Mayor Ehley Takes Office, Presiding Over Newly Constituted Council

Largely ceremonial meeting launches new course for city, with Ald. Dennis McBride taking the post of Common Council president.

With a bit of pomp and circumstance, the new mayor of Wauwatosa and a Common Council with three — soon to be four — new members was sworn to duty Tuesday night.

Raising their right hands, took their oaths from City Clerk Carla Ledesma, each identifying themselves by name and district and then continuing in unison, "We who have been elected to the office of...."

Absent from the swearing was Ald. Eric Meaux, who was elected but had then announced his resignation as he takes a new job away from the Milwaukee area.

Kathy Ehley, now officially mayor, swore her fealty to Wauwatosa moments later, and then took over the chair to preside over the council from Ald. Dennis McBride — who had earlier been nominated as the new president of the council.

It's all a bit confusing to the onlooker. McBride had not yet been officially confirmed as president, yet there he was presiding. Acting Mayor Meaux, who might have been handing over the keys, was not present.

Ehley had to sit in the audience until invited to swear her service, yet she had already made appointments.

Earlier, the new council — new members not yet sworn — had nominated McBride as president and Ald. Kathleen Causier to the Plan Commission, Ald. Craig Wilson to the Economic Development Advisory Commission, and brand-new Ald. Joel Tilleson to the Wauwatosa Economic Development Corp.

In other words, as official as a swearing in might appear to be, it's mainly for show. Officials have powers outside of public meetings when their elections are certified, which happened more than a week ago.

At any rate, Ehley took office and quickly ran through an agenda composed mainly of a handful of liquor license requests, all approved, and oversaw the perfunctory paying of bills and claims — her only small stumble coming when she forgot that required a roll call vote.

No problem. Flanked by veterans Ledesma and City Attorney Alan Kesner, she was quietly corrected, grinned, admitted her mistake and redirected the procedure.

Wauwatosa's bills were paid.


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