Mark Schwager prepared these remarks for Monday night’s swearing in ceremony.

By Mark Schwager

I’ve never felt so much a part of something bigger than myself than I do tonight. And I’ve never been more proud and honored to have the opportunity to contribute to our town.

There are so many people to thank. I wish I could note them all, but some deserve special mention.

  • Our town employees: Again and again I’ve seen firsthand how you go the extra mile for our residents.
  • Our School Committee: Thank you for your dedication to the young people in our community and to their families and teachers.
  • My fellow councilors, past and present. Thank for your commitment to public service, and to our town. Our town historian, Bruce MacGunnigle, tells me that the Town Council term was for one year from 1677 until 1786, when it was changed to two years. So to my colleagues on the newly elected council, we will be council chapter 224 in the saga of East Greenwich. I look forward to writing that chapter together. I hope it makes for good reading.
  • Thank you to the dozens of civic and religious organizations in our town that provide the rich connections and networks that define our East Greenwich Community.
  • To my wife, Patricia, my parents Arthur and Judy, and to my three children, Zachary, Clara and Hannah: I could not be blessed with a more remarkable family.

And finally, thank you to the residents of East Greenwich for participating in your community. Our town has an incredible level of community engagement which makes it a special place to live. Our town’s involvement in local government is so important. National and statewide politics attract most of the media coverage, but local government has more of a direct impact on your day to day life. Municipal government will affect the roads you drive on, the schools your children attend, your first responders in an emergency, and the look and feel of your community, so please stay involved.

Tonight is a special opportunity to celebrate East Greenwich, to enjoy that we are part of a rich, living history that spans over 340 years. Our community has changed from farmers and fisherman and later to factory workers, then to our present status as a modern, vibrant destination for families and businesses. Tonight is a night when those who grew up here can be proud of their home town, and for those who came here as adults to know they made the right decision to live here. This incoming Town Council looks forward to serving our town, and working with the community to keep East Greenwich a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.

Mark Schwager is president of the East Greenwich Town Council.