WAUSAU — The Wausau Town Council selected a new town clerk Monday — JoAnn Hayes.


WAUSAU — The Wausau Town Council selected a new town clerk Monday — JoAnn Hayes.



Hayes was one of 14 applicants that the council vetted over a period of a couple of weeks, meeting three times to discuss the applicants in a special workshop then meeting twice to interview candidates.



“I was really nervous,” Hayes said, “I was out here pacing, I didn’t know what they would think of me,” she added with a laugh.



Hayes waited outside Town Hall while the decision was made. The council members nominated three potential candidates then, through a process of roll-call voting on each nominee, Hayes was selected, receiving a 3-2 vote by the council.



Two of the clerk’s job applicants were related to town council members, one a granddaughter and the other a niece, said Mayor B.J. Phillips.



“We have a good attorney, he was looking out for us,” Phillips said of City Attorney Jeff Goodman, who advised the council that the niece was not eligible to apply due to state nepotism laws, while the granddaughter was eligible to apply, but her grandfather was not allowed to vote on the matter.



Phillips said he thought it was strange that by state statute, a council member’s granddaughter could work for the city while a council member’s niece could not.



“It has to be a mistake,” Phillips said. “When they were writing that law, it was probably young fellows and the idea of grandchildren didn’t pop into their heads.”



Council Member Marlene Blount said she supported Hayes as a candidate due to her volunteer efforts with the town of Wausau.



“She has done a lot for the fire department, and she was out there working on Fun Day,” Blount said, referring to Saturday’s Possum Festival Fun Day held at the Dalton Carter Recreation Center.



Current City Clerk Margaret Riley gave the town notice in June that she wished to retire in September, and the town began the search for a replacement.



Hayes said she lives near the town hall and applied for the job so she could be close to home and nearer to her mother.



Hayes works for the Washington County Court of Clerk’s office and Clerk of Court Linda Cook.



“Ms. Cook has been just wonderful, she was very supportive of my career,” Hayes said.



The council will meet again at 6 p.m. Thursday, at which time Hayes’ salary and schedule will be set, Riley said.



“We want to get her going as soon as possible so Margaret can have at least a month to train her,” Phillips said.