As we begin 2022, I fully understand that just about everyone in our community has been as patient and persistent as they could have possibly been over the past 21 months. There has been so much change, delay and inconvenience related to the pandemic, above and beyond all of the sickness, death and sadness in Norwich and around the world. But I have always been a firm believer in the old adage that adversity does not develop one’s character; it reveals it.

As I begin my latest term as Mayor of Norwich, I am more and more certain that Norwich has revealed great character throughout the pandemic, and as a result, we will emerge as a stronger community when this unprecedented event is behind us.

There are many signs for optimism in our midst – from the tireless and inspirational healthcare professionals on the front lines to everyone in our school system who are caring for and educating our kids; the men and women of the Norwich Fire Department and Norwich Police Department, our volunteer fire departments and first responders have all been there for the public when they have been needed, no matter when or how frequently, without question, without fail.

The economic damage created by the pandemic may have dampened the spirits of many of our small businesses, but so many of them have adapted and adjusted to the changing environment and will emerge even stronger.

Our ethnic restaurants – the heartbeat of our community – found innovative ways to connect with and serve their patrons. All of this adversity has brought about creativity and new strategies, and this helped us all get through the biggest obstacle in anyone’s memory.

America always bounces back – that’s part of what makes this country great. And the recovery from the pandemic might take a while longer, but there is no question that the United States – and Norwich – will be back stronger than ever.

We are on the brink of enormous economic investment by the federal and state governments that will make our infrastructure stronger, our communities safer and healthier while creating jobs and rebuilding our neighborhoods. None of this will be easy, but is it inevitable.

In the coming months, the City of Norwich will be working with our federal and state officials to determine the size, scope, and timing for these investments that have the opportunity to move the Rose City forward in a very significant way.

This work will be difficult and time-consuming, but we all must work together to ensure that everything is accomplished in a timely manner.

Please join me in staying strong and being optimistic about Norwich in 2022 and beyond.