By Joan F. Simoneau, Contributing Writer
As the city's new mayor, Vigeant said he will stress improved communication and customer service in all city departments, and will strive to ensure the city provides a quality education for its students. He also emphasized the need for economic and industrial growth.
Vigeant said he had been meeting on a regular basis with city department heads and daily with his predecessor, Nancy Stevens, before taking over the post. He thanked Stevens for her many contributions to the city during the past six years. Stevens received a standing ovation when introduced during inaugural exercises.
One of the most pressing issues facing the new administration is the city's treatment plants, making sure they progress on time and stay within budget, Vigeant said.
“They will stay our number-one focus until they are completed,” he said.
Another priority is to move forward with a new Senior Center. He anticipates the process to progress quickly.
“We don's have to re-invent the wheel. Feasibility studies have been done, so we will now look at all the options,” he said.
Vigeant said the city is also looking into the idea of introducing a property tax relief program for senior citizens. The program would allow qualified residents to work in exchange for an abatement on their property taxes.
A strong advocate of economic growth, Vigeant said he wholeheartedly endorsed the master plan that was presented by the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation last fall.
Vigeant, who will also now become the chair of the School Committee, said he is pleased with the local public school department and the leadership of Superintendent Anthony Pope.
“[Pope] is a great superintendent and [is] making a lot of changes that are improving many areas in the schools,” Vigeant said.
Vigeant has named Michael Berry, of Walpole, as his executive aide and Patricia “Trish” Bernard, of Westborough, as his executive secretary.
“I am looking forward to representing all the 38,000 people in the city and to gain the support of those who are looking at my leadership cautiously,” Vigeant said.
Vigeant, a certified public accountant, previously served on the City Council for 18 years and was its president for the last nine.