New Mayor Greg Fischer is officially in office. He took the oath Monday. After his speech and a short prayer, fireworks were launched downtown (in the daytime) and the City Hall bells were rung. The fanfare was topped off with a short (two block) parade.
Lousiville has not grown as fast as many peer cities, and Fischer acknowledged that in his speech. He said without an educated workforce, Louisville will not be able to compete with those other cities.
“The future of our city, the relevance of Louisville as a thriving 21st Century City is what’s at stake here. We will set our sights high,” he said.
Fischer then touted the economic benefits of a healthier population.
“We’re at the top of too many of the wrong lists when it comes to the health of our residents: rates of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer,” he said. “Poor health not only decreases the quality of life, but also drives up the cost of health care for employers.”
Also taking the oath were newly-elected and re-elected city and county officials, including Metro Council members. Members of Congress and the General Assembly were on the stage, as were the presidents of Spalding and U of L.
Former mayoral candidate Jackie Green was in the audience. Green ran as an independent, but dropped out of the race to support Fischer shortly before the election. I talked with Green afterward. He said “Our work is cut out for us,” but then lamented the fact that Fischer did not talk about sustainability in his inaugural address.
“Other cities are aggressively pursuing sustainability,” said Green, re-iterating his campaign talking point that Louisville must embrace environmentally-friendly policies in order to properly grown and succeed in the future.