BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Bossier City Mayor Tommy Chandler outlined his priorities as he officially took office during a swearing-in ceremony Thursday afternoon.

“What is great about being elected mayor of Bossier City is that it is already a great place to live, work and raise a family,” Chandler said in his first speech as mayor. “I’m ready to look forward to work with the city council to keep it that way.”

Chandler said he has already been to Baton Rouge several times with Shane Cheatham, his choice for CAO, to talk with Gov. John Bel Edwards and state lawmakers about the condition of the Jimmie Davis Bridge. Funding to replace the bridge is included in the Capital Outlay budget approved by the state legislature. HB2 is now awaiting the governor’s signature.

“Once he signs it, the Jimmie Davis bridge project will be funded,” Mayor Chandler said, drawing applause from the audience. “We currently have $24 million now for that project. This will add another $100 million to it.”

Mayor Chandler also touched on his plans for bringing more businesses to the city and making it a place where people come to work and stay.

“I want to make sure that Bossier City streets are clean, not only for the citizens but for the people that visit this great city. I also want to bring more businesses to Bossier City. We have a Louisiana Tech Research Institute being built now on East Texas, which will be a plus in education in this area.”

Chandler said he will also be working with the Cyber Innovation Center and the owner of Louisiana Downs, who he says is working on bringing “new and exciting things to his property.”

Chandler is taking office as the city’s first new mayor in 16 years. The Bossier businessman defeated incumbent Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker in March, denying him an unprecedented fifth term.

After thanking his family, friends, supporters, and the citizens of Bossier City, Chandler thanked Judge Charles Jacobs, who swore him in and is stepping down as judge to become City Attorney.

“I am looking forward to his confirmation,” Chandler said. He also thanked Shane Cheatham for being the emcee for the event and agreeing to serve as CAO.

“I ask the city council to confirm him next week so he can begin serving the citizens of Bossier City. I am excited and look forward to working with this city council to keep Bossier City great and make it even better.”

Chandler, who has lived in Bossier City his entire life, served as president of Crime Stoppers and has served on the Bossier Republican Party’s Executive Council before launching his campaign to run for mayor.

Also sworn into office were city council incumbents Jeffery Darby (District 2), Jeff Free (District 4), David Montgomery, Jr. (At Large) and Don Williams (District 3). Two new members also took oaths of office: Vincent Maggio (District 5) and Chris Smith (At Large).

The District 1 council seat is currently vacant, pending an interim appointment at Tuesday’s council meeting.