Thank you all for joining us today to mark the beginning of this new chapter for Pepper Pike. Thanks in particular to Judge KJ Montgomery for taking the time to be with us to administer the oaths of office, and to the Pepper Pike officials, current and immediate past, who also join us to mark this occasion. Thank you to my family—my wife Jean who worked tirelessly to organize the campaign and continues to provide invaluable advice and ideas; to my sons, Michael and Alex who keep me humble and loved, and who made certain to extend their visit home to attend the swearing-in and be part of this wonderful event—it is what makes today special for me having them here. Jean and I are joined also by our siblings, in-laws, friends, and, perhaps most tellingly--by so many of you who worked so hard with us to reach this day—it would not have been possible without your support and effort—this is as much your day and I am so glad that you are here. What does it mean that we are all here together?—It means the residents of Pepper Pike –you and others--have responded to our message for positive change and we have together turned the page to go forward to realize a bright future for our city.
I look forward to working with Council, the department heads, employees, and our residents, so that we can, together, by building upon our strong foundations, accomplish the necessary tasks that lie ahead. It will not be easy and will require hard work from many of us. The way forward may differ from the past. Change will feel unfamiliar at times and require patience as we seek the best answers. Sometimes we will debate and disagree on the way forward, but the debate must be and will be conducted with civility and the respect that is appropriately accorded when people of good will come together for a common cause. But, we will go forward; we will accomplish; and we will succeed. Our small city, which began as a place between the river and the wooded hills, has grown in the last century from farms to village to small city. As we seek to maintain the best of the past, while growing into the future, it will remain the place we want to call home. I ask that you and your neighbors contribute your advice and wisdom. I am not so proud to think I have all of the answers. We have among us people with remarkable intellect and skills who can contribute to finding the answers. Please stay involved and committed. I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Please stay and join us for cake to welcome the new year with a bit of sweetness and good cheer. Thank you all for being here.
Photo: V. Litt