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Portsmouth Mayor-Elect John Rowe outlines plan for city

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - A major shakeup in Portsmouth--Kenny Wright is out and John Rowe is in.

This all comes after Wright and city council fired Rowe last year.

Rowe said he has a lot of things to get accomplished.

The first, bringing back civility, both among the council and in their interactions with the public.

“We've got to address our schools. We got 19 schools in Portsmouth and only eight are fully accredited. Schools are so important for everything. They value of our homes, the ability to attract new businesses,” Rowe said.

But getting those ideas up and running may not be easy.

Last year, council members fired Rowe as city manager for allegedly proposing a 17 cent tax increase.

"I don't think that's gonna be a problem at all,” Rowe told News 3.

That's because Portsmouth voters also elected two new council members.

Council members Louise Lucas-Clarke and Nathan Clark, along with Rowe, were backed by the grassroots movement People for Portsmouth.

"It`s a brand new council. It`s entirely different. There`s more than a super majority of like-minded folks who want to get the same thing done. Which is to make sure Portsmouth future is bright,” Rowe said.

With a new council underway, he says the biggest challenge will be time.

"I think the clock is going to be our worst enemy in the sense that there`s not going to be enough time. But we're looking forward to a new day in Portsmouth,” he said.

He's expected to take office early next year.

Mayor Wright congratulated Rowe on social media, which Rowe says he greatly appreciated.