Reeves sworn in as Pensacola's new mayor
Three months after winning the election, D.C. Reeves on Tuesday took the oath of office as Pensacola’s 78th mayor since 1920.
Standing in council chambers at City Hall, right hand on a family Bible, Reeves repeated the oath of office from his brother, attorney J.J. Reeves, with his hand resting on a family Bible.
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“Today's the greatest honor of my life. I'm humbled by the love I've felt from the people of my hometown. And it's a dream to have this chance to serve,” the new mayor said.
Reeves’ inaugural address drew from Scripture – specifically Luke 12:48.
“When much is given, much is expected,” he said. “So what are the citizens of Pensacola expect? I believe they expect to feel safe no matter who you are or where you are. That is job one. They expect to have the opportunity for a job and a wage that doesn't have Pensacola families living paycheck to paycheck. They expect to have the opportunity to live in the city and do so within their means. This is my focus moving and forwards.”
At 38, Reeves becomes Pensacola’s youngest mayor in more than a century. He received 51% of the vote in August, making him the first “strong mayor” to collect a majority in a primary and avoid a November runoff. As he takes office, he says many consider Pensacola one of the South’s emerging communities — what he calls a “city in demand.”
“Our population is increasing, something we haven't been able to say in a long time, said Reeves. “When surveyed, our citizens are feeling more positive about Pensacola's future. The word potential is being replaced with progress. Still, it is not the time to rest. Business remains unfinished. Yes, we have issues to address in safety and in housing. But we also have too much poverty. We still experience a racial divide.”
Rest can come, said Reeves, when Pensacola is a great place — not for a few, not for most, but for all. Toward that goal, he referenced his young daughter.
“But this future of ours in Pensacola isn't about one child; it's about treating every child like they're ours, said the new mayor. “They all deserve a safe space to sleep, a good place to learn, and opportunities to get a good job when they grow up. I look forward to working together to make Pensacola a great place for everyone. Much has been given to me. I'm committed, with your help, to give you everything I have to meet the expectations that I'm with being the mayor of Pensacola.”
In addition to Reeves’ inauguration, the city honored outgoing council members Sherri Myers and Ann Hill.
“I'm looking forward to the future, to continuing to work on the issues that are important to the people of Pensacola,” said Myers. “Holding our government accountable; yes, that's part ah of our duty, our job.”
“We got some amazing things done, like more public access to our waterfront,” Hill said. “We took on the decades-old challenge of cleaning our bays and our bayous, fixing our stormwater issues, and working on the effects of climate change and rising tides. Charles
Charles Bare, Jared Moore, and Allison Patton were sworn in; and Delarian Wiggins was elected council president and Casey Jones vice president, both by acclamation.
“Albert Einstein once said, ‘we can no longer continue to solve problems using the old way of thinking when we created them.’ We have a new council. We have a new way of thinking and a new way of doing business, said Wiggins. “And working with Mayor D. C. Reeves, we had many conversations, and I look forward to working with you on your vision and how you want to move the city of Pensacola forward."
Earlier Tuesday morning, the Escambia County Commission swore in new member Mike Kohn from District 2, and Robert Bender, who was re-elected to represent District 4. Lumon May from District 3 was named chairman and District 5’s Steven Berry was vice-chair. May, Berry, and District 1’s Jeff Bergosh face reelection in 2024.