JANUARY 1ST, 2016
MAYOR OF FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP. DR PHIL KRAMER ‘S FULL INAUGURATION SPEECH
I’d like to welcome our honored guests Senator Booker, Congresswoman Watson-Colman, UN Minister Plenipotentiary Rev Leeroy Kabs Kanu representing His Excellency President of Sierra Leone Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, Assemblyman Danielsen, Freeholder Levine, Chairwoman Schaefer, Chairman Jordan, chairman LaCorte, my friends, the people of franklin and of course my family.
First I’ll give thanks and that starts with my wife. I am often asked, “how do I find time to do the things I do?” One answer is passion but perhaps the more important answer is I have a wife that lets me. Whenever you hear a politician speak of his family’s sacrifice, take it from me, it’s true. My wife has spent and has agreed to spend many days and evenings alone because she believes what I do is important to the community. We are approaching our 25th anniversary and I’m fortunate for each one of those years.
And I’d like to thank Chip Hoover who gave me my start and initial guidance in politics. It started with a sign he hung in my Neighborhood encouraging involvement. Needless to say I took him seriously. Chip hold your hand up.
I’d like to thank former township manager Ken Daly, from whom I learned basic township economic philosophy and with whom I still consult. And I’d like to thank Assemblyman and former Democratic chairman Joe Danielsen for his faith in me, his guidance and his support.
I’d like to thank Ron Jordan and Will Galteeairy for their hard work but more for putting up with me during the campaign. Thanks to all of those who campaigned with me during the election, you are too many to mention. Finally a very special thanks to Charles Onijaka, DAUDA Mansaray and Foday MANSARAY as well as the entire Sierra Leone community for their unwavering support of me.
I hope I am worthy of what you see in me but what I see in you is a community eager to contribute. I will work very hard to live up to your expectations.
Again thank you all and my apologies to others who are very important to me but time prevents me from listing you.
Pultarch said of Alexander the Great “seeing no more worlds to conquer he wept”. At the young age of 60 I seek no higher office and have no other such conquests to obtain. But I do not understand Alexander because to me it is not the obtaining of the position that is important rather what you do for the people once they’ve chosen you.
We have a good community but we must reach to be a great community.
Kennedy spoke of going to the moon not because it was easy but because it was hard. I’m no Kennedy but I believe we should strive to make Franklin great. We must choose our goals not because they are easy but because of what they will mean to Franklin.
First and foremost our schools. Our local news source the Franklin Reporter, has as its mission “eight villages, one community” the difficulty is that without a downtown it’s hard for us to be one community. The force which draws many communities together often is its schools. The Mayor and Council has no direct control of its schools but I believe if Franklin is to advance we can only do so if our school district advances and Council must look for opportunities to enable its progress.
Further goals, Continued repaving roads at an accelerated rate, a greater reach of our recreation department, energy aggregation, health initiatives, consolidation where it is needed and expansion where it is useful. Cleaning up dilapidated properties and working to evaporate the abandon building inventory about town.
These are not solely my ideas but include ones I’ve gathered from other individuals. Leadership also means stepping aside and assisting at the proper time when others are more capable of moving us forward.
-Deputy Mayor Francois has pushed for a youth drop in center and is marching us in that direction.
-Councilman Wright has championed recreation and has long waited for sidewalks.
Councilwoman Sherman has been a leader in our efforts towards economic development and the prosperity it brings.
-Councilman Chase reminds of our responsibility of stewardship of the land and the environment.
-Councilman Vassanella has shown use the benefits of the fixing our current parks and providing low cost neighborhood parks.
-Councilman Parsad vigorously defends and promotes his community.
-Councilwoman Robinson said “But also have financial challenges because despite a budget lower than 6 years ago, our expenditures are greater than our renewable income. This must be fixed while we stay ever vigilant of the effect it has on taxpayers.
Some of these initiatives will fail, some will be controversial, and some will not have the necessary political will behind them. Other will not see the light of day as they will compete with each other for resources but I believe they are things we should consider because you did not elect us to do the easy things but instead to solve problems and move forward.
I’ll close with a hopeful quote from a young woman who you might think had no hope.
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
So let’s get started