HOUSTON — After defeating Tony Buzbee in a runoff election in December, Sylvester Turner has now been officially sworn in for his second term as Houston’s mayor.
The inauguration ceremony was intended to be a reflection of our diverse city. There were prayers by Christian, Muslim and Jewish clergymen and performances by mariachi, gospel, classical and rap music groups.
Turner, City Controller Chris Brown and other city council members took their oaths of office during the ceremony.
Between the musical performances, we heard the mayor’s inauguration speech where he outlined some of his second term initiatives. They include expanding street repairs and reducing homelessness.
“I have instructed public works to present to me within 60 days a systematic plan that identifies those streets that need to be seriously rehabilitated, a potential funding source and an estimated timeline for work to commence. You should see a noticeable improvement by the end of this term,” Turner said.
He also pledged to expedite the process for people impacted by hurricane Harvey to get back into their homes.
“To expedite the process, the city and the state [General Land Office] have entered into a collaborative agreement starting Monday, which we both hope will expedite to review and approval of people’s files. I want their homes repaired or reconstructed and I want their lives to be placed back in order,” Turner said.
He finished by saying the best is still ahead for the city.
“God give us wisdom to direct our path and give us direction that we may together lead your city. God bless Houston, God bless America, and the best for Houston has yet to come,” Turner said.
Councilman Dave Martin was voted to be mayor pro tem, which means he will represent Turner when he is absent. He was nominated by Turner and then confirmed by the council. Martin said he hopes to show the city that even though he and the mayor don’t always agree, they have the ability to work through their differences and collaborate.
After the ceremony, the new and returning elected officials headed to the council chambers for a meeting.
Each official was sworn in for a four-year term, except for District B councilman Jerry Davis, who remains in office until a delayed runoff election. For the first time, the council is majority women.