Dumais begins new era as Marlborough’s mayor

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Dumais begins new era as Marlborough’s mayor
J. Christian Dumais, center, accepts congratulations from well wishers after Marlborough’s inaugural exercises on Jan. 1 at Whitcomb Middle School’s Memorial Auditorium. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

MARLBOROUGH – On Jan. 1, at Whitcomb Middle School’s Memorial Auditorium, J. Christian Dumais joined an exclusive club.

“He’s joined the ‘get stuff done team,’” said Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll, who joined other local dignitaries in welcoming Dumais as Marlborough’s new mayor.

As the former mayor of Salem, Driscoll knows the club well, and what is expected.

“It makes you more accountable,” she said.

In addition to the lieutenant governor, members of the City Council and School Committee, along with former Mayor Ed Gadbois and state Rep. Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough), joined in the inaugural exercises. Marlborough High School’s wind ensemble and a cappella choir, Voices ReChoired, performed.

City Clerk Steve Kerrigan acted as master of ceremonies, while four elementary school students led the Pledge of Allegiance.

What’s planned for the first days

Kerrigan administered the oath of office to incoming members of the School Committee and City Council before swearing in Dumais as the city’s 44th mayor.

“We begin a new chapter,” said Dumais.

He detailed some of the programs that will be launched within the next 30 days. First off – hiring an executive administrator to help with constituent services.

Dumais also plans to put a mobile mayor’s office on the road; he said this would help provide up-to-date information for those who don’t have easy access to City Hall.

In February, the mayor’s office will launch a monthly email newsletter, and there will also be an update with the municipal website. Dumais said the city will have a WhatsApp for those who speak Spanish or Portuguese.

February will also be the start of a “chat and chew” monthly breakfast meeting at the senior center, where residents can discuss issues with members of the mayor’s office.

The new mayor also wants to resurrect plans for the west side fire station, and he will soon assemble a committee.

“Marlborough is best when we work together to solve problems,” he said. 

To that end, he said his office will work with the Marlborough Economic Development Corp. and the city’s Chamber of Commerce to help make Main Street “a destination.”

The Walker Building is also on his agenda. He recently took City Council members on a recent tour, and he said the building “needs a lot of work.”

Dumais would also like to bring back community events, such as the Labor Day Festival, and to build a dog park, which drew the most applause.

The new mayor also acknowledged the challenges facing Marlborough Public Schools, including overcrowding and the possible building of a new school.

No matter what will come to the attention of Dumais and the City Council, he said he will put “policy before politics.”

After the inauguration, the City Council met to elect a president and vice president.

With Sean Navin acting as president pro tempore, council members chose Michael Ossing to serve another term as president. Kathleen Robey was selected to serve as council vice president.

Committee assignments will be determined at the City Council’s first formal meeting of the year on Monday, Jan. 8.

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