Bettencourt: Just Settling in
Mayor Ted Bettencourt says the transition to fulfilling his lifelong dream still surreal.
“The past two days have gone by incredibly fast,” Mayor Ted Bettencourt said last Wednesday – he was sworn in that Monday night.
Bettencourt added he was still in the “information gathering” phase, getting his feet as it were and a broader picture of the city’s finances, etc.
“Yesterday it was very surreal walking into City Hall into the Mayor’s office and knowing I would be spending the majority of the day here,” he said.
He said he’s quickly learning that every day is unique – you never know what to expect or what emergency may strike.
Most of the phone calls have been congratulatory so far, but he said he received some calls in regard to a water main break in West Peabody and does expect all sorts of requests to come flooding into his office in the days to come.
“I still haven’t got used to being called Mister Mayor or Mayor, but I’m filled with a sense of immense pride when people call me that,” he said, smiling and adding that the job is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for him. “It will still take sometime to get used to.”
In light of starting off on a tragic note – the death of Firefighter James Rice in the line of duty and certainly the stabbing on Farm Avenue on his first day last Tuesday, Bettencourt says he wants to stay positive and focus on the good things happening in Peabody.
He believes the way to lead his hometown forward is not to be dragged down by the blows and negative impressions.
“I think Peabody has some incredible things [here]. I want to focus on those things,” he said.
Bettencourt did say he wants to pursue an aggressive “100-day plan,” if you will, which would include action on the Higgins School, the flood mitigation bond before the council and forming his Business and Development Council. He said he will appoint 10-12 members to the council and make that announcement later this month.
Asked whether he has any other ambitious plans to round out those first hundred days, Bettencourt responded: “No, nothing yet that I can talk about.”