It's going to be the end of an era for the city of Atlanta - and for Mayor Kasim Reed.

He's been in office for a total of 2,909 days. And now, with less than two weeks left in his final term, he's reflecting on his 8 years in office.

11Alive's Ron Jones sat down with him for a one-on-one interview. It comes as Reed takes some of his final trips down the halls of his office as the mayor of Atlanta - a time for many things to rush through his mind.

More News

Next Story

Not Available

Just For You

Not Available

Trending

Not Available

"What went through my mind is a dream had come true for me," Reed said. "I had wanted to do this job since I was 13."

Reed, the two-term mayor of Atlanta reflected on the almost 3,000 days he served in the office.

"And my idea is to work right up to the finish line - last day, last hour, last minute," he said.

It's part of his exit interview, so to speak. So, what are the things he's most proud of?

"Opening every single recreation center in Atlanta after two-thirds of them were closed," Reed said. "On any given day, offering care to some 2,000 young people in the city of Atlanta 6 days a week. We provide 65,000 hot meals [to people] who didn't have them before."

And that wasn't all.

Watch the full interview

"We started our Centers of Hope initiative. And then, passing pension reform and saving the accounts of thousands of retirees and really building the city's cash reserves to more than $200 million and having a double AA rating from Standard and Poor's and Moody and Fitch and having no layoffs or furloughs as mayor during the worst economy in 80 years," he added.

But, the mayor also admits he's had to be front and center on a barrage of misfortunes such as the recent major power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport that disrupted airline services across the globe. He was also mayor during the I-85 overpass collapse that crippled transportation for months.

And then, there was the infamous snowstorm that brought unbridled criticism from across the country.

"Definitely one of the toughest days if not the toughest," he said.

SnowJam 2014: Critics said the mayor waited too late to muster resources to deal with an impending mega snow storm.

"One of the toughest days I've had as mayor in the city of Atlanta but, at the end of the day, within the city limits, if you go back and look at the record, the city was up and operational in less than 24 hours.," Reed said. "But a really tough day and I feel awful for the folks who were stranded in cars."

It was a time that he'll never forget.

"I love people, and criticism from across the country really comes with the job of mayor," he said. "When you are the mayor and things go badly, you are the face of the city."

So what's next for Reed? Is he running for a higher office?

Reed said the answer is no. In a few days, his focus will be family time and making room for mayor-elect Keisha Lance Bottoms.

"I'm going to take an extended vacation," Reed said. "I'm going to do very plain and boring stuff. But the biggest thing I'm going to do is stay out of my successor's way."