NASHVILLE, Tenn. - One day after Megan Barry resigned from office following her guilty plea of stealing taxpayer dollars, Mayor David Briley took the reigns of an office that has largely been in turmoil over the course of the last month and promised to regain the public's trust.
Briley is Nashville's 8th Mayor. His first day in office began very differently from the day prior when his car wouldn't start and he had to take the bus to work. Instead, Mayor Briley was picked up by his official security detail, the first of many changes he will now face as the mayor of one of the nation's fastest growing cities.
"It’s a serious responsibility to be the mayor of this city," he said.
Serious too is the work he will now have to do to repair the reputation of this office and to regain the trust of this city. Mayor Briley knew from the time news broke that Megan Barry was having an affair with her bodyguard this day might be coming.
"I think I thought about it before it happened. Obviously the unfortunate events of the last few weeks have brought home how important and influential a mayor is in a city," Briley said.
So much scrutiny has been placed on his predecessors use of her security detail that Mayor Briley is already trying to prevent any appearance of impropriety.
"I have told the detail I’d like to do as much as I can on my own," he added.
Briley will also being working hard to push forward with former Mayor Barry's multi-billion dollar light rail transit plan which goes before voters in May.
"I’ve been a supporter of it from the get go because I believe we need to be a supporter of transit if we want to continue to be a vibrant place economically, to attract people from around the world to live. I intend to speak out, go to meetings, and convince people it’s the right thing to do," Briley said.
As you can imagine, he did not get much sleep Tuesday night, but even on day one, Mayor David Briley believes this is a job he can handle.
"All I can do is promise to work hard and use my best judgment to try and move us in the right direction, and I’m promising to do that," he said.