SOUTH PORTLAND — Mayor Rosemarie De Angelis outlined several goals for the year ahead Monday in an inaugural address that stressed the need for all city councilors to share the burden of leadership.

“I believe the position of mayor is not – and should not be – one of power or authority,” De Angelis told the audience. “None of us has more than one vote. No one should wield any greater control,”

The City Council selected De Angelis to succeed Tom Coward by a vote of 4-3. The three in opposition – Councilors Maxine Beecher, Tom Blake and Alan Livingston – had indicated in a caucus last month that they supported Beecher for the largely ceremonial one-year post.

De Angelis said her goals include bringing a farmers market to South Portland; working toward the elimination of pesticide use in the city, and encouraging community gardens.

She also wants to bring a naturalization ceremony for new citizens to Southern Maine Community College; promote a relationship between the school, the city and businesses, and encourage consolidation of some municipal and school functions.

She hopes to recognize a resident, employee or business for contributions to the city each month. She also said she would spend at least half a shift in various municipal departments, jokingly promising she will not issue any traffic tickets, put out any fires or adjust any taxes during the job-shadows.

Color of Community, a group of SMCC students with diverse national origins, won special praise from the mayor. The group delivered a multilingual invocation at the inauguration that spoke of gratitude, cooperation and peace.

De Angelis, who works with the group, said the students had endured such trials as religious oppression and war.

“If you can do all that, I can survive a less-than-unanimous vote from my fellow councilors,” she said.

The swearings-in of Blake and Livingston also took place Monday.

Richard Carter, Sara Goldberg and Richard Matthews were sworn in for the Board of Education in a separate inauguration. Ralph Baxter Jr. and Carter were chosen by the board as chairman and vice chairman, respectively.

 

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: [email protected]