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Inauguration to Bring Unprecedented 6th Term for Curtatone

If he serves more than half his term, Curtatone will be the longest-serving mayor in Somerville history.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone being sworn into office in January, 2012, for his fifth term. Credit: Chris Orchard
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone being sworn into office in January, 2012, for his fifth term. Credit: Chris Orchard
At an inauguration ceremony on Monday, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone will be sworn into office for an unprecedented sixth consecutive term.

If he serves more than half the term, he will become the longest-serving mayor in Somerville history.*

Members of the Somerville Board of Aldermen and Somerville School Committee will also be sworn in on Monday.

Nearly half the Board of Aldermen will consist of new members.

See: End of an Era for Somerville Board of Aldermen >>

Meanwhile, the School Committee will have three new members.

Monday's inauguration ceremony starts at 6 p.m. at the East Somerville Community School's auditorium.

At 5 p.m., the Somerville Board of Aldermen will hold an organizational meeting at City Hall to officially elect the board's president and vice president for 2014.

* For some reason the photo gallery of Somerville's mayors on the city of Somerville website says Curtatone first took office in 2005. That's wrong. He was elected in November of 2003 and was sworn into office in January of 2004. Other long-serving Somerville mayors include Michael Capuano, who was mayor from 1990 to 1999, and Eugene Brune, who served from 1980 to 1990. The photo gallery says Brune served until 1989, but Brune's author biography says he served in office for 10 years. The photo gallery also says Dorothy Kelly Gay was mayor from 2000 until 2004, though I believe she first took office in 1999 after a special election. In all, it seems the list of Somerville mayors on Wikipedia has more accurate dates. Based on those dates, John M. Lynch, who served twice as mayor in the 1930s, '40s and '50s—his terms in office weren't all consecutive—spent 11 years as mayor. The photo gallery on the city's website, however, indicates he spent only seven years as mayor.

If anyone out there—longtime residents and Somerville history buffs, I'm talking to you—has a definitive list of Somerville's mayors and their terms in office, by all means please share it. The city of Somerville's list seems to contradict known facts about their dates in office, and Wikipedia, useful as it is, isn't authoritative.

None of this changes the fact that no other mayor was elected to a sixth consecutive term and that if Curtatone serves through January of 2015 he will have served longer than any other mayor. Of course, if it turns out Lynch served in office for seven years, not 11, Curatone will achieve that distinction this month.
Joe Lynch January 03, 2014 at 10:13 AM
Editor: The most accurate information you can get on the actual dates is from John Long, the superb and always helpful City Clerk.
Chris Orchard (Editor) January 03, 2014 at 10:33 AM
A good idea, as always. I suspect Mr. Lynch, himself, might be able to shed some light on the seeming discrepancies in dates, at least in regard to the last few administrations. Perhaps someone, somewhere, conflated election years with inauguration years.
Joe Lynch January 03, 2014 at 10:53 AM
That is many times the case, mayor elect vs. the swearing in date. Your dates for the current Mayor are correct. Joe Curtatone was elected in 2003, sworn in in January of 2004. Your dates for former Mayor Dot Gay are also correct. But what grabbed me about the dates are the non-consecutive terms for my distant cousin, John M. "Pat" Lynch. Although that branch of the Somerville Lynch's is before my time, I do remember a few things about him. First, the excitement he caused one day in the Magoun Square neighborhood when he showed up introducing a young JFK, who was to announce his candidacy for President a year later, to leaders in the neighborhood. Second, as a kid I worked for the late Mayor Harold Wells at his jewelry store in Magoun Square. One day I was invited to lunch with Mayor Wells and Mayor Lynch at a deli counter in Magoun Square. I forget the name of the deli, but was mighty impressed with the large number of people who constantly came and spoke to the two former Mayor's. And sadly, I remember that cousin "Pat" passed away on my birthday in November in the early 1980's. His official mayoral portrait still has a place of honor inside the Alderman's chamber and is the only former Mayor to be portrayed in full United States military uniform.

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