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Walsh sworn in as Syracuse's 54th mayor

Ellen Abbott
Ben Walsh was sworn in Sunday as Syracuse's 54th mayor

The city of Syracuse has a new mayor. Ben Walsh officially became the Syracuse’s 54th mayor at midnight, and Walsh’s swearing in ceremony Sunday was a family affair.

Walsh was sworn by his aunt, Judge Martha Walsh Hood, using the bible of his grandfather, William Walsh, who was mayor of Syracuse in the 1960s.

Walsh says he felt a connection with the story of this bible.

“It was a gift to my grandfather from the local labor union and given my personal history with laborers, and my family, when we talked about what bible to use, it felt like the right one,” said Walsh.

The only comments at the brief ceremony came from Walsh’s father, Jim, who spent many days in Syracuse City Hall as a Common Councilor, and later represented central New York in Congress.

Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO News
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh's father, Jim Walsh, speaks during his son's inauguration ceremony. Jim Walsh served as a Syracuse Common Councilor and later served in Congress.

“The people of Syracuse have given you a great honor and  great responsibility. Just as they did for your father and your grandfather.  Use it wisely,” Jim Walsh said. 

Ben Walsh then signed the book that all new mayors sign, one that already had the name of his grandfather in it. And he says he’s ready to bring the Walsh family history of service to a city much different than the one his grandfather led.

“From the moment I was elected, I’ve been working hard building my team, getting ready for this moment.  And I’m ready.  So I have no doubt there will be some surprises along the way, and it's a daunting challenge, but it’s one I that I believe I’m up for.”

There will be an inauguration ceremony for the public on January 6.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.