First elected female Mayor-President takes focus on top priorities at first press conference

First elected female Mayor-President Elect Weston Broome holds first formal press conference

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - On a mobile device? Click the link to watch the video

Mayor-President Elect Sharon Weston Broome began hinting at some of her top priorities for when she takes office during her first formal press conference Monday afternoon.

She indicated that changes to the Baton Rouge Police Department, including replacing the chief, may not happen right away. Broome said she would meet with BRPD Chief Dabadie in the coming days. She said searching for viable candidates could take several weeks.

"I'm looking for the best qualified person that will work in conjunction with my vision and citizen's vision," Broome said, though gave no additional details.

She said that she would consider candidates from both Baton Rouge and across the country.

Buddy Amoroso, a Republican member of the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council, said he wants to see a new chief come from the capital region.

"They know the community. They've been here, they've worked their way up the ranks. They know them," said Amoroso, while acknowledging that Democrat Weston Broome ultimately gets to make the decision.

Meanwhile, any hope the Mayor-President Elect may have had of fixing the parish's traffic problems may already be diminished. On Saturday, voters shot down a proposal raising taxes to expand the parish's Green Light Program.

The plan would have sped up current road projects and added even more across the parish.

"I was certainly disappointed by the failure of the Green Light 2 program, but indeed the voters have spoken on each issue," Broome said.

Broome said the tax cannot come up for another vote until 2018.

Amoroso said in the aftermath of the flood, he can understand why people voted against the tax plan.

"I get it. We don't even know where we are with our millages are for the city just yet, so it was probably a lot of wisdom in the city to say not now, maybe later," Amoroso said.

Broome also indicated that advancing flood recovery efforts may be one of her first goals once in City Hall.

"That indeed has to be a priority, getting our city and our parish back working and getting people back in their homes," Broome said.

The formal inauguration of Mayor-President Elect Broome will take place Monday, January 2, after the Metro Council is sworn in. Broome said that no public funds will be used to pay for the inaugural festivities or transition.

Broome announced the co-chairpersons of her transition team, Donna Fresh and Raymond Jetson. Fresh is an attorney with Baker Donelson and an early supporter of Broome. Jetson is pastor of Star Hill Church, president and CEO of Metro Morphosis, and has been a trusted adviser, Broome says.

Broome's transition efforts will be known "BR Transitioning," lead by Fresh and Jetson.

The transition will have 8 separate teams dealing with different departments of city governments, each with co-chair persons to be announced at a later date.

The departments which each team will have control over are finance, public workers, public safety, office of community development, office of human development and services, homeland security, information services, and purchasing.

Broome said there will also be "community input" teams such as arts and culture, the Baton Rouge revitalization fellows program, education, and flood recovery.

The community input teams would allow the public to input on city parish government and policy.

Broome served 24 years in the state legislature and was the first female to hold Pro Tempore in the House and Senate. She was a state senator from 2005 to 2016 and before that was a state representative from 1991 to 2005.

Governor John Bel Edwards released a statement Saturday night congratulating Weston Broome on her victory.

Donna and I congratulate Sharon Weston-Broome on her victory tonight. Baton Rouge faces serious challenges in the months ahead, but I know Sharon will be the strong leader this area needs. From our ongoing flood recovery efforts to healing our communities, I will be a partner with Sharon as she takes office. Sharon has worked with me to put Louisiana first, and I know that will continue as she take on this new role. Donna and I offer our prayers to her, her husband, Marvin, and their entire family as they begin this journey.

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.