After 12 years, the city of Rye will change leadership today.
Doug French will be sworn as Rye's new mayor during a 4 p.m. ceremony at Rye City Hall.
French, a Republican, defeated outgoing mayor Steve Otis by garnering 58 percent of the vote in the November election. He and his running mates—Suzanna Keith, Richard Filippi and Peter Jovanovich—campaigned on a platform of change, lower taxes and fiscal responsibility.
Keith, Filippi and Jovanovich also will be sworn in today.
The new city council members and French will have a full plate when they assume their new roles at city hall. The council passed a tight budget on Dec. 16, during its last meeting of the year. The budget includes no 2010 raises for city hall employees and a tax increase that is slightly less than 1.6 percent.
After the budget was passed, French told Patch in an interview that he had concerns about next year's revenue projections. He said his main priority will be to ensure that Rye is on firm financial footing.
"This budget has a lot of risks in terms of its revenue forecasts," he said. "When you look at what's happening with the county and the state, 2010 is going to be a very difficult year."
French said cuts in state funds, like Governor Paterson's $750 million withholding of aid to schools and local governments, will impact the city's finances and force it to make difficult decisions about its expenses.
"On day one we'll start planning for the 2011 budget and look at the revenue forecast, as well as expenses, because expenses cannot continue to rise," French said.
French will preside over his first Rye City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 6.