APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) Tuesday marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one for the City of Appleton. Mayor Tim Hanna will be moving on to other opportunities after 24 years of service to the city, and Mayor-elect Jake Woodford will be sworn-in tonight.
Hanna joined Local 5 This Morning for his last Community Update to take the time to thank everyone who has helped him along the way, and talk about how he’s feeling after representing the city for over two decades.
“A lot of mixed emotions,” Hanna said. “I’m going out feeling very confident that the city’s going to be just fine.”
When asked about any accomplishments that he was particularly proud of, Hanna said the answer is always the same.
“It’s not necessarily what you see, it’s not the big projects – it’s really the people, the culture we’ve been able to instill in our staff and out into the community,” Hanna said. “A culture of being welcoming, being open, being honest with each other, really caring about the community. That’s really what I’m most proud of.”
We asked Mayor Hanna about what he’ll the miss the most.
“What I’m really going to miss is seeing people everyday, going to work, interacting with them, working to solve problems, communicating with them, laughing with them,” Hanna said. “That day to day interaction is really, I think the thing I’m going to have to work really hard at making sure I’m creating to have opportunities to have that with a new set of colleagues and a new set of cohorts in a new position and in my new direction.”
Speaking of new position, Hanna will be taking on the role as Executive Director for the Local Government Institute of Wisconsin.
“It’s [an organization] that I helped start about 12 years ago,” Hanna said. “We exist to foster greater collaboration amongst all units of local government from counties, and cities, and villages, and towns. As we all work through this pandemic and trying to figure out how to use our resources to continue to extend services to our citizens, I think there’s going to be a lot of fertile ground and lessons learned here that we might be able to capitalize on. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues all across the state to just make local government better.”
Jake Woodford beat out James Clemons in the April 7th primary to become Appleton’s next mayor. Hanna endorsed Woodford before the election, and said that he’s the right guy for the job.
“Jake’s been great,” Hanna said. “We’ve spent a lot of time together, he’s getting to know the staff. He joined our staff meeting yesterday and it was really good. We had a full day of meetings and issues that we were talking about yesterday. We’ll go through the logistical, procedural things of how the council meeting might flow – what he might anticipate coming up in those public-type venues with managing a council meeting and those types of things.”
Mayor Hanna then thanked Appleton residents for making the city a special place to live and work.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to be able to serve the community that has been my home my entire life. I love the people. Here’s what I would say: Don’t take for granted what we have because it’s pretty special,” Hanna said. “It’s special because of you, because of the people that live here. I hear it from people on the outside. They come here and it doesn’t take them too long and they say, ‘there’s something different here.’ And I say, ‘ok, what? Name it.’ [They say] ‘I can’t name it, it’s a feeling.’ And that’s the culture piece. People are friendly, they’re helpful, they’re respectful, they respect each other. We really shouldn’t take that for granted. We should celebrate that because it’s really a great thing and it makes this place really special.”
Local 5 wants to thank Mayor Hanna for his years of service and for joining Local 5 This Morning every other week for his Community Update segment on the show. We wish you nothing but the best of luck!