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Incoming Officials Sworn In At Sunday Ceremony



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Approximately 40 newly elected town officials including incoming First Selectman Jeff Capeci were sworn in at a ceremony on Sunday, November 26.

The assembled audience of approximately 70 residents watched a flag bearing honor guard from Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue arrive, which was then accompanied by a spirited rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Eva Hawley.

Lauren Clifford then read her poem, “Mirror Images,” a writing “steeped in the history of Newtown,” according to Clifford.

The poem went as follows:

“The Pohtatuck tenderly planted crop seeds

“By means that would generate corn, squash, and beans—

“Three sisters that nourished each other when sown

“Thrived better together instead of alone.

“As Rochambeau’s army tenaciously marched

“Across Carleton’s Bridge where the wooden logs arched,

“It marveled at piers built with pebble-filled frames

“That boasted protection and strength as their aims.

“A post-war centennial’s tribute was placed

“Idyllically over where time could be traced—

“The center of town where the salt boxes pledged

“Allegiance to homeland with glory full-fledged.

“Without Mary Hawley’s abundant largesse,

“Our town would be crucially lacking from less.

“Her vast philanthropic endeavors behooved

“A vigor for knowledge to greatly improve.

“As turbulent winds thrashed the Bartlett tree’s trunk,

“The chance for longevity instantly sunk.

“But showing resilience, it grew with its scars.

“A present for Newtown – its hope is now ours.

“When reds and blues merge for the promise of change,

“To form purple mountains majestic in range,

“Community triumphs and assets engorge,

“Successful and prosperous futures are forged.

“From Newtown’s beginnings to this day and age,

“With characteristics and traits as a gauge,

“We clearly can see in Time’s mirror, and thus,

“We all are reflected in Newtown,

“And Newtown’s reflected in us.”

Each of the elected officials was sworn in by Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead, broken out by board or commission.

Capeci closed the ceremony with a short speech, noting that “Newtown was blessed to have so many engaged residents willing to step up and serve.”

He also told the assembled officials that they not only work for the residents who voted for them, but for “all Newtown residents.”

“I look forward to working with all of you in a non-partisan manner,” Capeci said.

Capeci said that when he started serving the town on the Legislative Council 20 years earlier, he “had no idea that this moment” was in his future. He expressed gratitude to the assembled residents and officials and promised to “listen to concerns, make sure your voices are heard, and that the government reflects your needs.”

“As your next chief elected officer, I’ll do what it takes to manage the town and make sure it provides services in an efficient manner,” Capeci said.

Editor Jim Taylor can be reached at jim@thebee.com.

Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead swears in First Selectman Jeff Capeci during a brief ceremony conducted Sunday, November 26, at Newtown Community Center. —Bee Photo, Taylor
Selectmen Dan Cruson (standing, left) and Michelle Embree Ku are sworn in by Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead. First Selectman Jeff Capeci is sitting in the foreground.
Eva Hawley (right) sings “The Star-Spangled Banner” as an honor guard from Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue bears flags. —Bee Photo, Taylor
Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead (left) swears in Board of Education members Todd Higgins, Alison Plante, Chris Gilson, and John Vouros. —Bee Photos, Taylor
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