At Monday night's Coventry Town Council meeting, dozens of friends, family members and colleagues were in attendance to witness the swearing-in of newly elected council members and the recognition of former public servants.
Sworn into the District 1 Council seat by Attorney Nicholas Gorham was newcomer Karen M. Carlson.
"I'm looking forward to working hard for the people of Coventry, not just District 1, but all of Coventry," said Carlson. "We are a town, not just a district and I think that it's important that we work for the whole town. After all, we work for you."
Sworn into the District 2 Council seat by Sen. Glen Shibley was Greg Laboissonniere, who has previously served on both the Town Council and School Committee.
Laboissonniere shared that he is looking forward to another opportunity to serve the Town of Coventry.
Municipal Court Judge Arthur Capaldi swore in Kerry L. McGee (Dist. 3), Gary P. Cote (Dist. 4) and Ted Jendzejec (Dist. 5), who were all re-elected to to their positions. Capaldi had served as Town Solicitor when Jendzjec's father, Stanley, was a councilman from 1968-1972.
"It's been an exciting two years as the president of this council and it has absolutely been a learning experience," said Gary Cote. "I'm proud to have been re-elected and to sit here and represent the taxpayers of Coventry. I know that over the next two years, this new council will continue to achieve good things."
McGee thanked the constituents of District Three after being sworn in. "It's been a pleasure and an honor to work as your councilman," he continued. "I will continue to do that with integrity and honesty to the best of my ability."
"I would like to echo the sentiments of my fellow council-people," said Jendzejec. "I'd also like to add that although there is a majority of three and a minority of two, I think what you have here are five individual people voting their individual minds, and you'll see that in the coming meetings. I believe that everyone on this council will continue to have a separate and distinct voice and be able to vote how they feel and not how others feel, aside from the taxpayers that they represent."
Election of Council Officers
Both Gary Cote and Kerry McGee were re-elected to their council offices of President and Vice President respectively. Cote was nominated by McGee and McGee by Ted Jendzejec.
Cote concluded the meeting by asking the public to continue reaching out to their elected officials and making any issues they may have known.
"The taxpayers of Coventry will absolutely get the best representation that they can from the five people that represent them," he said. "However, we do not and cannot have all the answers, it has to be a team effort. Calling us, coming to meetings, speaking during public comment - your participation is absolutely necessary."
"This town needs some work and there are some tough decisions that need to made over the next two years," he continued. "We will make them to the best of our abilities. With your help, the guidance of each other, our families and our god, this council will do the best we can for the taxpayers of Coventry."