While making her third inaugural address Monday morning, Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll made sure those in attendance knew it was no mistake that this year's ceremony was being held at Collins Middle School.
"We are gathered here, at the Collins Middle School, for the first inauguration in our city’s history to take place in this building. We are gathered here, in this place, for a reason: to signify to all, with unmistakable clarity that our primary focus in the years to come will be fixed with unwavering commitment upon Salem’s public schools," Driscoll said.
Driscoll asked those in attendance to look ahead to the city's 400th birthday in 2026 and recognize that this year's kindergarteners will be graduating from Salem High School the year of the big celebration.
"What kind of city do we want this to be by then? What legacy will we bestow on the young adults of tomorrow – the next generation of this city’s workers, entrepreneurs, parents, and leaders?" Driscoll asked. "In what state will we hand off our school system, not just to our children, but to their children?"
In addition to establishing her commitment to improving the city's schools, Driscoll briefly touched on the many building projects that are currently underway in Salem.
"A new power plant to lower regional carbon emissions, free up acres of developable property on our waterfront, and improve public access to our harbor. A university residence hall that will take hundreds of students out of our residential neighborhoods, put them on campus, and reduce the number of car trips on the roads in South Salem. An expanded wharf, trading coal ships for cruise ships, and opening up public access to parts of our waterfront that had been closed to us for generations, some that have been closed since the early 19th century. A more accessible hospital facility, with additional services and more jobs to benefit our entire region. A larger PEM Campus to showcase Salem as a center of art and culture and boost our hospitality and visitor industry. Private mixed-use developments to transform brownfields into market-rate housing, adding almost a million dollars to our tax base in the process. Congestion alleviation on some streets – and traffic calming elsewhere. Safer transit opportunities for pedestrians and bicyclists. A beautiful new Community Life Center, of the quality our seniors richly deserve. A major corridor on Canal Street that isn’t underwater when it rains at high tide. An upgraded electrical grid with fewer power outages."
Click Here for video footage of Mayor Driscoll being sworn in.
Click Here for video footage of the Salem City Council being sworn in.
Click Here for video footage of the Salem School Committee being sworn in.