(on Loan from Tom Duggan’s Private Archive)
Text of Marcos Devers’ Speech 01/02/2004
Mr. Mayor, City Councilors, current and past authorities, ladies and gentlemen.
Tonight we are saying farewell to two years of great achievements performed by the City Council that served during the term 2002-2004.
Councilors Alvarez-Rodriguez, Blanchette, Dimarca, Frechette, Gosselin, Kolofoles, Silverio, Sweeney and who speaks are proud of our accomplishments, because these councilors faced very important and high-sensitive issues while Lawrence as all cities and towns in the Commonweath and the Nation were going through one of the worst economic recessions in the last decades.
This past Council worked with the mayor, our state legislation delegates and other state and federal authorities to turn the crisis into a successful onset of the Lawrence Renaissance.
Lawrence has a promising future, because our students will enjoy an state-of-the-art learning environment because that council reaffirmed the approval of the funding the new LHS.
Lawrence has a promising future, because that Council voted to preserve our Veterans Memorial Stadium as one of our great landmarks.
Lawrence has a promising future, because that Council said no to the purpose of privatizing the city’s water system, and yes to design and build our water treatment plant by private corporations.
Lawrence has a promising future, because that Council approved a $30 million investment for Capital Improvements that include: Refurbishing of public buildings, streets, sidewalks, High technology to improve the accountability and efficiency of the city departments by implementing a city-wide Geograghical Information System; as well as parks and fields improvements and repairs of other city infrastructures.
Lawrence has a promising future, because that Council approved a Zoning Overlay Amendment to enable greater flexibility to entice new investors and encourage local investors to develop mixed uses of underutilized assets located in the vicinity of the Gateway project.
Lawrence has a promising future, because that Council supported and approved legislations that speed up the disposal of vacant lots to developers to reincorporate them to the tax base and assuage the city’s housing deficit.
Lawrence has a promising future, because that Council sent the message to the political world indicating that in order for Lawrence to advance, it needs a Council that is objective and fair, that says yes only to those who present plans that are in behalf of the best interest of the collectivity.
Both branches of the local government have been able to work in harmony and effectiveness due to that objective attitude that prevailed in the Council during the past two-year term. Lawrence has seen progress and set the foundation for sustainable economic development and quality of life enhancement. The time has come for Lawrence to be seen as a place to live, to invest, and to enjoy.
The City Council members come from different origins but the majority of our decisions aimed at the same goal – the community welfare-. Quality of life is everybody’s main interest for the community. And we are just one community and as such the opportunities, benefits and sacrifice should be shared by all of us with equity and fairness based on an authentic integration and fraternal co-existence as Lawrencians.
We must be proud and grateful to be Lawrencians. We the elected officials are chosen to serve the people as a whole and therefore we must always serve in favor of the common interest.
I hope this new Council shall wholeheartedly take this vision into account.
During my term as council president, I raised the flag of harmony and internal democracy. Never that democracy suffered the least blemish in my hands. I hope that the Council that begins its duties tonight find in that route a harbor beacon.
God bless Lawrence.