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Jan 02, 2014| Courtesy by : dailymail.co.uk
Bill de Blasio was sworn in as the 109th mayor of New York City early on Wednesday morning, becoming the first Democrat to occupy City Hall in more than two decades while vowing to pursue a sweeping liberal agenda for the nation’s largest city.
The new mayor was elected two months ago by a record margin on the promise of being a sharp break from Michael Bloomberg, who left office on Tuesday afternoon after 12 years that reshaped New York, making it one of the nation’s safest and most prosperous big cities but also one that has become increasingly stratified between the very rich and the working class.
De Blasio took the oath of office moments after midnight at his modest Park Slope, Brooklyn home.
His inauguration will be celebrated on a far grander scale at noon Wednesday on the steps of City Hall when he takes the oath again, which will be administered by former President Bill Clinton.
At 5pm Tuesday, New York acknowledged the end of an era when Mayor Michael Bloomberg was left City Hall for the last time as mayor, with his 12 years in office officially coming to an end.
A sea of flashing cameras and thunderous applause greeted Bloomberg as he left, walking over to catch the subway home to the Upper East Side, sitting among the locals who were happy to express their gratitude.
After attending every other New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square during his three terms, the 71-yeart-old will sit out Tuesday night’s festivities to watch the ball drop with family and friends.
A new report says Bloomberg – who, accoding to Forbes, is worth $27 million – spent $650 million of his own fortune on New York City over the course of three terms in office.
Sorting through public documents, philanthropy databases and other records, the New York Times says Bloomberg spent about $62,400 in 12 years for weekly cleanings of two large saltwater fish tanks in City Hall.
He also made $23 million in campaign donations and has given a cool $30 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 2002.
Bloomberg famously took a $1 annual salary as mayor.
Bloomberg issued a series of tweets marking his last day, the first noting his resolve to resurrect a city still wounded by the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks when he first took office.
‘On my first day in office, I visited the World Trade Center site and vowed NYC would rebuild stronger than ever. Today I can say we have,’ he tweeted.
In another tweet, Bloomberg thanked his staff and all city employees, saying, ‘we’ve made every day count for NYC’.
He also wished the best for the man who will take his place.
‘Best of luck to the de Blasio administration. May the best days for our city be ahead of us,’ Bloomberg tweeted.
Finally, he tweeted: ‘Thank you, New Yorkers, for the honor and privilege of serving you for these past 12 years.’
On Tuesday morning, the mayor hosted his 13th and final interfaith prayer breakfast at the New York Public Library.
Bloomberg used his final speech as mayor to thank religious leaders for helping New Yorkers in need and to praise the city’s diversity.
‘I have always been envious of you,’ he said at an interfaith breakfast at the New York Public Library.
‘Because you work at the real level where the real problems are. Big numbers are easy to deal with. It’s much tougher when you deal one on one, looking at a person right in the eye who has a problem.’
Bloomberg turned more lighthearted when he spoke about the clock winding down on his tenure.
‘As you may know, I’ve been mayor now for 11 years, 364 days and about nine hours, but who’s counting?’ he said.
He also cited remarks by Pope Francis about the importance of cities, then quipped, ‘The fact that a Jewish kid can quote the Pope in a secular building built by Protestants in front of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh leaders really says all you need to know about New York City.’
Bloomberg told the gathering the city’s best days were still to come and added he plans to live in New York City for the rest of his life.
‘It’s been a very rewarding 12 years, I’ll look back on it for the rest of my life and I’ll be able to say to my kids ‘your father tried to do something to make your life and you’re children’s better,” said the mayor.
His final 48 hours in office included the unveiling of his official City Hall portrait and the signing of legislation banning plastic foam food containers and adding e-cigarettes to the indoor smoking ban.
The city will close out 2013 with the lowest murder rate in 50 years of record-keeping.
The New York Post editorial declared that Bloomberg ‘surprised us’ by continuing declines in crime under way in the 90s and continuing growth from the dark days after 9/11.
The editorial ends with the Post thanking Bloomberg and saying he ‘did New York proud.’
Democrat Bill de Blasio will be sworn in at a private ceremony just after 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
His public inauguration will be held on the City Hall steps Wednesday at noon. Former President Bill Clinton will administer the oath of office.
Earlier in the day de Blasio announced five new high-administration appointments.
Gilbert Taylor was named the commissioner of homeless services.
He is currently a deputy commissioner at the Administration for Children’s Services.
Polly Trottenberg was chosen to head the Department of Transportation.
She is currently the undersecretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Longtime labor negotiator Bob Linn was named director of labor relations, and Stanley Brezenoff will be an unpaid special adviser to the first deputy mayor specializing in labor contracts.
Lastly, Kyle Kimball will continue to serve as the head of the Economic Development Corp.