Kasim Reed, Alex Wan to take office Monday

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imageThe election is over — finally — and at high noon today, gay-friendly Mayor-elect Kasim Reed (bottom photo) takes office along with the Atlanta City Council’s newest gay member, Alex Wan (top photo).

That’s right — it’s Inauguration Day. And you thought that only the prez gets one of those. But thankfully, since it’s likely to still be below freezing when Reed, Wan and other elected city officials swear on a Bible today, the ceremonies are held inside the Civic Center. And there’s no parade, either, though Reed will travel on MARTA to City Hall after the swearing in.

imageIn an interview published Sunday, Reed promised action almost immediately, including major hires within 120 days. And that includes a new police chief, who will inherit a troubled agency still smarting from a host of miscues, including the raid last September of the Eagle.

Q: As far hiring a new police chief and new chief financial officer, do you have a timetable?

A: Through 120 days, we will have all our major hires made. The major hires include the police chief, they include the CFO, they include the city attorney, they include the Public Works commissioner. … We are going to do that in a transparent way.

In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution interview, Reed also pledged a diverse administration, pointing to gay-friendly nearly former City Council President Lisa Borders as a co-chair of his transition team. He also tipped that Luz Borrero, a high-ranking lesbian on Mayor Shirley Franklin’s team, has been asked to stay put.

Q: (Mayoral opponent) Mary Norwood talked a lot about people who feel disenfranchised by the city. How do you plan to reach out to those folks?

A: I think that the centers of hope [recreation centers] are an example of reaching out to all parts of the city. … I’m doing it through my selections for office. When you look at the people on my pension task force, they’re from Buckhead. Peter Aman, my [chief operating officer] lives beyond Buckhead in the Chastain area. So we’re having a diversity of region, of race, of sexual orientation throughout our appointments. Lawrence Ashe [transition co-chair] lives in Ansley, Council District 6, which I got trounced in. … My schedule is a very geographically balanced schedule, so it’s important you look at where a mayor-elect spends his time.

If you didn’t get an invite to the swearing-in, don’t worry. We did and we’ll have more on the developments later today. But you can catch a glimpse of Reed, Wan and the rest of the new City Council during the Inaugural Citizens’ Reception from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at City Hall. There’s no Inaugural Ball — we’re still in a recession, after all.


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