Greg Stanton took the stage as Phoenix's 52nd mayor and delivered an inauguration speech earlier today that, in part, announced his plans to develop a second bio-medical campus in north Phoenix with the Mayo Clinic and creation of a "Mayors' Futures Forum on Education," a way for Arizona mayors to champion local schools.
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, Flagstaff Mayor Sara Presler, and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild already signed up for the forum on education.
Stanton says he hopes partnering with the Mayo Clinic, Arizona State University, and the private sector to develop the Desert Ridge Bio-science and Technology Collaborative on 600 acres in north Phoenix will create a major employment center.
He told the crowd of more than 1,500 people that the Mayo campus in Rochester, Minnesota, has created 50,000 quality jobs ... and so will the new one in Phoenix.
He also reiterated his campaign message about keeping special-interest lobbyists off of Phoenix boards and commissions.
"I don't want to demonize lobbyists today, but I do want the people of Phoenix to have full confidence that the decisions the cty makes are in the public's interests, not special interests," he told the audience. "That's why I will neither appoint nor support the appointment of any lobbyist to any board or commission in the city."
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Vice Mayor Thelda Williams, councilmen Michael Nowakowski, Daniel Valenzuela,and Bill Gates also addressed the inauguration crowd, mostly thanking their families, friends, and political supporters.
All delivered a message of cooperation and the need for more financial reforms or "cutting red tape" -- a phrase that gained popularity during the 2011 Phoenix City Council election.
Valenzuela, a Glendale firefighter and newcomer on Phoenix's political scene, earned a standing ovation for his oration, which was full of raw hope about Phoenix's future. He talked about overcoming the political polarization has paralyzed the federal government, that has pitted unions vs. management. He also called out Maricopa County elected officials for using "our money" to prosecute and sue each other.
He said he was honored to be one of two Latinos on the Phoenix City Council -- the first time in the city's history when two Latinos will serve at the same time.