'Baltimore Needs A Shakeup' | Baltimore City Mayor-Elect Brandon Scott Sees Election As Mandate For Change, Transition Team In Place
BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Democrat Brandon Scott, just elected Baltimore's next and youngest-ever mayor, was back at work before the city's spending board the morning after his victory.
Outgoing Mayor Jack Young offered him congratulations on the win.
Scott tells WJZ he has no time to celebrate.
Brandon Scott Declares Victory In Baltimore Mayoral Race
"There is no DPW director. There is no housing commissioner. There is no equity and civil rights director. There is no city administrator. All of these positions will have to be hired and we will be assessing everything else moving forward. Change is coming to Baltimore in many shapes and forms," Scott told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren Wednesday. "Baltimore needs a shakeup. We could not continue with the status quo. Citizens voted for change, and they are going to get it."
Scott already named a nine-person transition team that includes former Raven Torrey Smith and author Wes Moore. You can read more about them here.
Well wishes came in from Republican Governor Larry Hogan who personally called Scott and said he wants to meet with him soon.
Scott said, despite party differences, the two can work together.
"I worked with his office on issues of public safety. We are not always going to agree. At the end of the day, I'm going to push him, and I hope he pushes me to make Baltimore a better place," Scott said.
On crime, he told WJZ: "I will no longer have to ask the mayor of Baltimore to develop a complete and comprehensive strategy dealing with gun violence in Baltimore City. I will demand it of my agency heads and make sure they propose and put together something that we can enact."
The city approved almost $2.5 million Wednesday to settle 12 lawsuits related to the corrupt police Gun Trace Task Force.
Reforms in the police department and stopping violent crime are two major issues for the mayor-elect with more than 270 homicides reported in the city this year.
"We will have a mayor who has already been fighting for police reform for many years. We can do both at the same time. We can reform and change our police policies while also focusing on the violence that is destroying neighborhoods and families in Baltimore City every day."
Scott, a Biden supporter, also urged patience as votes are counted nationwide in the presidential race. "We know we need every vote counted despite what the President of the United States thinks. Counting votes is not stealing an election, it is actually making sure that we follow the democratic process," Scott said.
Scott will be sworn in next month. Baltimore also has a new city council president, Nick Mosby, and a new comptroller, Bill Henry.
Voters also approved several measures that strengthen the city council and put checks on the mayor's power. "Balance is a good thing," Scott said. "As mayor, I'm going to have to work with the council like no mayor has done before."
Scott, 36, was first elected to the city council in 2011 representing Northeast Baltimore. He became city council president last year in the fallout after former Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned in a criminal self-dealing scandal. Scott also chaired the council's public safety committee.
He grew up in Northwest Baltimore's Park Heights neighborhood.
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