Van Akkeren ready to "hit the ground running" as Sheboygan mayor

SHEBOYGAN -- The city of Sheboygan is in the beginning of a transition, after Terry Van Akkeren defeated Bob Ryan during the mayoral recall election. People in Sheboygan say they hope the transition will be a smooth one, after being forced to deal with what many people call "rough patches" for both the city, and outgoing mayor Bob Ryan over the past few years.

CLICK HERE for full election results via the Sheboygan City Clerk's Office.

Van Akkeren stood with his wife, Sue inside Sheboygan City Hall, as he prepared to get to work as the city's mayor-elect. "We're hitting the ground running, and we're ready to go!" Van Akkeren said.

Van Akkeren spent Wednesday Feb. 22, at a City Hall meeting with department heads and other leaders, to begin working on his move into the office of mayor. He'll have some help from outgoing mayor, Bob Ryan. "(Ryan) called (Tuesday) night and said that we should get together and he'll bring me up-to-date on things that he's working on, so we can have a smooth transition," Van Akkeren said.

Ryan addressed his highly-publicized battle with alcoholism during his concession speech. "When people have personal issues they need to deal with, they should not be ostracized," Ryan said.

Sheboygan residents at Field to Fork Restaurant said last month they're ready for the city's reputation to be restored. "I think it's best that (Ryan) focuses his energy on his recovery, and I think that's done best with someone else taking the helm as mayor," one resident said. "They need to focus on rebuilding the community and less about petty things that don't help the city," another Sheboygan resident said.

Terry Van Akkeren will take the oath at tonight's common council meeting. Van Akkeren will serve out the remainder of Ryan's term, which ends April 2013.