NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mayor David Briley is nearing his first month in office and is facing a number of critical challenges, chief among them, regaining the public's trust in an office deeply damaged by the scandal of his predecessor.
Briley became Mayor of Nashville on March, 6 following the resignation of Megan Barry who had an affair with her bodyguard and misused taxpayer dollars.
"I think whatever trust may have been lost, over the ensuing weeks and coming months you’ll see that people regain that trust because we’ll stay focused on what’s important, we’ll get back to the basics to the extent we have to and people will can be confident that our fundamentals are strong here," Briley said in his first sit-down television interview on Tuesday.
Mayor Briley is running for re-election but is keenly aware that his legacy will likely be defined by the success of failure of the May 1 vote on a multi-billion dollar mass transit plan.
"We’re already close to our saturation point on our roads, not able to add anymore vehicle but we know more people are coming to the region anyway. So if we want to have a high quality of life, have accessibility, we have to build out mass transit networks. It’s as simple as that," Briley said, adding that the proposed tax increase would mean families on average would have to pay an extra $5 to the city.
Briley also said that he trusts Superintendent of Metro Nashville Public Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph, who is currently facing backlash after his handling of a multi-million dollar budget shortfall and looming staffing cuts.
"He’s got great judgment in terms of what needs to happen, I believe in him, I’ve worked with him closely over the last few years, I think it’s a difficult system it’s never been easy to manage that enterprise," he added.
Click here for an extended version of the Mayor's interview.