Attleboro Mayor Cyril Brennan

FOR ATTLEBORO CENTENNIAL PUBLICATION Attleboro Mayor Cyril Brennan 10th mayor. 1950-65.

When Cyril K. Brennan took the oath of office as the city's 10th mayor in January 1950, little did he know he would be taking it seven more times before his tenure in the corner office was done.

Brennan, who according to some had the common touch, was elected an astounding eight times, and served as mayor for 16 years during which the nation had four presidents.

A lawyer, he succeeded Francis O'Neil and rolled into office with 74 percent of the vote over Henry Randall for his first win.

He faced nine different opponents over the years, and lost only to the last, Thomas Piggott, as the result of the Taxpayer Revolt of 1965, which developed after a long-delayed revaluation pushed residential tax rates into the stratosphere, and the blood pressure of taxpayers even higher.

Brennan garnered only 39 percent of the vote in the 1965 mayor's race, to Piggott's 61 percent.

Before that, he never got less than 55 percent of the vote, and achieved more than 70 percent of the vote three times, making him one of the most popular mayors ever.

It was under Brennan's administration that the current high school was built at a cost of about $3.6 million.

Brennan had a middle school named after him while in office, and is the only mayor to which that honor was ever accorded.

Sun Chronicle columnist Tom McAvoy remembered Brennan in an article as a down to earth man who always had time for people.

"I will always recall the late "Cy" Brennan fondly," he wrote. "He was Attleboro's longest-serving administrator and a real friend to every citizen. Never did I walk through downtown with my family in my younger days that Cy failed to engage us in a few minute's banter.

"I really believe that throughout his years of service, he never missed the funeral of an Attleboro resident. Of course, Attleboro was considerably smaller then, but it is still a singular feat."

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the 10th a series of profiles of Attleboro's mayors since the city was incorporated 100 years ago in 1914. The Sun Chronicle will print a special section Sunday celebrating Attleboro's 100th anniversary as a city.