David Briley sworn in as Nashville mayor

David Briley, Nashville’s vice mayor for the past two and a half years, was sworn in as Metro government’s eighth mayor Tuesday evening, replacing Megan Barry who resigned in disgrace earlier in the day, reports The Tennessean.

In a scene like nothing before in city history, Briley took an oath of office at the council’s chambers, becoming the first Metro Nashville vice mayor ever to replace a mayor in the middle of a term.

…”This day presents a unique challenge for me and my family, but also for this council and for everybody who works for Metro government,” Briley said.

“My mettle is going to be tested but I’m convinced that the strong spirit of this city, which inspires us to accomplish so much, will prevail. Let me end by saying, I will work my heart out to meet this challenge.”

…An election is set for August to replace Barry full-time. Although Briley is considered a prime candidate, he did not say whether he will run.

“There’s plenty of days for politics, but this ain’t one of them,” he said.

Briley, a liberal Democrat and former two-term at-large councilman who resides in the Salemtown neighborhood near downtown, is the grandson of Beverly Briley, the first mayor of Nashville’s consolidated Metro government, elected in 1963.

Further from WPLN:

The new mayor of Nashville described his first, unexpected hours in office on Tuesday as “drinking from a fire hose” — from small tasks like getting a new ID badge made, to taking calls from former mayors, to talking about school funding with the district’s director.

Amid that scramble, he also composed a formal statement reacting to news of Megan Barry’s resignation, wrote up his priorities and by 5:30 p.m. was taking questions from reporters until they had no more to ask.

…(H)is clear top agenda item: passing the mass transit referendum to fund the city’s first light rail lines.

“I’ve been behind that from the very beginning. It is the most important thing that is confronting our city right now,” Briley said.

He characterized the coming vote on May 1 as a turning point for Nashville.

“That’s what this moment is about: Is Nashville going to make an investment in itself? Do you want to live in a city that is prosperous in 20, in 50, in 100 years? You have to make this investment if you want that,” Briley said.

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