Welcome Williams, new style

Arlington doesn’t change mayors very often. So it’s not surprising that a full house turned out Tuesday night as new Mayor Jeff Williams took office, only the city’s third leader of the 21st century.

Williams, president of a civil engineering firm, gave an inaugural address, speaking at length about Arlington’s image, particularly at one recent business meeting in New York.

Williams recalled meeting with leaders of a global architecture firm in a New York skyscraper.

They praised Arlington: “There is not another city with a major amusement park, a major league baseball team, professional football, a premier special events center and a major university, all at the gateway of an international airport.”

Those are reassuring words in Arlington, stung slightly Tuesday when new census figures dropped the city to No. 51 nationally, replaced at No. 50 by a recovering New Orleans.

The evening’s most telling moment came when Williams talked about collaboration.

Succeeding Mayor Robert Cluck, an obstetrician with a reputation for leading with delivery-room authority, Williams drew loud applause simply by saying, “I will be willing to change my mind.”