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New Portsmouth mayor takes office

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - John Rowe took his oath of office, becoming the mayor of the city on Friday night. He promised to bring more civility to the city council.

"We can get a lot done," Rowe said. "Come July 2017, I want the seven of us to be breathless," he said. Rowe defeated Kenny Wright in the election in November.

Council meetings over the past year have been tense at times with members getting fined. Mayor Wright even got charged after a dispute with Sheriff Bill Watson. The case was later dropped. Rowe hopes events like that are part of the past. "We're looking to solidify the trust that we have between our city and its citizens," he said.

Rowe was city manager until Wright and others voted to fire him April 2015. Rowe called Friday a "new day" for the city.

City council members Elizabeth Psimas, Nathan Clark, and Lisa Lucas-Burke were also sworn in during the event at I.C. Norcom High School. Rowe says the council needs to work together to get the job done.

Now former Mayor Kenny Wright posted on Facebook on Friday night. He wrote, "We need to rise above "Pettiness" and move our city forward!"