Deb Lewis sworn in as new Mayor of Ashland

By KBJR News 1

April 15, 2014 Updated Apr 16, 2014 at 7:51 PM CDT

Ashland, Wis. (NNCNOW.com) -- Mayor Bill Whalen banged the gavel one last time Tuesday before handing it over to the new Mayor.

Deb Lewis is the first woman elected as Mayor of Ashland, and she says getting to this point has been a whirlwind.

"It's been quite an over whelming couple of weeks since the election," said Lewis. "I have been very busy already, even before taking the oath tonight, and I've been meeting with a lot of people."

Whalen says he is excited to see a change in leadership for the city and provided some words of wisdom.

"I think it's time to have a woman as Mayor," said Whalen. "When I place a woman on a committee or on a council, a different conversation takes place and so I think there is a power there that is going to be very beneficial now."

Lewis says she plans to help Ashland's economy by promoting tourism and attracting businesses to the area.

She's also hoping to push several key city projects, one of which includes the redevelopment of the lakefront.

"With the ore dock, I think at the very minimum, we are going to open it up as soon as we can do it; as soon as we can safely do it," said Lewis.

She also hopes to draw more attention to the city as a destination instead of a place people drive past.

"We have great restaurants and recreational opportunities and we want to be discovered."

While Whalen may be wondering what he is going to do with all of his free time, he assures people that it won't be the last time you see him.

"I've got a couple companies looking at me right now, maybe taking me on to further their interest up in Ashland, economic development wise, and that's what I would really like to do."

The Ashland Mayor's position is part time and is a four year term.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.