A standing room only crowd in Racine's Common Council chamber broke into thunderous applause as John Dickert took the oath of office to become the next mayor of the city, four months after scandal forced Gary Becker to resign with 2 years left on his term in office. Dickert thanked Tom Friedel for doing an exceptional job as interim mayor for the last 4 months, and the people of Racine for "the opportunity to work with you to move the city in a new direction."
"The city is facing major challenges: rising crime, high unemployment and deteriorating neighborhoods," said Dickert. "Now is the time to make an active commitment, to not hide under the cover of indecision but rather, face these issues directly." Dickert said "in difficult times people look for a turning point, at a time when they've had enough of the past and crave a new future and that turning point is today."
The emotion of the moment crept into Mayor Dickert's words in reference to something his father taught him about doing a job. "My father always said it's what you say, it's what you do." Tom Friedel goes back to being an alderman while former Mayor Gary Becker continues sex addiction treatment and returns to court next month. The former mayor faces multiple felony charges in a child porn Internet sex sting case.