Town Clerk Larry Murphy must have gotten a tired right arm by the end of the day last Wednesday, after swearing in two selectmen, three School Committee members, the town moderator, a member of the Housing Authority and, finally, a member of the Punchard Free School Board of Trustees.
About 50 people — mostly friends, family and political colleagues — crammed into the third-floor conference room at the Town Offices for the March 25 ceremony, with a dozen or more people standing in the hallway.
Murphy administered the oath of office after a few remarks by Town Manager Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski.
“This is a new beginning with new faces,” Stapczynski told the assembled group. “Use this time to reset the vision and goals you have. In a few weeks, I’ll be retiring and Marinel (McGrath) will also be retiring, giving our organization new talent and new blood. What kind of community do you want to have for the next 25 years?”
In addition to selectmen Dan Kowalski and Bob Landry, Murphy also administered the oath to School Committee members Ted Teichert and Susan McCready, who were elected to three-year terms, and Annie Gilbert, who was elected to a one-year term.
Also sworn into office were three elected officials who were unopposed at the polls, including:
Sheila Doherty, the incumbent moderator. She was re-elected March 24 to her ninth, one-year term. She won her first election in 2007, taking over the position from her father, James Doherty, who had served as moderator for 29 years before retiring in 2006.
Housing Authority member Francis O’Connor. He was sworn in to a five-year term. He drew a chuckle from the crowd when he joked that he was 80 years old at the start of a five-year term.
Eric Stubenhaus, a trustee of the Punchard Free School. Murphy noted that Stubenhaus, elected in 1998, was the longest-serving elected official in town.
Refreshments were served following the official business of the ceremony.