Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson promised to keep an eye on taxes and spending, appoint an independent integrity commissioner at city hall and help the homeless in his inauguration speech last night.

Watson, who had promised during the campaign to keep tax increases to 2.5 per cent, said he’s asked staff to impose an immediate freeze on hiring, consulting and repurposing unspent accounts until tighter fiscal controls can be brought in.

“City hall needs to show that it understands again just how hard people work for their money,” he said. “I will pinch pennies and I will not let waste slide.”