GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- Jerome Prince, a former Lake County (Ind.) Assessor and Gary City Council member, was sworn in Monday as Gary's 21st mayor.
Prince is promising a new energy that benefits the new decade, including total budget transparency for the city of 76,000
"You have to roll up your sleeves to do everything humanly possible to correct, that is what I am prepared to do, and that is what I am asking you to join me in doing," Prince said during his inaugural address.
Prince says he will convene a stake holders council of concerned citizens to decide how to spend one percent of the city's nearly $600,000 budget.
For the most part, that message found a sympathetic ear at Gary's Genesis Center.
"We have an opportunity because we have a mayor who is ready to do some things, and we have citizens who are ready to apply themselves too," said Gary businessman Danny Baker.
But there was the need to express understanding of the emotions of a citizenry yearning for a better future. Prince says that doesn't mean residential gentrification or big box stores.
"We have begun to establish a knowledgeable economic development team that will cooperate with properly vetted legitimate investors and entrepreneurs," Prince said.
Mayor Prince promises change under his watch but says it depends on the faith of young families.
"In many ways they have been convinced that they can't succeed, it is our responsibility to turn that narrative, and to show them that we support them and that by trying and with a little effort and commitment and dedication they too can succeed," Prince said.
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