A large number of Erie community and political leaders attended today's swearing in of Mayor Joe Schember, along with many of his family plus friends and supporters.

Most leaders said Schember's message and campaign make them encouraged about the future.

His message of optimism and hope for a transformation of Erie, seemed exactly what many community leaders wanted to hear.

They said while the city clearly faces challenges including crime, blight and lost jobs, they think there are encouraging signs like the multi-million dollar expansion at Erie Insurance.

They think Schember is ready to help move the city forward.

Local businessman and developer Rick Griffith said, "We have a good start. It is a great time for the City of Erie. There is a lot of hope. Now we have to take that hope and turn it into reality."

Erie lawyer Ron DiNicola said, "I see in him a willingness to listen and learn and engage himself in new opportunities."

City Council member Sonya Arrington said, "We definitely need change. I think Joe Schember is the man to do that for us."