It was only after Mike Rawlings became the new mayor of Dallas, only after council members new and old and in-between (in the case of Sandy Greyson) were sworn in at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center this morning did they discover they were about to step into The Breaking News of the Day: The FBI was in the midst of raiding not only John Wiley Price's home and office, but also that of political consultant Kathy Nealy, who worked on Rawlings's campaign and helped deliver the Southern sector vote.
As we note below, Rawlings had little to say on the subject after the ceremony. He said he had enough going on as he prepped for today's council meeting, during which there will be a vote on the ad hoc gas drilling task force. But during the ceremony, he had much to say about the state of the city he's about to lead.
With council members sitting behind him, Rawlings quoted Henry Ford: "If everything is moving together, then success will take care of itself." To which he added another familiar quote: "We need principles that will bind us together." He then went on to lay out three such principles.
"First, let's be a city that embraces diversity," Rawlings said, joking that with diversity comes great food. "I've loved every bite of food, and every minute I've spent getting to know the communities throughout our city."
"Next, let's be a city of opportunity," he said, emphasizing the need to focus attention to the growth and success of the city's southern sector. He added, as he had while campaigning, that the Trinity project is a "project worth doing," and that it can "redefine the face of the city."
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And he stressed, yet again, the need for the city to work with the Dallas Independent School District to better the public education system.
"Let's be a city that strives for excellence," he said, explaining that it's time for Dallas to raise its expectations and become one of the nations safest cities, one of the nation's best school districts, one of the best cities for small businesses, as well as a top destination for conventions and tourism, and one of the healthiest cities in America.
As for the accusations that he thinks too big, Rawlings said, "We're going to put big actions behind those ideas."
Rawlings wrapped up his speech emphasizing Dallas's "can-do spirit," and said, "Let's put it to work for Dallas starting right now -- starting today. And now it's time to go to work."