By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – Mayor Nancy Stevens will leave her post at the end of the year with a sense of accomplishment and the belief that her administration will be remembered for innovation, a focus on public service – not politics – and a return to fiscal responsibility. Those were the promises she made when campaigning for the office and she feels that she has delivered on her intentions to leave the city in a much better state than it was six years ago.
Stevens attributes much of her success to the people she has worked with in her tenure.
“I have been amazed at the dedication and commitment everybody has – the department heads, all the city employees – they all have had such a commitment to the city and they helped make my job easier by demonstrating their caring attitude in carrying out their duties,” she said.
She fully understands the transition Mayor-elect Arthur Vigeant will make from city councilor to mayor as this is what she experienced in 2006 when she made that same leap from the council to the corner office.
Stevens has been in discussions with Vigeant regarding the most pressing matters of the city. Prior to his winning the mayoral election in November, Vigeant was the council president. So, he, of course, is aware of the issues. But Stevens has been working with him to help understand the perspective from the mayor's office.
“It is very different from viewing matters as a councilor,” she said.
One of the first priorities is to begin gathering information for the budget, salaries and contractual agreements, she noted. She said she is pleased to be leaving the city in good financial condition, with an excess levy capacity of $22 million.
While serving as mayor, she also served as chair of the School Committee, where she said she managed to keep a watchful eye on budgeting and programs. Stevens said she feels many advances have been made in offering more educational opportunities for the children of Marlborough. That has provided a stronger foundation, she said, for the students to make the transition from Marlborough High School into the working world or to colleges of their choice.
“This was quite evident when my son, Dan, applied and was accepted to Boston University, where he is now a sophomore,” she said.
One of her last official acts is to see that a new Senior Center becomes a reality for the growing population of seniors in the city. The city is in the process of receiving Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for possible locations for a new center. A committee will be appointed by Vigeant to review them and then make a proposal to the City Council, along with the necessary funding.
“I am certain [Vigeant] and the council will move on this matter,” she said.
She has high praise for Jennifer Claro, the Council on Aging director, who Stevens said, “is enthusiastic and creative and will help make the new center become the best in the area.”
Stevens said she will be taking time to think about the next phase of her life. She has no immediate plans, but would like to stay in the public sector.
“I get a real satisfaction in making a difference in someone's life,” she said, “and I plan to move in that direction.”
Vigeant officially became mayor Jan. 2 in a ceremony at City Hall.