Locals react to inauguration of new Charleston mayor

Published: Jan. 11, 2016 at 10:15 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2016 at 10:42 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Music filled Broad Street Monday, as community members gathered to watch outgoing Mayor Joe Riley pass the baton to Charleston's new mayor, John Tecklenburg.

"It's really a historical event," Corinne Mistretta said. "We've had Joe Riley for 40 years and loved him. We just had to be here."

Locals said they were excited to witness the official swearing-in ceremony as well as see what the Holy City's future holds.

"Charleston is a community of entrepreneurs and especially women in business," Angharad Chester-Jones, of Regan Communications Group, said. "I'm really looking forward to what development brings in Charleston and the West Ashley area. I'm really looking forward to the next four years."

"I was a little child when Joe Riley was first inaugurated mayor 40 years ago," Julius H. Stent said, adding he knows the Tecklenburg family well. "They're wonderful people. It's a wonderful day in Charleston. Sort of bittersweet of me. But it's a great day in Charleston, and now I think we can all get together and work together as a community."

Tecklenburg spoke of some of the work ahead, including his goals to build on Charleston's cultural heritage, to empower and help those in need and to keep the city's citizens safe. He also said improving West Ashley would be a top priority. It's work that many hope will continue under Tecklenburg's inauguration promise, "Charleston Together."

"I'm feeling very inspired, but I hope that in the midst of everything that's occurred to here today that we don't forget that our main mission is to stick together," Smarel Brown said. "When the music stops and the food and the handshaking and the hugs for such a beautiful event is over, I hope that we never forget that this heart of Charleston is supposed to always stick together."

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