A full house of village employees, firefighters, police officers, veterans, friends and residents were on hand at Lynbrook's Monday night for an emotional ceremony that saw Brian Curran step down after nearly four years as mayor, and Bill Hendrick sworn in as his successor.
"We live in a real special place in this world — we are a middle-class, blue-collar village that cares about our neighbors just as much we care for our families, and in today's world, that's something special … something to hold onto," Curran said in his farewell speech, also mentioning the confidence he had in leaving the job to Hendrick and village trustees Hilary Becker, Mike Hawxhurst and Alan Beach. "And I truly believe that the brightest days of this village are ahead of us under the guidance of these four individuals."
Curran spent a good five minutes mentioning, by name, every village employee that he says contributed to his successes as mayor. The lifelong Lynbrook resident was in November, and he'll begin that job on Jan. 1, 2011. He is still the official mayor of Lynbrook until Dec. 31.
Hendrick, who has served 19 years on the village board, has been Curran's deputy mayor since 2007. Speaking about his friend's departure, Hendrick said he wanted to keep his speech light, but when writing it, realized just how much he would miss Curran.
"I was gonna make fun of him, I was gonna be funny, and then I just said 'I'm gonna miss him.' I wish we could do four more years, and I'd be happy to stay there as deputy mayor for four more years," Hendrick told Curran. "You really put everything you had into this job. It's gonna be tough to keep up with you."
But, as usual, Hendrick did find time to mess with Curran, announcing that he pulled into the mayor's parking spot before the meeting, prompting a good laugh from the audience.
Hawxhurst referred to Curran as a fair and honest person to work with, and also a great friend.
"No one can imagine the tremendous amount of time he gives to the residents and this village," Hawxhurst said. "And just watching him give that time, you just work harder to help him with everything he does. We see tonight how he cared for the kids, the seniors, and everyone else in the village."
At the end of the night, Hendrick was sworn in by Lynbrook resident and Nassau County Legislator Francis Becker, followed by Hendrick telling the audience "We should always be thankful that we're in a village that one, is almost Home Rule, and two, that that village is Lynbrook, U.S.A. And thank you all for putting your confidence in me, and I will always do the best job I can for you."
Hendrick becomes the official mayor of Lynbrook on Jan. 1, 2011. His term ends in April, so he must run in the March general election to have a chance at winning a four-year term.