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Vigeant Gets to Work After Monday's Inauguration

The long-time city councilor won the office by a narrow margin in the November election.

Former City Council president Arthur Vigeant was inaugurated as the mayor of Marlborough Monday, Jan. 2, 2012 after 18 years on the council, nine of which he spent as its president. 

Vigeant in early November defeating political newcomer Matthew Jones. This after incumbent three term mayor Nancy Stevens announced in early summer 2011 that she would not run for office again in order to take a break from public life. 

Vigeant accepted the executive office in Marlborough at a ceremony held in the auditorium late Monday morning. The event was followed by a reception at City Hall. 

Vigeant recently spoke with the Boston Globe about the challenges he will face in the new role. 

“Council and mayor are completely different roles,’’ Vigeant told the Globe. “I’m really excited about starting and working with the different department heads and the City Council in a different capacity.’’

Vigeant campaigned throughout the summer and fall months on his record as a city councilor. 

"I established the City Scholarship Fund to assist graduating high school seniors go to college," he told Patch. "The fund, composed entirely of volunteer donations, has given more than $50,000 in scholarships. I was one of the founders of the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), in addition to prompting the development of 81 affordable senior housing units."

Now that he is mayor, Vigeant will begin an endeavor to make good on his campaign priorities. 

"The schools are well-funded, but (we) just need to spend the money appropriately for vast improvements on the school system. The superintendent and school committee are doing a good job. I will stand behind them to make sure their goals get accomplished," .

"Attracting and maintaining jobs and businesses in Marlborough is crucial, which is why I was one of founders of MEDC. I have reached out to businesses wanting to expand within the city and reached out to bring new ones to Marlborough," Vigeant noted. He also listed the treatment plant commitment, Memorial Beach, parks and recreation, and focusing on the construction of a new library and senior center as priorities.

The Globe article quoted MEDC chairman Arthur Bergeron as saying that Vigeant's reputation as a fiscal conservative may account for the closeness of the mayoral race in a largely democratic landscape, though Marlborough elections are non-partisan. 

"Vigeant, who ran unsuccessfully for seats in the state Legislature as a Republican in 2004 and 2008, often locked horns with residents and his colleagues in City Hall over taxes and government spending, sometimes with a brusque attitude that bordered on the dismissive, said the Globe quoting Bergeron. “He’s got a long reputation of being confrontational on those issues,’’ Bergeron said, but added that several of his views have softened evidenced by recent city council votes. 

As Vigeant begins his two year term as mayor, he will begin the process of working together with his department heads, city council and his constituents alike. 

“I’ve been telling department heads, ‘I know 75 percent of it. Now I need to hear the other 25 percent. Maybe you didn’t need to tell me before. Maybe you didn’t want to tell me before. Now I need to hear the rest,’ ’’ said Vigeant.

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