Houston Mayor

In Inaugural Speech, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner Lays Out Plans To Fix Roads, Finances

The new mayor took the oath of office during a ceremony at Jones Hall on Monday morning.


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The former state representative was officially sworn in on Saturday, as required by the City Charter. The public ceremony took place Monday to avoid overtime costs for police and other city employees.

Also sworn in were new City Controller Chris Brown and the City Council, which includes five new members.

But the spotlight was on the new mayor.

Turner started his 20-minute inaugural address talking about his late mother who raised nine children and who motivated him to dream big and work hard to achieve his goals.

He said the same applies to City Hall as long as everyone works together.

"If we dare to dream beyond our current conditions and if we work hard and we put aside our individual biases and recognize that no one person can do it by himself, we can be a bigger Houston," he said.

Turner mentioned several challenges he plans to address as mayor, including flooding, the shortage of police officers, food deserts and lack of affordable housing. He got a standing ovation when he said he wants to tackle income inequality.

"I am committed to making sure that we do not have two cities in one of haves and have-nots," Turner said. "We are all Houstonians and we all deserve the right to improve and move forward together. I'm committed to that."

Turner also mentioned some specifics for the road ahead. He is working on his campaign promise to replicate Harris County's 24-hour road maintenance program.

"I want to announce this morning that two weeks from today, that potholes that are properly reported to the city's 311 help and information line will be assessed and addressed by the next business day," Turner said.

He also said his administration will develop a long-term fiscal plan to address the city's financial challenges.

Turner concluded his speech with some words of motivation: "Together, let's move forward to make this the best city that this world has ever seen, and God bless us all!"

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is the News 88.7 business reporter and also covers criminal justice, guns and shootings.Florian's stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of...

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