Officially sworn-in as mayor

Remarks following my official swearing-in today as Mayor of Lakewood:

This has come full circle for me. Sixteen people have served as mayor since the City of Lakewood’s incorporation. I am the first person in Lakewood’s history to have seen her parent carry the honor & burden of this office and then serve as a mayor in her own right.

First, I’d like to say: thank you residents of Lakewood. I am honored by the faith you have shown in me and am ready for the work ahead.

I’ve homed in on a few themes that are important to me and I’ve heard Lakewood say are important to you as well: Responsibility, Opportunity, and Unity.

Being Mayor of Lakewood brings with it great responsibility. I’ve focused my thinking on how to strike a fiscally responsible balance between the wants & needs of Lakewood’s 400+ employees, its 50,000 residents, and businesses, nonprofits, & community organizations.

The City of Lakewood has an eager and capable staff who want their mayor to be a leader, a partner, and an enabler for all of the good work they can and will do for our community. I look forward to it.

Being Mayor of Lakewood also brings with it great opportunity. There is a bright future ahead in Lakewood.

You may have heard of Smart Cities. These are cities that are leveraging technology to optimize existing services and improve the lives of their citizens. Smart Lakewood is how we can do more for our citizens while not increasing the burden on our taxpayers.

The future is dynamic and Lakewood needs a Mayor who will embrace those challenges, seize those opportunities, and keep pace with peer communities who are leading the way. I look forward to it.

Finally, Unity. As Mayor of Lakewood, I will work to rebuild our sense of neighborly unity. Regardless of past decisions and quarrels, I see the next four years as an opportunity to heal old wounds, to mend fences, and to build bridges.

In closing, I know there is hard work to do but I am grateful for many capable hands and willing hearts with whom to share it. The challenges are great and the rewards are greater. This is what lies ahead of us and I look forward to it.

Thanks to all the guests who filled city hall auditorium today, to be part of my inauguration, especially to former Ohio Attorney General Lee Fisher who performed the swearing-in ceremony; State Representative Michael J. Skindell who introduced the afternoon’s program; Lakewood High School students who provided music; and cub scouts who performed the presentation of colors.