Mayor Michael Bloomberg was sworn in to serve a third term on New Year’s Day, becoming just the fourth mayor in city history to do so and the first since Ed Koch.
In his inauguration speech before a crowd of several thousand at City Hall, the mayor acknowledged the highly controversial term limits extension that allowed him to run again, saying “I recognize, I understand, that this term is a special opportunity.”
He went on to list the accomplishments of his first eight years in office - citing as major victories reduced crime and an improved public school system, among others - before promising to make his next four years count.
Bloomberg said he is determined not to become a lame-duck third-term mayor.
To show he meant it, the mayor outlined as priorities immigration reform and job creation to put New Yorkers back to work.
And in an apparent effort to provide his administration with some fresh energy, Bloomberg promised to shake things up by temporarily reassigning top city officials.
“I will not let you down,” the mayor promised at the end of his speech.
If his third term does disappoint in any way, the mayor can rest assured the city’s second and third highest-ranked officials will be the first to let him know.
Speaking before the mayor, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Comptroller John Liu both used their own inaugural addresses as an opportunity to promise they would hold the Bloomberg administration accountable on a score of issues.
De Blasio said he plans to revisit the city’s development policies in an effort to ensure more affordable housing gets built for moderate and lower-income families. He also said parents need a greater voice in their children’s education, striking a chord with critics of Bloomberg’s takeover of city schools.
Liu said he would examine the city’s “millions of dollars of no-bid contracts, whose justifications are weak, at best.”
The ceremony, held on a relatively warm winter afternoon, wasn’t all political maneuvering, however, as the public advocate and comptroller took time to thank their supporters.
“I hold the trust placed in me by the voters of this great city in the highest regard,” Liu said, “and I will work every day to live up to the confidence and expectations that you have placed upon me.”