SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A new year and a new mayor in Savannah.
The election itself may have been divisive at times, the inauguration was at least an opportunity to look ahead and a chance for every member of your city council to act as one. The tone Tuesday was hopeful, the collective message was that this council is ready to do less talking and more doing.
"Savannah cannot succeed unless we all move forward together," said Mayor Eddie DeLoach.
Tuesday, Mayor DeLoach took the Oath of Office, his hand on his father's Bible and his wife by his side. His message to the City of Savannah: the solutions to our problems depend on putting aside differences that have been dividing this community.
"We must therefore work together with a common purpose. We must unite ourselves to a task at hand. There is no time for looking back or nursing old grudges," said Mayor DeLoach.
A reference, perhaps, to the contentious election that led up to this inauguration night. An election that Alderman Van Johnson said must now be set aside. Johnson spoke on behalf of the newly-elected aldermen after they were sworn-in to office, saying the campaigning is over and it's now time to govern.
"It's time now to galvanize our glee, our anger, our excitement, our happiness, our resentment against one common enemy, and that is anyone or anything that is in the way of Savannah being a safe, environmentally healthy, economically thriving community for all of its citizens. I'm sure you can agree with that," said Alderman Johnson.
Judging by the crowd's applause, they did.
It was a night when people who represent the many neighborhoods, churches, businesses and organizations that make up the City of Savannah came together in unity. Mayor DeLoach looked out at that crowd and called on them to be a part of the change he and his aldermen hope to bring.
"We stand on the shoulders of giants. We are not helpless, we are not afraid. We will solve our city's problems, and we will do it together," said Mayor DeLoach.
It won't be long after Tuesday's reception and celebration before this new council gets to business. They'll meet for the first time in council chambers this Thursday.