Narkewicz takes oath for third term as Northampton mayor


  • Reverend Todd Weir leads the city council as well as audience in a closing ceremony at the Inauguration Ceremony at the Northampton Senior Center Tuesday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Mayor David Narkewicz gives his Inaugural address during a ceremony at the Northampton Senior Center Tuesday morning. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

Published: 1/3/2018 12:11:11 AM

NORTHAMPTON — David Narkewicz was sworn in for his third term as mayor on Tuesday, at a ceremony at the Senior Center that also saw numerous other elected officials take the oath of office.

“Municipal government is up-close and personal government. Our work and decisions have a direct impact on Northampton’s quality of life,” said Narkewicz, in his inaugural address.

All trustees of Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, all trustees of Forbes Library and Oliver Smith Will Elector David Murphy took their oaths of office at the ceremony, as did all members of the City Council, with the exception of Ward 7 Councilor Alisa Klein, who was prevented from attending because of car trouble. Klein was sworn in a few hours later at the council’s organizational meeting.

Five out of nine school committee members attended the ceremony and were sworn in.

City Clerk Pamela Powers said that any officials not sworn in at the public ceremony would be sworn in by her later on.

In his inaugural address, Narkewicz hit on a number of familiar policy themes that he’s championed as mayor, including fiscal stability, supporting public schools, a community approach to policing, preserving open space and agricultural land, tackling the opioid crisis and embracing renewable energy.

Narkewicz also said that Northampton would not compromise its moral values.

“We must remain a welcoming city committed to social and economic justice for all people, regardless of whether they are rich or poor, black or white, male or female, gay or straight, Catholic or Muslim, able or disabled, native-born or refugee,” Narkewicz said.

The continuity of the mayor’s messaging and policy priorities was exceeded only by the continuity in the makeup of Northampton’s municipal government. Indeed, aside from incoming At-Large School Committee member Susan Voss, all officials sworn in were incumbents.

“It felt really special,” Voss said, on being sworn in for her first time serving in elected office.

Ward 6 Councilor Marianne LaBarge, by contrast, was sworn in as a city councilor for the 11th time. Asked for her thoughts, she expressed fondness for previous inaugurations that were held at the high school, and got students involved, as well as flashier affairs at the Academy of Music and Hotel Northampton.

“This is like, laid back,” LaBarge said. “I like action.”

Even though Narkewicz has been mayor for the last six years, he said he was nervous on the morning of his inauguration.

“You realize the enormity of it,” he said, noting the three oaths that the mayor must take.

Asked about the continuity being preserved in the city’s government, Narkewicz said he felt he has had a good working relationship with both the School Committee and City Council.

“I feel hopeful as we move into this new term,” he said.

Powers was the master of ceremonies for the inauguration by dint of a quirk of her election, as she was sworn in on Nov. 8, the day after winning her post.

This was because the post had been filled before the election on an interim basis. Otherwise, Powers would have been sworn in at the inauguration like the other city officials elected in this year’s municipal elections.

The invocation for the ceremony was given by Rabbi Justin David, of Congregation B’nai Israel, while the Rev. Todd Weir of First Churches of Northampton gave the benediction. Powers noted the social justice work of both clergy members prior to introducing them.

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