The chamber was filled beyond capacity today as Shayne Gallo was sworn in as Kingston's 33rd Mayor. His speech was upbeat and well crafted. I will not lie. The moment was bitter sweet for me, but I wish Mayor Gallo luck over the next 4 years.
This might sound strange to the narrow minded that permeate politics. By their thinking, I should be looking for ways to submarine the new Mayor because I am from the opposite party. Frankly, such thinkers would consider me a traitor for even wishing him luck.
From my perspective, I got into politics in this city with the express goal of improving the City of Kingston. I cannot therefore in good conscience root, hope, or pray for failure by our new Mayor, as it would be contrary to the stated goal of improving the city.
I will disagree with Mayor Gallo when appropriate and support him when he is correct and on the right path. I see no value in any other strategy, especially since Mayor Gallo will not be on the ballot at the next city election. That election will be about the performance of the Kingston Common Council, not Mayor Gallo.
I know some may point to my comments back and forth over the years with now former Mayor Sottile. In retrospect, while I would not change the positions I took contrary to the former Mayor, I would change my choice of tactics and style of presentation during those years. The past cannot be change though. We can only try to learn from it.
As we start 2012, one of my resolutions is to continue to push for improvements and changes in the City of Kingston, but not in such a confrontational manner as I did with former Mayor Sottile. (I must admit that I do enjoy typing "former Mayor" before his name.) I do not know in what capacity I will try to serve Kingston or with what organization, committee, or group I will do so. I just hope that, in whatever capacity I choose, I can do so in a positive and productive way.
Happy New Year!!