SHEBOYGAN — Tuesday night marked a new chapter for the City of Sheboygan and its Common Council as Mayor Ryan Sorenson was sworn into office.
He was joined by alders Barb Felde, Roberta Filicky-Peneski, Amanda Salazar, Markus Savaglio, Grazia Perrella and Trey Mitchell, whose seats were all determined in the April election.
Felde was elected unanimously as the new Council President and Filicky-Peneski was voted as Vice President by the council. District 6 Alder Dean Dekker was voted Committee of the Whole Chair.
In his first official speech as mayor, Sorenson once again highlighted that he is "truly a product of Sheboygan".
"After graduation, I came back home because this city has given so much to me, so I ran for city council because I wanted to offer a new voice and a fresh perspective in local government. As an alderperson I learned first hand just how important constituent work is and how we need to work together to solve problems."
Sorenson also took the opportunity to address some of the city's largest and most impeding issues that will face him as soon as he steps into office — the roads, affordable housing, COVID-19 recovery and inclusion.
"It is this reality of our city government that we need to tackle these compelling issues that made me realize I needed to make a difference. These struggles became even more challenging for families that have been impacted by this pandemic, and that is why I stepped up and ran for mayor. As your mayor, I promise I will fight for you every single day and fight for real results for these real problems impacting our community.
"It is critical that we develop a more sustainable economy, which will allow us to better address some of our serious challenges, such as our crumbling roads, tackling housing and the complex challenges that COVID-19 has had on the health and welfare of the citizens and our local businesses.
"As mayor, I will develop and work alongside our public works department to develop strategic plans of how we can actually develop and fix our roads. We have great workers in our public works department, but we need to make sure they have the tools necessary to get the job done and fix our roads.
"As mayor, I will work alongside housing advocates and developers to ensure that we have affordable housing that will benefit our community. We need to focus on building more affordable housing in all aspects that reflect the needs of our community.
"As your mayor, I will also be your leader in ensuring that we have a solid COVID recovery plan and work alongside our local, county, state and federal leaders to make sure families, local businesses, health care organizations and our schools receive the support that they need so we can fully recover from this pandemic.
"As mayor, I will listen to all residents and explore new ways of how to work together to make our city a more welcoming place for everybody. I've already begun to develop a more open and transparent process to appoint citizens to board, commissions and task forces to advise our city in a variety of needs. These residents will reflect the true, rich diversity of our community."
See the full meeting and ceremony courtesy of WSCS here: