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In just a few days R.T. Rybak becomes Mayor of the city of Minneapolis, replacing Sharon Sayles Belton after eight years in that office. In this audio excerpt, Sayles Belton formally said goodbye in remarks made to the city council and city staff in newly renovated Minneapolis City Council chambers.


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SPEAKER: We should all take pride in our many accomplishments. It is clear that the city is thriving. Our children and our families have more support and resources to lead strong and healthy lives. More support today than they had eight years ago.

We've joined with our schools in their mission to provide quality education for every child. Our neighborhoods are revitalized. And we are, indeed, building the housing to meet the needs of our citizens at all stages of their life.

We've grown our tax base. And our prosperity is providing more people with jobs and opportunities for economic self-sufficiency. We have turned those brown fields along the banks of the Mississippi River into green fields, and have given life to a remarkable, a remarkable renaissance on the Mississippi River.

Our work is not yet done. We will go upriver. And we will bring the prosperity to the north end of the Mississippi as well.


This is a great city, ladies and gentlemen. And it is great, for the most part, because of the goodwill of the citizens that live here. We should all share the credit for the remarkable record that we have.

I do love this city with all of my heart. And I do love the people that live here. I am proud and I'm humbled to have spent 18 years in public service to the citizens of this community. And I loved every minute of it.

I actually believe that individuals can and do make a difference. I've made a difference. And so have each and every one of you.

As I leave office, I ask those of you who will follow, who will stay here on the council and serve to continue our commitment to serve and meet the needs of all the people. Not some of the people, but all the people. Not the people just in the neighborhoods, but the people downtown.

Not the people just in the Fertile Crescent, but the people in the core. Not the people who speak up, but the people who can't speak, who won't speak. Serve them.

I am so proud of the things that we have accomplished together. And we couldn't have done it unless we worked as a team. So today, I get to say goodbye to my team members.

Some of you will stay on the team and work hard for the city. Work hard for the city and make the prosperity, grow, nurture the seeds that we've planted. They're taking the city in a direction that it needs to go. Thank you.



Digitization made possible by the State of Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, approved by voters in 2008.

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