By Shereen Siewert

Members of the Wausau City Council on Tuesday elected Becky McElhaney as the new council president, the same day newly elected Mayor Katie Rosenberg took office.

McElhaney, who represents Wausau’s 6th Aldermanic District, was elected by a 7-3 vote. Dist. 4 Alderman Tom Neal was also nominated by Dist. 1 Alderman Pat Peckham.

After the results were announced, McElhaney publicly thanked former Council President Lisa Rasmussen for her service and said she is looking forward to serving in her new role.

“There should be no ‘us vs. them,’ only ‘we.'” McElhaney said.

Earlier Tuesday, Mayor Katie Rosenberg took her oath outside City Hall in Wausau. Rosenberg was elected earlier this month, unseating former Mayor Robert Mielke by a 52-57 margin.

Rosenberg said her long-term priorities involve ensuring Wausau residents are safe, have access to the services they need and expect, improving Wausau’s economic development program and processes, crafting clear criteria for developers who want to help grow Wausau using public dollars, and ensuring city officials are defining and working on the community’s strategic goals.

“Right now we’re in the middle of a pandemic so that is on the front burner,” Rosenberg said. “The very first meeting I took today was about the city’s response to COVID-19. Our police, firefighters, emergency responders, and many public works employees are essential so ensuring their safety is a priority. We also need to ensure we’re paying attention to what the state and federal governments are declaring and offering that will affect our city’s residents.”

“We have a lot to accomplish in the next several years and I’m impatient to affect change,” she added. “But be assured, I will be methodical.”