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Jerome Prince is sworn in as Gary's new mayor by Judge Sonya Morris

Prince wants to fix economy, crime, and substandard schools in Gary

Contributed By:The 411 News

City's 21st mayor says it is doable; didn't happen overnight and won't be fixed overnight

Supporters, well wishers, and some hopefuls for U.S. Congress and Indiana state office races in 2020 packed the Lake Room of the Genesis Center Monday morning for the swearing-in ceremonies of incoming Gary Mayor Jerome Prince, City Judge Deidre Monroe, and city council members Dwight Williams, Cozey Weatherspoon, and Tai Adkins. Remaining city council members will be sworn in January 1.

But it was clearly the mayor's day, even protestors' shouts about family members lost in shootings by Gary Police waited until Prince began his remarks.

"We all understand the sentiments of those folks," he said as they were escorted from the room.

First came appreciations to those who helped him become Gary's 21st mayor, then Prince got down to business with the work to be done. "I don't look at this world through rose-colored glasses. I ride my bike throughout the city as much as I can to get an up close and personal look at the things that need to be accomplished and I see many things that disturb me."

Prince sees a city suffering from high crimes, stagnant economic development, and substandard schools. "I know they are fixable. It didn't happen overnight and turning it around won't happen overnight."

“I'm prepared to roll up my sleeves to do everything humanly possible to correct it.” Prince said the city's new economic development team is willing to work with "properly vetted legitimate entrepreneurs and investors" and will encourage local financial institutions to fund viable businesses. The team will "aggressively market Gary to the Regional Development Authority" to target enterprises compatible with the city's goals.

"If cities around us like Dyer, Hobart, Hammond, Crown Point, and "even little bitty Whiting" have found ways to revitalize, then why can't we?" Prince asked.

"In many ways, our Gary school corporation has failed our children," Prince said; children have become unruly, disruptive and convinced they can't succeed. "It is our responsibility to change that narrative and show them we support them." Using Theodore Roosevelt College & Career Academy's win a few years back in a state-wide science fair, Prince said the success of those high school juniors and seniors is the model adults should follow.

To tackle crime, the new mayor turned to Richard Ligon, his new police chief announced nearly two weeks ago. "My police chief and I have our work cut out for us. I will defer to the chief and his command staff. You won't see any meddling from city hall," he said.

January 1 is the new administration’s first day.

Story Posted:12/31/2019

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