MERIDEN — Mayor Kevin Scarpati, city councilors and Board of Education members were sworn in Monday night at Platt High School in a spirited inauguration ceremony punctuated by musical numbers from high school choral ensembles.
Scarpati, who ran as an unaffiliated candidate endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee, took the oath of office using a Bible held by his father, Sal Scarpati. In a brief speech following the ceremony, Scarpati listed accomplishments of his last term and his goals for the next two years, including redeveloping the former Meriden-Wallingford Hospital and continuing to foster business growth in the city.
“Meriden certainly does have a bright future ahead and I’m honored to have been given this opportunity to help lead us in that direction,” Scarpati said.
City Councilors Dan Brunet, Miguel Castro, Larue Graham, David Lowell, Bob Williams Jr. and Bruce Fontanella were sworn in by Probate Judge Brian T. Mahon.
Lowell will replace Councilor Brian Daniels as the council’s majority leader while continuing to helm the economic development, housing and zoning committee.
Board of Education members Kim Carbone-Pandiani, Marisol Estrada, Donald Green, Stephen O’Donnell, and Al Pronovost were also sworn in.
The ceremony marked the end of service for Republican Lenny Rich, who lost his council seat in the city’s at-large race to Democrat Fontanella. Although at times a challenging and controversial figure on the council, in the end Brunet said Rich earned the respect of the full council.
“He always kept us on the edge. We’ve always been waiting for what he’s going to say next,” Brunet said. “Len brought a style to the council like we’ve never seen before. His passion and hard work will be sorely missed.”
Rich said he was humbled to serve on the council and expressed disappointment that Castro was not selected as chairman of the finance committee for “political reasons.” Daniels will now lead the the finance committee.