TALLAHASSEE – Charlie Crist took the oath of office on Jan. 2 during the Official Inaugural Ceremony, making him Florida’s 44th Governor.
Following a 19-gun artillery salute and flyover, provided by the Florida National Guard, Gov. Crist set the tone for his administration in his inaugural address. He reflected on leaders of the past, calling for bi-partisan solutions, outlining his plans for Florida’s future and vowing to work as “The People’s Governor”.
“This will be Florida’s greatest century,” Crist said in a press release about the event. “If we move forward together as Floridians to do the people’s work, there is nothing we cannot achieve - the People’s legislature and the People’s Governor following the People’s Agenda.”
The new governor called for bi-partisanship to address the challenges plaguing Florida’s citizens, specifically the burden of spiraling property insurance costs and rising property taxes. He urged Floridians and lawmakers alike to reach for new conclusions and fresh ideas and emphasized the need for permanent real solutions.
“Our challenge is to recognize our common future, our common destiny, and to understand that we are stronger in cooperation than in competition,” Crist said. “The work we need to do, we can only do together.”
Crist announced he will issue his first Executive Order on Wednesday to establish the creation of the Office of Open Government within the Executive Office of the Governor. The office will ensure that Floridians have access to leaders and the workings of elected officials. Crist explained that a complete and thorough review of every state agency will be conducted to determine how the organization can better serve the people of Florida.
“Our people will not be disenfranchised by the parlance of bureaucracy,” Crist said. “This is the people’s government, and clear, plain language will be used to make it open and transparent to all.”
In addition to Governor Crist and Lieutenant Governor Kottkamp, members of the Florida Cabinet were sworn in at the ceremony today. Charles Bronson took the oath of the office as Commissioner of Agriculture administered by The Honorable Jeffords “Jeff” Miller, Circuit Judge, Osceola County. Alex Sink was sworn in as Chief Financial Officer. Her oath was administered by The Honorable Charles Arnold, Jr., Circuit Judge, Jacksonville. Bill McCollum took the oath of office as Attorney General administered by The Honorable Charles Wells, Justice, Florida Supreme Court.
The Official Swearing in Ceremony was the focal point of the day of inaugural events that began with a prayer breakfast at Florida A&M University’s Gaither Gymnasium this morning. Events following the Official Swearing in Ceremony include the Inaugural Parade and the Governor’s Mansion “The People’s House” Tour and Street Festival.