will need your help. Together, we can truly make Rye united once again.
We will not always agree. But with grace, dignity and mutual respect, we can work with each other towards our one common purpose – the greater good of the special place that we all love and call home.
We will make mistakes. And when we do, we will acknowledge our missteps, learn from them, and endeavor to fix them.
And above all, we will tell the truth, without which there can be no credibility, which is the very basis of our government.
I would like to acknowledge my parents, Joe and Randi Sack.
The Bible on which I was sworn belonged to Randi Evelyn Slaatten when she was a freshman at Newton College of the Sacred Heart in 1963. This is appropriate because it was my mother who ensured that I developed a strong sense of right and wrong.
Joe Senior was a natural handing out palm cards for me at the train station this Fall. And given our strong resemblance, in both appearance and manner, this prompted at least one commuter to comment to him – “Joe, you’ve got my support, but man, this campaign sure has aged you!”
My Aunt, Marilyn Slaatten, served as Westchester County Attorney and Deputy County Executive with Andy O’Rourke. At an early age, by watching Mimi in action, I got to learn how things should be done, and I’ve been trying to emulate that ever since.
My sister Lauren and her family are away. My sister, Marielle, is here with her husband, and their two children, Jack and Lilly. Rob is a Brit, and he wondered whether I would now be wearing a tri-corn hat, the tradition for mayors in his hometown in England. However, I may not want to make myself an even bigger target than I already am.
After many years of waiting, our daughters Katie, Allie and Marybeth were expecting our first dog this past summer. We felt terrible having to renege, as the time commitment of the campaign, on top of everything else, became just too much. “After the election,” we promised. And right on cue, the week after our victory, an e-mail was circulated around town, seeking to place a 6-year-old Golden Retriever, whose family couldn’t keep him. It was meant to be, and Max is now an inseparable member of our family.
This Christmas, at the Osborn School concert, the melody makers sang a reindeer rap, with the refrain of “without us, Santa’s nuthin’”. Fairly soon thereafter, our kids at home, ever so perceptive and with a sly smile, altered the words, and began to rap “without Mommy, Daddy’s nuthin’”. And truer words were never spoken about what my wife Kerri means to me.
One of the questions posed to me during the campaign was “what qualities do you need to be an effective Mayor?” My answer then was the same as now – “a thick skin, a sense of humor, and a heavy dose of humility.” I hope that I have those qualities, and I pray that I may ably serve the people of Rye as your new Mayor.
Thank you very much, and God Bless us all.