Cronce draws praise at last council meeting

Mayor expresses gratitude to community

Leader photo by Tim Ryan Shawano Mayor Jeanne Cronce is flanked by City Administrator Brian Knapp, left, and City Attorney Tim Schmid at Cronce’s last Common Council meeting as mayor Wednesday. Cronce served for two years before losing re-election this month. Schmid chose not to run for re-election but will be present for one more meeting before he retires following more than 30 years.

Shawano Mayor Jeanne Cronce was treated to words of praise and a round of applause from city officials and staff Wednesday as she presided over her last Common Council meeting.

Her successor, former police chief Ed Whealon, will be sworn in as mayor at a reorganizational meeting Tuesday after defeating Cronce in the April 4 election by a vote of 734 to 700.

Cronce has served two years as mayor.

Alderwoman Lisa Hoffman started the tribute ball rolling during the public recognition portion of the meeting.

“I wanted to thank you for going above and beyond in your duties to the city and what was required in dedicating your time and efforts to serving our community,” she told Cronce.

“I never felt this position was about power or politics to you,” she said. “I know you have a genuine concern for the people of Shawano and still do and have a great concern for our city, and I wanted to thank you for that. I know you came into this position with integrity and are leaving with integrity, and I can’t think of a greater accomplishment.”

Department heads expressed similar sentiments toward Cronce as they opened their monthly reports to the council.

Alderwoman Sandy Steinke also had warm words for City Attorney Tim Schmid, who has served the city for more than 30 years but chose not to run for re-election this year.

“I want to thank you for keeping the city legally running,” Steinke said.

Schmid will still be present for one more meeting next week before he retires.

Cronce said her two years as mayor has been a learning experience.

“It has been a joy to work with all of you,” she said. “I don’t think the general public understands everything that goes into all the time and effort and hard work it takes to run a city and to do it well.”

Cronce said the city’s progress has moved forward over the past two years.

“I certainly hope that our mayor-elect will continue to work with our city staff and citizen groups,” she said. “I’m sure we can keep the momentum going, as it has with the renewed vitality that I have seen in our community.”

Cronce said she would continue to support the forward movement.

“I may not be sitting here, but I’ll be in the balcony, cheering on and helping out where I can,” Cronce said.

“It has been my real honor and pleasure to work with all of you and serve you as mayor,” she said. “Thank you for a very good two years and I will always cherish the time we’ve had.”