NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s a new year and a change of guard in City Hall in New Haven.
One-time city alder, former non-profit head, and father of two, Justin Elicker was sworn in Wednesday as New Haven’s 51st mayor.
Elicker’s inauguration took place at Hillhouse High during a more than two hour long jubilant ceremony.
Carmen Rodriguez is one of six new alders who has high hopes about his new boss’ plans for the Elm City.
“Lots of hopes, lots of amazing positive things that are going to come to our city,” said Rodriguez.
Elicker’s team has announced more than a dozen hires in recent weeks, including many new faces at City Hall. He still has three positions that need to be filled.
All 30 alders were also sworn in, as well as city clerk Michael Smart and Board of Education member Darnell Goldson, who utilized his time at the podium to blame the state and the Elm City’s shortage of taxable property for the school board’s budget woes.
“The fault lies with the state government who are OK with funding prisons at $56,000 per prisoner while funding school students at $11,000.”– New Haven Board of Education member Darnell Goldson
Elicker’s first address as mayor included a promise to tackle education and affordable housing, create jobs and bring transparency to City Hall.
“One of the things I want to do early on is share an open checkbook to show how the city is spending its money,” said Elicker.
The new Mayor tells News 8 there is no time to waste. He already has a tight schedule for his first week in office. It begins Thursday morning with a bike ride to City Hall and a full schedule of meetings with community members, plus the kickoff of the development of a new budget due in March.
The budget, Elicker says, is set to be transparent. As one of the key points of his platform during his 2019 campaign, it is a move to build trust in city government among New Haven residents.
“I’ve already had many conversations with city department heads, we already have some things in motion.”– New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker
Department heads including Housing and Law Enforcement agencies in the city to develop a safety plan and an economic development plan for more affordable housing.
“Our economic development department a proposal in inclusionary zoning. I wanna work to ensure housing landlords are held more accountable.”– New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker
In an exclusive News 8 interview back in December, Elicker said he is in contact with the New Haven Police Department leadership and hopes to work hand-in-hand with the department to ensure the safety of all citizens in every neighborhood.