Sunday, December 29, 2013NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (Lance Conrad and Stephen Bendig)-- New Wilmington has a bit of a tradition of long-serving mayors. Current Mayor Wendell Wagner is no different. After serving for 4 years on the Lawrence County Commission and 24 as a borough council member, he then took the position of mayor and served there for another 12 years.
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Wagner is a graduate of Wilmington High School and Westminster College and he served in the Army's finance corps in the United States and Europe.
Just turning 80, Wendell's extensive time serving New Wilmington is coming to an end. By the end of this year, he will step down allowing Sherie Babb to step into his shoes as mayor. Babb ran unopposed in the Nov. 2 General Election. She will be the first female mayor in the history of New Wilmington.
"She's a good choice, or I wouldn't have asked her," remarked Wagner in regards to the selection of his successor.
He also mentioned her organization skills, particularly in regards to her operation of the Sesquicentennial. Like Sherie, Wagner has also been known for his organization and report with the town.
"I've never had any real altercations with anyone in my 24 years of borough work."
You can listen to Wagner's conversation with WCN staffer Stephen Bendig in our WCN podcast.
And as he walks away from the position, Wagner looks to travel to fill the time that his position would normally have filled. London specifically seemed of real interest to him while traveling Europe.
"I know the railroad and underground systems in London a lot better than I do in our own area."
He and his wife had previously lived just outside of Paris while Wendell was in the military. He marveled at the architecture specifically in Europe, both in its resiliency and beauty, even saying that it was his favorite part of the places he planned to travel.
But that's all in the future. Wendell is still serving as the active mayor of New Wilmington.
As he prepares to leave, Wendell will continue to perform his duties as mayor and in preparing his successor.
"I just hope that people will support Sherie", he said as our discussion concluded.
And with the backing of a well-respected man with 24 years of dedicated service to this community under his belt, how could we not?
All smiles from the mayor
Mayor Wendell Wagner is all smiles at the Christmas parade.