Wailua Houselots resident and councilman Bryan Baptiste became Mayor Baptiste shortly after 1 p.m. Monday before an audience of almost 1,000 local residents and visiting dignitaries gathered in the auditorium of the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.
Baptiste spoke out to the people of Kaua’i and asked for their support and help as he takes on the reins of running the County of Kaua’i.
The new mayor prefaced his speech by saying: “The speech is not filled with details because you will be working with me to work out the details of how we do things.”
He fulfilled his promise, omitting specific issues while focusing on the hoped-for virtues of his administration. They included: support for families; a better economy; sensible, but controlled, growth; an improved infrastructure; better education; and preservation of human resources as well as the natural environment.
Baptiste highlighted virtuous conduct by local government, and the concept of doing government as a team.
“But we…as a team…can not do it alone,” he told the audience. “And we should not do it alone. For this is a task we must all have a hand in completing. My administration will create a government more open than any seen in your lifetimes.”
Baptiste addressed the newly-formed County Council, who sat to his right during the speech, and asked for cooperation: “Let’s work together to earn trust and respect for how well government can serve its people,” he said.
In the audience were members of his new administration, members of the Kaua’i Police Department and Kaua’i Fire Department, family members and a cross section of the Island’s population from every corner of Kaua’i.
Members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha and the Ka’ahumanu Society attended the inauguration, and County Tourism Specialist Nalani Ka’auwai Brun sang the Star Spangled Banner.