A new era in Lawrence: Rivera says goodbye, Vasquez becomes new mayor
via Allison Corneau, Eagle Tribune
Lawrencians, meet your new mayor: Kendrys Vasquez.
The former City Council president was sworn in as the city's 60th mayor Friday night after a ceremonial transition of power at City Hall. The transition included Mayor Daniel Rivera taking his final walk out of office before he starts a new job at MassDevelopment next week.
Due to COVID-19 gathering rules, the swearing-in ceremony for Vasquez was closed to the public and was streamed live for residents to view on the Office of the Mayor - Lawrence, MA Facebook page.
After taking the oath of office administered by City Clerk Richard Reyes, Vasquez said he was "humbled and honored" to begin serving residents in his new role.
"After working to improve the city and serving countless years as the youngest city councilor, today I stand before you as your next mayor,'' he said. "It is with great excitement that my team and I accept the challenge to ensure that the city will have a smooth transition and maintain stability. I would like to thank Mayor Rivera for serving the city with grit, passion and an eye for the future."
As part of his bilingual speech, Vasquez said his priorities during his first week in office include creating a "comprehensive economic plan" to help small business owners hard hit by the pandemic. He said he also wants to develop ways to test more of the city's high-risk population for COVID-19 and continue to focus on the vaccine.
"I am looking forward to hitting the ground running," Vasquez said. "We will do this together and I am counting on you. I strive to be transparent and professional because I think that's what the city deserves."
Prior to the swearing-in, Vasquez joined Rivera for a brief handshake signaling the transfer of power outside the mayor's office at City Hall. Both men offered brief remarks to city employees before Rivera took time to greet well-wishers, friends and colleagues for a final goodbye.