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Nashville Mayor Freddie O'Connell takes oath of office

Freddie O'Connell takes the oath of office.

Freddie O'Connell takes the oath of office from Judge David Briley surrounded by his family. Photo: Nate Rau/Axios

In his first day as mayor of Nashville, Freddie O'Connell had to go through the same human resources onboarding we all encounter when we start a new job.

Driving the news: O'Connell took the oath of office Monday in the courtroom of Judge David Briley, a former Nashville mayor.

  • O'Connell said he had to get his Metro email account reactivated. It had been shut down after his council term ended a few weeks ago.

Zoom out: Once the paperwork was out of the way, O'Connell faced the hard work of running the government of a city facing tremendous challenges: a lagging mass transit system, an ongoing political feud with the state and a complicated riverfront redevelopment project.

Why it matters: For the progressive wing of Metro politics, O'Connell's oath represents a hard-fought political victory, which his supporters hope brings about a back-to-basics approach to government.

What he's saying: O'Connell told reporters a top challenge facing him on Day 1 was the fractured relationship between Metro and the Republican-led state government.

  • "That is also going to be a part of what we get started with today. I have already talked to several state legislators," O'Connell told reporters. "I've talked to folks in the governor's office. I've talked to some of the key constitutional officers at the state level."
  • "Those conversations will continue, because as we re-engage in a conversation of regionalism, we know not just Nashville but all of Middle Tennessee has to be successful. That's only going to happen if this doesn't feel like two warring factions, but rather key partners."

Details: O'Connell said he'd fill out his administration over the next 100 days.

  • As was previously reported by the Nashville Banner, O'Connell confirmed legal director Wally Dietz would stay in his role. Finance director Kelly Flannery is unlikely to stay, O'Connell said.

What's next: A public inauguration celebration will take place at 11:30am Saturday in Public Square Park.