Madeline Rogero was sworn in as the 68th mayor of Knoxville on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 at the Jacob Building in Chilhowee Park. She is the first woman to hold the office.
"We built our campaign on diversity and inclusiveness, and that is how we will govern," Rogero said in her inaugural address, to a standing-room crowd in the historic building. "All of us are Knoxville, and Knoxville will only become greater if all of us are involved and respected."
Among those in attendance were Governor Bill Haslam, who was mayor of Knoxville from 2003 until January of this year, and former mayors Victor Ashe and Randy Tyree. The ceremony also included the swearing-in of four new members of City Council: George Wallace (At-Large Seat A), Marshall Stair (At-Large Seat B), Finbarr Saunders (At-Large Seat C), and Mark Campen (Fifth District). Incumbent John R. Rosson Jr. was sworn in for another term as Municipal Court Judge.
In her speech, Rogero emphasized economic development radiating out from the city's center, the promotion of Knoxville as a place for outdoor recreation, and commitment to environmental protection. "We must be bold in charting our economic future," she said, "willing to think in new ways, embracing new technologies, and working in stronger partnerships among the private and public sectors."
Speaking before Rogero's swearing-in, Haslam urged Rogero and the new Council members to make the most of their terms. "It is a rare treat to be able to serve the city that you call home," he said. "Enjoy every minute of it."
The invocation was delivered by Father Ragan Schriver, executive director of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, and the benediction by Pastor Harold A. Middlebrook Sr. of Canaan Baptist Church of Christ.
The Master of Ceremonies was Rogero's immediate predecessor, Daniel T. Brown, who was appointed to serve as mayor after Haslam resigned to become governor. Brown noted that it has been a historic year for the city. "Knoxville has seen its first African-American mayor, and now it will see its first female mayor," Brown said. "We have come a long way in our city."
Brown will continue to serve as the Sixth District representative on City Council.
Immediately after the inauguration and a reception, the new City Council held a short meeting to select a vice mayor. Councilman Nick Pavlis was elected to the post.