CINCINNATI — Cincinnati's newly elected mayor and other city officials took their oaths of office Sunday on the same day that hundreds of people opposed to the mayor's goal of derailing Cincinnati's streetcar held a show of support for the project.
The mayor and city council members were sworn in at two ceremonies Sunday.
The city's charter calls for the mayor and council to officially take office at 11 a.m. Dec. 1. Mayor John Cranley and council members took their first oaths at the required time Sunday at City Hall. The swearing-in ceremonies were repeated later in the afternoon at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
The second ceremony was held because the earlier time caused conflicts with church services for many people who officials said would like to see the inaugurations.
Cranley, a former councilman, won the Nov. 5 election, and three of nine council members are newly elected.
The ceremonies came just a day before city council members are to hold two meetings involving the streetcar project that Cranley and some council members oppose.
Hundreds of supporters of the streetcar gathered along the tracks and in a city park Sunday afternoon for a news conference and demonstration aimed at sending their message to city officials.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Ryan Messer, an organizer with the group "We Believe in Cincinnati," said Sunday that cancelling the project "would be a catastrophic loss to the city and the region."
Cranley and other opponents have said the project is a waste of city money.
The city is in the first phase of the $133 million project including laying track for the electric streetcar that would run on a 3.6-mile route through the city's urban center.
Streetcar supporters say they would like to submit the issue to a referendum before any City Council action is taken to interrupt the project.