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Bloomberg becomes mayor of New York City
NEW YORK -- Billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg was sworn in as mayor of New York City on Tuesday and issued a call for shared sacrifice to tackle the city's problems.
"To meet the challenges facing our city, we must work together to draw upon the energy, entrepreneurship and talent of all New Yorkers," Bloomberg said in a New Year's Day inaugural address. "We are the toughest, most resilient and most determined people on the planet.
"Throughout our history, New Yorkers have made the sacrifices necessary to achieve a better tomorrow, and there will be a better tomorrow," he added.
The 59-year-old political novice enters office faced with three consecutive years of budget gaps greater than $3 billion, an underperforming 1.1-million student school system and a citizenry still jittery from the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, subsequent anthrax attacks and countless false alarms.
Saying that New York would have to learn to make do with less, he announced a 20 percent cut in staffing at the mayor's office. Bloomberg then challenged the city council, the public advocate, the comptroller and the borough presidents to do the same, a proposal met with scattered boos from the politically connected audience outside City Hall.
Bloomberg took his third oath of office standing beside his 92-year-old mother, Charlotte, at City Hall on Tuesday. His first oath came before the city clerk Monday afternoon. He was also sworn in by the man he replaced, fellow Republican Rudolph Giuliani, in the middle of Times Square just minutes after the crystal ball dropped.