It's standing room only as hundreds of people spill out from Council Chambers into the lobby of Erie City Hall to witness the inauguration of Joe Schember as the 48th Mayor of Erie.
City of Erie Mayor Joe Schember is ready to get to work. He knows there is a lot to learn but has big plans for his first 100 days. "I am kind of on high after this and the wonderful reception by people, there is a lot of work to be done, and there's a lot to learn going forward so I am going to hit the ground running tomorrow morning," he tells us.
He is running toward his campaign promises to make Erie a better place. "The number one priority is more family-sustaining jobs; I think that is the answer to a lot. We improve our schools, remove blight, but we need the jobs that people want to come for."
Mayor Schember also plans to reach out to the neighborhoods to get feedback on what they need to move forward. And to work on those relationships, new Police Chief, Dan Spizarny, was also sworn in at Schember's inauguration, saying, "we are going to expand some programs, some more community relations projects, we are going to meet with some groups to see what we can do to improve the relationships".
Now that Schember is officially in office, those working on Erie's future are excited to get to work to implement what has been talked about for quite some time. John Buchna, Chief Executive Officer of Erie Downtown Partnership, says, "now, we can start the next level of planning to really make these plans transform our neighborhoods".
Schember says, "I think, in Erie, if there is something I want to change about our mentality, it's that we are looking at the positive and not the negative and trying to move the city forward".
There are still more positions that need filling in City Hall. Mayor Schember says there is a position in the Economic and Community Development Office as well as a Media Relations position. More changes to the command staff at the Erie Police Department are expected tomorrow morning.
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