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Mayor John Dickert reflects on 9 years in office as he prepares to resign on Sunday

Racine Mayor John Dickert is resigning effective Sunday night.

He's accepted a job as the president and CEO of the "Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative."

CBS 58 News sat down with Dickert, one last time as mayor.

"It was a pretty rough time back then with crime and unemployment, we were the worst in the state at both," Mayor John Dickert said.

Fixing those two was top of mind when Mayor Dickert took office in 2009.

"We fixed them both. They're not completely fixed because they'll always need fixing but we did what we said we were gonna do and I feel good about that."

Every job has challenges. As mayor, that means 3 a.m. phone calls for problems both big and small and learning the wheels of government turn slowly.

"I expected to have developments happen faster and more rigorously." 

Dickert is hopeful he'll see some projects that are in the works completed. Those include plans for a convention and event center.

But, Mayor Dickert says it's not necessarily what he did in office that he's most proud of, it's how it got done.

"Bringing people together, creating integrated systems which allow not just one of us but all of us to work in them as a team."

When you ask Mayor Dickert what moments stand out most - "One day my son came up to me and we'd just gotten something done that was big and my son said 'my dad did that'."

As he leaves office, Dickert has some advice for his successor.

"It's simple. Always base your decisions on what's right."

And a message for the people of Racine,

"Stay positive, push forward, and demand the best of your elected officials. When all they have to say is no, demand a yes."

Mayor Dickert says he's looking forward not only to his new job but also to having more time with his family. He said his daughter told him she's happy she gets her dad back.

Common Council President Dennis Wiser will take office Monday until a special election is held. 

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