Manitowoc mayor-elect Justin Nickels steps up this week to lead a city that's being buffeted by the economic downturn. The 22 year-old Nickels admits to some anxiety during last week's recount of results from voting. "There was a lot of sleepless nights since election night, because you never know how the chips may fall," said Nickels.
Nickels, a city council member and college student, faced fellow council member Dave Soelder in the race for mayor. The recount, which turned up 20 ballots not originally counted due to improper markings, gave Nickels 11 more votes, and Soeldner nine. Soeldner conceded on Friday. "It was a hard fought campaign," said Nickels. "Both of us stayed above water in regards to clean campaigning, and I really am honored to be working with him."
Nickels will be sworn in on Tuesday, and then the tough work begins. "The main issue throughout the campaign was the state of our local economy, and the twelve percent unemployment rate that we have to tackle," said Nickels. "I'm going to see what we can do to bring forward every idea possible, to deal with this issue as soon as we can."