Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey takes office in low-key private ceremony

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Jacob Frey took office as Mayor of Minneapolis Tuesday, beginning a new era of leadership at City Hall.

Speaking to reporters after taking the oath of office in a private ceremony, Mayor Frey promised to take swift action on his administration’s policy priorities: increasing access to affordable housing, strengthening police-community relations, and fueling economic growth through inclusion. He also said unity would also be a theme of his administration.

“The first item of the docket is going to be unity: unity between council members and the mayor, unity between the city enterprise and the rest of the community at large,” Mayor Frey said. “Right now we need bridge builders in a major way and we’re going to make sure we deliver.”

Frey also committed to providing council members and staff open access to mayoral offices, reversing past policies.

“We’ve got some extraordinary council members that just got sworn in, and I want to be working with them every single day,” Frey said. Whether that means they’re coming down to my office or that means me walking down the hall to talk to them to figure out how we can work together.”

After attending the inauguration of his friend, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, Frey met with members of the city’s public works staff and even spent part of the afternoon riding with an organics recycling crew in northeast Minneapolis.

“The reality is the mayor and the city council could die tomorrow and the city would be just fine because we have some extraordinary city employees that are working here, whether it’s picking up the trash, plowing the streets or making sure that when you turn on the faucet, water comes out,” he said.

Frey will take part in a public inauguration ceremony Monday, along with members of the city council. The council will then select a new president after longtime leader Barb Johnson, who has served in the post since 2006, was defeated in her re-election bid last November.

Frey said that decision should be left up to council members.