St. Louis mayor Francis Slay says he's approaching his historic fourth term with "hope and optimism."
Slay and Comptroller Darlene Green took their oaths of office just after noon today at City Hall. He's the first mayor elected to a fourth, four-year term and will become the longest-serving in the city's history at the end of the month.
"The work that we do together during the next several years will be what will make history," Slay told the crowd gathered in the rotunda and lining the steps. "I plan to see St. Louis as a global competitor, as an international trade hub, as an incubator of new companies, a sort of place that figures in young people's dreams."
He said he planned to fight back against the "tyranny of haters" that has stifled progress for years.
"We have gotten as far as we can by pulling against each other," Slay said. "For the next four years, let’s pull together to see how much further we can get." He also vowed that the city would re-enter St. Louis County within the decade.
Green, who teared up during her inaugural address, vowed to serve St. Louis’s best interests – not what she called special interests.
"And as comptroller, I am poised to lead and to make bold choices for the future of our city. We have a great city, but even a great city can be better," she said. She promised to work with other city leaders on job training programs, and said she would continue to push universities in the city to partner on efforts to boost public safety. In October, the president of Saint Louis University rejected such a partnership.
Green also pledged tighter cooperation with the county.
Cong. William Lacy Clay, who endorsed both Green, and Slay in his primary against aldermanic president Lewis Reed, called it a high honor to speak at the ceremonies.
"Results for real people are starting to matter more than race," he said. "I say that not to diminish the very real divisions that still exist and the huge disparities that must continue to receive our constant attention and real commitment."
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