City Prepares for Inauguration
by: Laurie Johnson, January 2, 2012 9:01:00 pm
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Houston's inauguration ceremony will be a day later than usual to save the city money. Today — January second — would be the normal day for the ceremony but it's a city holiday — so to save on overtime the mayor and city council will be sworn in tomorrow instead.
Houston's inaugural ceremony will be held tomorrow morning in the Hobby Center and includes speeches, musical performances and, of course, the oath of office.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker's Spokesperson Janice Evans says about 5,000 people have been invited to attend the ceremony.
"You want it to carry the gravity of what is actually happening. That these people who have come forward to serve the City of Houston are taking that official oath of office. And just like when we watch those inaugurations that occur in Washington and we see them on the TV, this will carry that same sort of gravity and weight."
The mayor, city controller and 16 councilmembers will take the oath. Evans says this is the first time so many people will be inaugurated in Houston at once.
"We are adding two new councilmembers this go 'round, and that's because Houston's population has grown beyond the two million mark. We have seven new councilmembers altogether, who will be taking the oath of office and coming in for the first time."
City employees do all the planning and staffing for the event, which is why the mayor did not want to incur overtime costs by holding the inauguration on a city holiday.
Houston's elected officials can serve up to three two-year terms.