FRAMINGHAM — He's long been referred to as simply "Charlie," but as of New Year's Day he now goes by another name: Mayor.

Charlie Sisitsky was officially sworn in Saturday as the city's second mayor during a virtual inauguration ceremony that was broadcast live but attended by only a limited number of people due to COVID-19 concerns.

Sisitsky was sworn in by his daughter-in-law, Framingham District Court Judge Jennifer Stark, during the ceremony at Nevins Hall. He was overwhelmingly elected on Nov. 2 to replace Mayor Yvonne Spicer, and becomes the second person to hold the position since Framingham transitioned to a city in 2018.

Mayor-elect Charlie Sisitsky recites the Pledge of Allegiance during the inauguration ceremony at Nevins Hall in Framingham, Jan. 1, 2022.
Mayor-elect Charlie Sisitsky recites the Pledge of Allegiance during the inauguration ceremony at Nevins Hall in Framingham, Jan. 1, 2022.
Sisitsky, 76, thanked the community for electing him and for the support he received from elected officials, including state Rep. Maria Robinson, D-Framingham, who served as the ceremony's emcee. He also recognized Spicer for her efforts and wished her well as she leaves office.

“I promise you, that starting right now, my administration will be open, accessible and transparent," Sisitsky said. "I intend to bring a spirit of cooperation, respect and civility back to City Hall."

“The seven pillars of my campaign will be the foundation of what I hope to address as mayor,” said Sisitsky, which includes offering better civic engagement, being fiscally responsible, being inclusive, enacting effective environmental initiatives, supporting public education, addressing senior citizen needs and how the COVID-19 pandemic has effected the community.

Some of his goals include expanding trails throughout the city; cleaning up Mary Dennison Park; building an early childhood center and elementary school on the city's south side; adding more downtown parking; and building a new courthouse, City Hall and arts center.

“I am here to work with you, so let’s get to work together,” said Sisitsky, ending his speech.

Several elected officials spoke on Saturday via recorded video messages, including U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, who opened the ceremony with words of support for Sisitsky.

“I’ve known Charlie for many, many years, back when his son Adam worked on my congressional campaign,” said Markey. “I just know that Charlie is going to serve the people of Framingham so well, and will continue to improve the quality of life in every neighborhood and for every family in Framingham."

U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark also praised the new mayor.

“For decades, Charlie has lived and led here in Framingham,” said Clark. “Like me, his service started as a parent interested in his children’s education, and after serving as selectman and city councilor, his dedication to this community has led him to the mayor’s office.”

Now that Sisitsky is an office, state Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis said he expects a more collaborative government.

“I’m confident that if we move beyond the divisions of the past, move beyond dangerous brinksmanship and the ‘gotcha’ politics of social media commentary, that the future of our young city will be bright,” said Lewis, D-Framingham.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said Sisitsky has been "such an asset and such a good steward of the resources in Framingham for such a long time."

"I’m really looking forward to working with you in this new role,” she told him.

Other elected officials and dignitaries who spoke included Attorney General Maura Healey, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka, state Rep. Danielle Gregoire, State Treasurer Deb Goldberg, Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian and Framingham State University President F. Javier Cevallos.

Rabbi Sam Blumberg, of the Temple Beth Am, and Rev. Gregory Morisse, senior pastor of The Plymouth Church in Framingham, also gave remarks.

“Charlie is kinda like Bono, Madonna or Liberace — he's a one-name celebrity,” said City Council Chair George King. “It's gonna take a while to get used to anything else — people know him as Charlie.... Framingham elected someone they knew personally, someone they trust.”

One example of Sisitsky's dedication to Framingham is his role in helping found the new Fuller Middle School Building Committee and being its first chair, said School Committee Chair Adam Freudberg.

“Mayor Sisitsky is the type of mayor that hears all voices and has the expertise to get big and little things done, and everything in between," said Freudberg. "He's respectful, responsible, ready to learn and ready to lead.”

Freudberg, who was named co-chair of the mayor’s Education Subcommittee in his transition team, said the committee plans to issue a report to Sisitsky later this month.

Original story HERE