Mayor-elect promises to work with schools
By Kevin Allen, The South Bend Tribune
December 22, 2011
SOUTH BEND -- Mayor-elect Pete Buttigieg is still in the process of assembling his administration and refining his priorities as he prepares to take office in less than two weeks.
But he made it clear Wednesday that one of his first actions as mayor will be approaching the South Bend Community School Corp. and offering the school board a closer partnership with the city.
"You can't do everything all at once," he said, "so one of the most important decisions I need to make now is the sequence of what's going to come first, and what's going to have to wait a little bit, of all the things that I really want to do."
Buttigieg also talked about making sure the energy that volunteers brought to his election campaign is used in service to the city when he's mayor.
"It really takes citizens stepping up, taking ownership of the future of their city, and I'm very eager to be a mayor who unlocks that potential," he said. "(Our campaign) proved that there are a lot of people here who care about the city and will put the hours in to affect the future of the city."
Buttigieg will be sworn in Jan. 1 at the County-City Building. The ceremony, which begins at 5 p.m., will be open to the public.
Until then, he is working with a team of advisers from local businesses, nonprofit groups and government to aid his transition.
That committee is helping him implement his vision and recruit people to work for the city, starting with the mayor's staff and department heads.
The terms for current department heads appointed by Mayor Stephen Luecke will expire on New Year's Day, but they can reapply for positions in Buttigieg's administration.
Three of them, Public Works Director Gary Gilot and City Attorney Chuck Leone, have announced they're retiring at the end of the year, and Jeff Gibney told The Tribune recently he will resign as executive director of the Department of Community and Economic Development.