Boyd previously served on the council from 1978 to 1982. He was reelected in 2006.
Before strolling down memory lane, Boyd was asked about his priorities as mayor.
The short answer? Support local businesses.
“I don’t want to see empty stores or empty buildings,” Boyd said.
Boyd urged folks to patronize local businesses and to urge owners of commercial properties to drop rents to help businesses hang on until the summer, which usually brings in tourists that translates to income.
“Some local landlords have already reduced rents by 30% and are ready to go to 50%,” Boyd said.
Another goal is some streamlining at City Hall to make it more people friendly.
“But take an overall look at our employees — they do a very good job,” Boyd said. “But I know we have some problems, and we are working on it.”
With a 10% drop in sales tax and a dramatic decrease in bed taxes, the city will have to tighten its belt, according to Boyd.
“We have to work together to keep us solvent,” Boyd said.
Steps have already been taken. Fees for parking spaces for downtown employees were reduced and the council approved in December City Manager Ken Frank’s suggestion to increase the budget reserve from 10% to 15% of the general fund, which will help carry the city through the recession.
“The council has to make sure that every one of our 25,000 people are taken care of,” Boyd said.
Responding to longtime resident Barbara Painter’s question about what the council could do about out-of-town property owners, who she said don’t care about the community and are asking exorbitant rents, Boyd’s answer was “not much.”
“There is no legal way for the council to install rent control,” Boyd said.