WILKES-BARRE -- It was the moment Tony George has been waiting for for months. The city's former top cop took the oath of office for mayor at city hall, it’s first new mayor in 12 years, promising to clean up crime.
"I told everybody I was going to hit the ground running, and that's what I’m going to do,” he said.
George has interviewed candidates for the city's next police and fire chiefs. He did not name who they'd be, but George wants to tackle violent crime by placing more men and women in blue patrolling streets.
“Visibility is a deterrent,” George said. “People don't see police, they think nobody's around. They see them they have second thoughts of whatever they're doing."
George also wants to continue the development of Public Square and the city's neighborhoods. For that, he already has new Councilwoman Beth Gilbert on the job.
“One of the big things we hear from constituents is the fountain,” she said. “They really want to see the fountain up and running.”
Gilbert is one of three new councilmembers to the five-person body — and is also the youngest. She's still in college, studying political science at Wilkes University. But now, the city will also be her classroom.