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VIDEO: William Cogswell inaugurated as new Mayor in Charleston

Photo: 94.3 WSC's Kelly Golden

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - New Charleston Mayor William Cogswell said at his inauguration Monday that the day marks the beginning of “a new relationship.”

“For some of you, I know it’s a shotgun wedding,” he said during his inauguration address. “But I look forward to earning your trust and working together that honors the ethos of his place.”

Cogswell called Charleston “a community in the truest sense of the word,” which was forged in a tradition of “fierce independence and individual expression.”

“It represents both raw and refined American exceptionalism,” he said. “Yes, we are different. We are unique. We know that. And as such, our problems have always required our own solutions, so that we neither dilute Charleston, nor assign it permanently to the past.”

He said the city must think a century ahead rather than succumbing to what he called “generic trends, commoditized products or populist whims.”

“We must be better than that, because we are better than that,” he said. “Now, we do have growing pains, but the solutions to affordability, sea level rise, traffic congestion and crime must be of Charleston, by Charleston. One size does not fit all.”

The new mayor thanked his predecessor, John Tecklenburg, for his “passionate service.”

“He loves this city and I sincerely appreciate his graciousness during the transition,” Cogswell said.

Cogswell, a former South Carolina state representative and now Charleston’s 35th mayor, also thanked his family and members of city council.

Cogswell defeated Tecklenburg in the runoff election in November when he secured over 50% of the vote. Cogswell is only the third mayor since 1976. Tecklenburg had been mayor for the last eight years, having won two runoff elections. Before that, Joseph P. Riley Jr. held the position for 39 years.

Cogswell said he and his team are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work.

The inauguration also included the swearing in of six Charleston City Council members: Boyd Gregg, who represents District 1; James McBride, who represents District 3; Karl Brady, who represents District 5; Perry K. Waring, who represents District 7; William Tinkler, who represents District 9; and Ross Appel, who represents District 11.

City of Charleston Police warned several roads would be closed ahead of the inauguration. Broad Street between Meeting and Church closed at 9 a.m. and were set to reopen at 3 p.m. Meeting Street between Queen and Tradd, as well as Broad Street between King and Meeting were set to be closed from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to officers.

After the inauguration outside City Hall, a reception was set to follow in Washington Square from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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