Strange prepares for ceremony, City Hall

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- The stage is set, and the hours are ticking away as the City prepares to usher in Montgomery's next mayor.

Todd Strange spent his Sunday getting ready for the task before him--signing "Thank Yous" and touching up his inaugural address.

The mayor elect stands prepared for a busy term.

"We'll start meeting with the various departments to understand their budgets, their personnel needs, and what options we have going forward," he explained to WSFA 12 News reporter Cody Holyoke.

Because of the economy, Strange says those options are limited.

Simply put: the City needs to cut back.  It's a state of mind Strange indicates could mean an additional $20 million pulled from the budget to make up for empty city reserves.

"We're going to budget on functionality. In essence a zero-based budget, so we can take a look at what it really takes to do the essential services," he explained.

Tough financial times could also mean some time off for city workers.

"We don't anticipate any layoffs, but we are looking at furlowing.  We'll have to see what levels and what the impact would be.  If it's not a major impact, we probably wouldn't do it," Strange admitted.

There is positive news.

To offset the effects of the economy, the Mayor-elect is already looking at new ways to bring growth to the city.

"Bringing jobs and creating high paying jobs in Montgomery is the secret to the long term success. And we'll work every day on doing those kinds of things."

Financial woes aside, Strange says the city needs to stand united before any real progress can be made.

"We want to be a community where the West side and the East side and the North side and the South side are all developing," Strange exclaimed.

"We want all of Montgomery to come together, because together we can solve any problem that's out there."

Strange will become Montgomery's next mayor at a special ceremony, which takes place Monday at Gateway Park, starting at 3:00PM.

Count on WSFA 12 News and for complete coverage.