Mayor Bill Euille described the new City Council as talented, smart, fun loving and accessible during a speech at the new body's installation ceremony Wednesday night.
But this enigmatic group must face challenges for the next three years, including addressing the budget and the city's aging infrastructure while balancing the development of commercial and residential buildings, he said in remarks at T.C. Williams High School auditorium.
Euille made another plug for bringing the National Science Foundation to Alexandria, which is currently home to sister agency the Patent and Trademark Office.
We are "committeed to making sure all voices [will] be heard," he said, referring to the city's new What's Next Alexandria initiative.
He also noted that Alexandria did not suffer even one homicide in 2012 and called that a testament to the city's neighborhoods. However, he said he favored tightening gun laws—a comment that attracted a hearty round of applause.
Euille was first elected to City Council in May 1994. He became the city's first African-American mayor in 2003 and was relected in 2006, 2009 and 2012.