CHICOPEE — Mayor John Vieau offered thanks to his supporters and staff and pledged he would encourage cooperation to achieve goals for Chicopee in his new administration.

Vieau took of the oath of office for the third time on Jan. 1 in a ceremony conducted in City Hall Auditorium. The mayor noted it was the first time in 25 years the venue has been used for an inauguration.

Attended by about 100 people, the ceremony featured musical selections by students from Chicopee High School and the Chicopee Comprehensive High School as well as the national anthem performed by the Vieau’s daughter Alyssa.

The ceremony was dedicated to the memory of the late James Tillotson, a longtime city councilor.
After City Clerk Keith Rattell administered the oath of office to the city assessors, the School Committee and the City Council, Vieau took the oath.

In his address, Vieau said that he had “reflected how I got here” and said he understood his accomplishment was made with through the efforts of a team, first composed by family and friends and then supporters.

He thanked members of his staff, especially former School Committee member and Vieau’s chief of staff, Michael Pise.

He said to Pise, “Thanks for taking this journey with me.”

Vieau said in talking with U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Springfield), who spoke of his own time as a mayor of Springfield, Neal described being mayor as his “most gratifying job.”

Vieau added, “Boy, was he right.”

Being a mayor means “having passion in what you do. It’s more than a job. You must have a vision,” Vieau added.

He said, “My goal in 2024 is to simply work together.”

Among those goals are a new Anna E. Barry School and renovations to Szot Park, he added. Another goal is to “keep the city of Chicopee to be affordable for all.”

Vieau referenced the ongoing issues of streets in the city where there have been pedestrian fatalities. Working on safer streets is another priority with in the installs for flashing stop signs, more crosswalks and an increased effort to issue citation to drivers.

He added that 2023 6,000 citations for moving violations were issued by the Chicopee Police Department.

He noted with apparent pride that Chicopee had been named by the Masslive readers Rave poll as being the best city in which to live.

At the conclusion of his remarks, he received a standing ovation and an honor from a delegation representing the city’s Indian population.

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