Tecklenburg ready to take on 'next leg of race' as new mayor

VIDEO: Tecklenburg prepares for office as Charleston's new mayor

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Holy City is just days away from swearing in its first new mayor in four decades.

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley wrapped up his final full day in office Friday. On Monday, it will be the beginning of a new era as John Tecklenburg is sworn in.

Both men say they want to make the transition of leadership as smooth as possible.

"You think the passing of the baton or the end of one administration like it's a stopping point," Tecklenburg says. "It's not. It's a relay race and I'll take on the next leg of race."

On Tuesday, a day after being sworn in on the steps of City Hall, Tecklenburg will preside over his first council meeting with a full agenda on the plate. He says he is already spending time with the fire and police chiefs.

"City staff is wonderful and they've been working to bring me up to speed where needed," he said. "Everyone is committed to continue to not only carry on in a smooth fashion and make Charleston an even better place."

With a new chapter in Charleston soon to be written, Tecklenburg will take on old projects like West Ashley's revitalization initiative and I-526 construction, all things he says he's fully committed to seeing to completion.

"All of the issues and projects that come before me, I'll be asking the question, 'How does this impact our citizen's quality of life in our city?'" he says.

Tecklenburg will soon fill the shoes that have been worn by a man since 1975, worn by someone he calls a father figure.

"Folks have been talking about those shoes ever since I got into the race," Tecklenburg says. "I'm going to respectfully ask the mayor to take those shoes on home with him. 'Cause I got my own shoes and we'll have our own program to try to improve our city."

Tecklenburg says the city's best days are yet to come.  He says pulling together and working together can always make Charleston a better place.

The mayor-elect's name has already been engraved on the mayor's plaque in the Charleston City Council Chambers. However, it will remain covered until after his swearing in.

Retired Judge Richard Fields will swear in the new mayor on Monday.

Copyright 2016 WCSC. All rights reserved.