Charleston mayor-elect discusses goals for city

Following Tuesday night’s election results, there will be many changes coming to Charleston’s City Council under the leadership of the next mayor Amy Goodwin. (WCHS/WVAH)

Following Tuesday night’s election results, there will be many changes coming to Charleston’s City Council under the leadership of Amy Goodwin.

Several new people were elected to Charleston’s City Council, which will be under new leadership for the first time in 16 years. Goodwin said the council will be a blend of people who have been in city government for years and new people who have a fresh perspective.

Coming out ahead in a close race against Republican JB Akers, Goodwin said she was on the phone at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday building her transition team.

"It's a collection of folks from all different backgrounds and different neighborhoods within the city, across the state and across the country who are going to add substance some of the policies that we want to see pushed forward,” Goodwin said.

Joining the city’s first female mayor will be five new council at-large members, along with incumbent Beckey Ceperly. All the new council members are Democrats, making it a majority Democratic council.

Goodwin said her hope is that partisan politics won’t have a role in city council or her administration.

"I think that partisan politics won't really play a role in this city council, that's at least my hope," she said. "Our city council is a wonderful blend of folks who have been there who have that historic knowledge of the city and the city structure and the city budget, like Beckey Ceperly, but I also think we have some great new folks that are coming on like Caitlin Cook and Jennifer Far.”

Cook, one of the newly elected at-large members said she is grateful for the chance to take on the big issues facing the city like retaining population and attracting more millennials to Charleston.

"Making Charleston an attractive place, a safe place, a place where folks my age -- millennials -- want to come back to," Cook said. "Folks who are in high school or younger, they want to stay and they want to grow here. They want to invest here, making it an attractive place. I think that is our biggest challenge."

Goodwin said meetings are already being set up with the current administration to begin the transition process. After the final numbers came in on election night, Goodwin said although she won’t take office until January, the work starts now.

"The budget without question rises to the top of the list," she said. "Public health and safety and those conversations about new policy and new initiatives also have to take center stage."

Goodwin said she’s also putting together a team to do a full forensic audit of the city’s budget to figure out how the next administration can fill in any gaps.

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