JWG (jwg) wrote,

City Council Inaugural event

Today, as is usual on the first Monday of January in an even year I went to the Inauguration event for the Cambridge City Council. It takes about an hour with examination of credentials, benedictions, oaths, introductions of family members and other entourage, and some Music Presentations.

There are nine Councillors. Each takes three oaths - to the state, to the constitution of the US, and to the city. They all end with so help me God. I did a little bit of research to see if that can be omitted from the oath and the I think the answer is if requested, but then it is called an affirmation.

Also I noticed that the US flag was on one side of the podium and on the other side there was a yellow flag of unidentified origin and there was no state flag. I wonder what the yellow flag was. (A quick Google search revealed that in Massachusetts the following is recommended: "The yellow flag means that a pesticide was applied to a piece of property". Clearly, that was not the case here).

There were an Invocation, a Meditation, and a Benediction; the first and the last were from Christian denominations and the Meditation from a sect I didn't recognize - he was listed as Reverend E K Khalsa and he was wearing a turban. I liked his the best and he asked everyone to hold their breath and think good thoughts (I am paraphrasing). There was no Rabbi this time - there usually is, but of course not all religions can be represented.

There was singer who sung three pieces at various points in the program. I'm sure some people liked her work but I didn't - too much vibrato and too much high register loud climax at the end of each piece - especially Amazing Grace - you know: "how sweet the sound"... This isn't opera - although sometimes city council happenings are a lot like an opera - although in spite of some being somewhat tragic no-one ever dies at the end and often most people live happily ever after.

At the end of the session the first attempt for the Council to elect a Mayor from its ranks yielded no-one. Most councillors voted for themselves. Next try is January 9th.

Afterwards there was a reception at the Royal Sonesta. I got to talk to lots of people and that was fun and also I ate too much food (the fourth day in a row). I believe that the last time I was at the Royal Sonesta was when I was sequestered for a week and half for the last portion as a juror on a homicide trial 20 years ago.

I didn't go to this evening's School Committee event but I did go to a brief tour of the newly renovated High School just before that. We were in the Arts building and saw the theatre, the band room, the piano room, some theatre support rooms, and a couple of class rooms including a chemistry lab/room. It all looked quite fabulous.

My Invitation to the inauguration starts with:
"The Honour of Your Presence is Requested". I was surprised to see the "u".
Tags: cambridge, local politics

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