When you start on the coldest day in years, things can only go up, right?
At City Hall in Minneapolis a new era began on Monday, with fresh faces not only in the mayor's office but in a majority of the city council seats, as well.
MinnPost reports that in an inaugural ceremony in the building's rotunda, Mayor Betsy Hodges reiterated that she wants to improve opportunities for people of color in the city. Hodges also made population growth a priority, saying she wants to see Minneapolis exceed 500,000 residents, MinnPost says. According to the Star Tribune, the current population is about 392,000.
The Star Tribune says Hodges also referred to difficult financial choices that lie ahead for the city, even in a post-recessionary improves: "The pull to restore what has been lost must be tempered by the knowledge that our taxpayers have lost as well,” she said.
Seven of the 13 city council members sworn in Monday are new to the body, which is also where Hodges had previously served. Minnesota Public Radio reports several of the new members backed Elizabeth Glidden in her bid to become council president. But Glidden's challenge of Council President Barbara Johnson fell short, with her colleagues electing Johnson to a third term as president.
For Hodges, Monday's event was largely ceremonial. She had taken the oath of office last week at what she dubbed a "kids inaugural," highlighted by an exchange of promises with the youth of Minneapolis.
Missing from Monday's festivities was Hodges' predecessor, R.T. Rybak. Rybak, who did not seek a fourth term as mayor, suffered a heart attack while cross-country skiing over the weekend. Monday he underwent a second operation to improve blood flow in his arteries.