GLOCESTER – Town Hall in Chepachet was packed with family and friends of newly elected and reelected town officials Tuesday night for a special meeting of the Glocester Town Council to include a swearing in ceremony.
Presiding over the ceremony was Town Clerk Jean Fecteau, who was also reelected to her position in November, and Sen. Jessica de la Cruz administered the oath of office. Earlier that day, members of the Rhode Island General Assembly were sworn in at the State House.
“It’s always an honor and my great privilege to swear in the members of the Town Council,” said de la Cruz, a North Smithfield resident representing District 23. “I wish them all the best this year, and I believe the town of Glocester is in good hands.”
Councilors Jonathan Burlingame and Cheryl Greathouse will be serving on the board for the first time.
Greathouse’s son and campaign manager Cassidy Blaze said that, “getting her elected is good for the town. It was an experience; it was a lot of good feedback from the people of the town wanting a change in leadership.”
Greathouse said that the newly elected board, “brings a fresh new harmony and stability financially to Glocester.”
She said she was grateful to her son and, “all those who supported me through my campaign,” including her friends in town who helped in her first run for office.
Burlingame, who previously served on the School Committee, is the son of Ted Burlingame, a former Glocester councilman who served for many years.
“The town has the opportunity to take a fresh look at things with new blood on the council,” said the elder Burlingame. “Opportunity to further the good things that happened and take it to the next level.”
William Worthy, who was named the new president of the council at the reorganizational meeting, said he’s, “proud to be a representative,” of the town and is, “looking forward to finishing up some of the top items,” such as, “the tax situation, and working on the 2024 budget.”
“We’ve got a great council,” said Worthy.
All five council members are Republicans for the first time in decades.
Councilor Stephen Arnold, who was named vice-president of the board Tuesday, said he’s thankful to the voters, “for the confidence in reelecting me,” and that he’s looking forward to working with the new council, “on behalf of everybody in the town of Glocester.”
Councilor Walter Steere said he is eager to get to work, noting there’s, “a lot of work to do and a good group to do it.”
William Reichert, who served on the board for several terms but was voted out last election, wished the new council the best of luck.
“They’re great guys and lady, Cheryl,” said Reichert. “I wish them the best, and if I can do of anything to be of service I will.”
The ceremony marked a festive-feeling start to the more serious business ahead of town governance.
John Luszcz, who was reelected to the position of Director of Human Services, said, “We’re just trying to take care of the less fortunate as best we can with the resources available to us.”
Newly elected Town Sergeant Albert Aubin said he will do his job, “dignity honor, and humility,” thanking the more than 500 voters who elected him.
“A lot of politicians serve themselves, and all politicians should be working for the people, not for themselves,” said Aubin, who was a write-in candidate.
“Remember President Kennedy’s words: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,’” Aubin said.