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Shawn Reilly sworn in as Waukesha's new mayor

Eric Payne also selected as city's new Common Council president

Shawn Reilly gets sworn in as the City of Waukesha's new mayor Tuesday night at the Waukesha Common Council meeting by Clerk-Treasurer Gina Kozlik.

Shawn Reilly gets sworn in as the City of Waukesha's new mayor Tuesday night at the Waukesha Common Council meeting by Clerk-Treasurer Gina Kozlik. Photo By Christopher Kuhagen

April 15, 2014

One era officially ended while another began Tuesday night at Waukesha City Hall. 

After Jeff Scrima presided over his final Common Council meeting, Shawn Reilly was sworn in as the new mayor of Waukesha.

Brian Running was also sworn in as the new city attorney. Running defeated Waukesha Plan Commissioner Rick Congdon in the general election April 1.

Running is replacing longtime attorney Curt Meitz, who is retiring after almost 30 years with the city. 

Reilly, formerly a municipal attorney, easily defeated Scrima (62 to 38 percent) on April 1 to become the new mayor.  

In addition, many aldermen were sworn in to another term. These included Eric Payne (District 2), Christopher Hernandez (District 3), Peter Bartels (District 5), Adam Jankowski (District 6), Daniel Manion (District 7), Steve Johnson (District 10) and Andy Reiland (District 13).

All ran unopposed on April 1 except Reiland, who beat Dean Lemke to retain his seat.

Payne was also voted as the new Common Council president at Tuesday's meeting. 

He has been an alderman for 10 years, the third-longest of the 15 aldermen. Payne received nine of the 15 votes in a closed ballot selection process. Alderman Joe Pieper received the other six votes. This is the first time Payne was voted as Common Council president.

Payne replaces Common Council President Terry Thieme. 

Scrima had a few parting words before receiving a street sign that read "Scrima Drive" from Thieme. 

"Serving the citizens of Waukesha has been a pleasure and my hope is that the city continues its upward trajectory," Scrima said.

Scrima then left and Reilly took over for the second meeting and issued his state of the city address.

He said his No. 1 goal will be advocating for the city's approval of Great Lakes water. 

"I will provide unwavering support," Reilly said. "A large part of Waukesha's future success will depend on whether we are successful in this endeavor."

The city is under a 2018 deadline to have radium-compliant water and its application needs the approval of the governors of the eight Great Lakes states. Waukesha entered into an agreement with the City of Oak Creek in late 2012 for the purchase of Lake Michigan water. 

"It's the most important issue in Waukesha," Reilly said. 

Waukesha's water issue was one of the topics Reilly recently addressed in the second part of a two-part interview with Waukesha NOW

Reilly also said he will fulfill a campaign promise in having city government be more transparent. 

This will happen by having the packets the aldermen receive for meetings on the city's website. These packets provide more detail of what the elected officials will be discussing and voting on at meetings.

Currently, only the agendas are available for the public to see on the city's website. Reilly said residents can expect to see this change within two months.

Moreover, Reilly said, along with the city's Information Technology Department, the city's meetings will be streamlined on the city's website. This could begin by July, he said.

Alderman Vance Skinner said Wednesday the process to have these initiatives implemented began three years ago and the legwork on the project was done by the Information Technology Advisory Committee.

This included Skinner, former Alderman John Kalblinger, citizen members Don Shelley, Michael Sturino and Robert Stedman as well as Bret Mantey, who works in the city's IT Department and Project Manager Chris Pofahl. 

"It didn't happen overnight," said Skinner, adding the funding just recently became available for the city to implement the initiatives.

Any meetings that will happen inside the Common Council Chambers (Plan Commission and Common Council) will be streamlined live on the city website and will be archived, Skinner said.

The change to more electronic packets online is also a cost-saving measure for the city, Skinner added.  

Skinner said he's happy Reilly has been on board with the change.

"Everyone will have a much better opportunity to participate in city government," Reilly said. 

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