Svante Myrick: First Week In Office

By Jenna Hanchard

January 6, 2012 Updated Jan 8, 2012 at 6:04 PM EST

The City of Ithaca is abuzz with talk of its new mayor.

It's a story that has garnered national attention as he seemingly defied the odds with his election.

Now, one week into office, what course will Svante Myrick chart for the Tompkins County community?

One week down and many more to go for Svante Myrick, the new mayor of the City of Ithaca.

The 24-year-old received nearly 54 percent of the vote in a crowded race and after being sworn in Sunday, the work has already begun.

"People in the City of Ithaca have been kind enough to congratulate me and then remind me of all of the work I have to do in the same sentence," says Myrick.

His predecessor, Carolyn Peterson, can relate.

"There is never ever a dull moment being mayor of the City of Ithaca. I think the most important thing for this first year is to take time to learn as much as you can about the city, about your constituents," she says.

On Myrick's agenda: Creating a blueprint to help grow and develop the City of 30,000 people.

Also, using social media and other tools to reach out to residents.

The mayor's parking space is empty at City Hall.

"Some estimates say that as many as fifteen percent of people in Ithaca walk to work," says Myrick.

Myrick is now part of that 15 percent. The mayor traded in his wheels for his two feet-- deciding to walk and use public transportation.

The Cornell University grad used his quick stride and energy to propel
himself from humble beginnings in Earlville and to snag the top seat in the City.

He hopes to maintain that energy for the next four years and keep meaningful advice in his front pocket.

" You know, your work is never going to be done. You've got to learn to be able to walk away from it, take care of yourself," says former Mayor Carolyn Peterson.

In more ways than one, Myrick is different from those who came before him.

Though, he does not want his race and age to cloud his legacy.

"Much has been made right at this moment about being the first mayor of color and the youngest mayor and all of that is wonderful at this moment but I hope at the end of the term folks can say I was one of the mayors that did my best work and served with passion, that's how I would prefer to be remembered," says Myrick.

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