WAUSAU — Thursday’s Town Council meeting in Wausau was bittersweet with the council bidding farewell to longtime clerk Margaret Riley and honoring council member Charles Park Sr. for more than 20 years of service.
Riley announced her plans to retire during the June 13 council meeting after 17 years of service as city clerk.
“I appreciate every one of you, and I am going to miss you all,” Riley said to the council.
In August, the council hired JoAnn Hayes to take Riley’s place as city clerk, but Riley stayed on to train her replacement and to help guide the city through the budgeting process, which was completed Thursday night with the council’s adoption of the 2013-14 budget.
Former mayor Roger Hagan was on hand to present Riley with her plaque. “I really appreciate you all letting me be a part of this presentation,” Hagan said. “I can’t tell you how hard Margaret has worked for the city of Wausau over the years.”
Also at Thursday’s meeting was Tom Conley of the Florida League of Cities, who was there to present a certificate of appreciation from the state to council member Charles Park Sr. for his 20-plus years of service to the city of Wausau.
Parks was presented with a framed copy of a resolution of the Florida League of Cities Board of Directors recognizing his 20 years of elected service and commending him for his “unselfish commitment to municipal leadership and governance.”
“Municipal leaders strive for excellence in the governance of their city, town or village, and commit themselves to providing quality services, governing effectively and working to improve the quality of life for their communities,” Conley said. “Several terms in office is a high compliment voters give to an official, and with these years of experience comes a strengthening of wisdom, discernment and strong leadership skills that brings tremendous value to the municipal governments of Florida.”
In other business, the town council approved the adoption of the 2013-14 budget, and approved resolutions allowing the engineering firm Preble-Rish to seek grants for improvements at the Possum Palace and George M. Rogers Park on the town’s behalf.
“We want to do some upgrades at the Possum Palace, redo the roads, upgrade the lighting and maybe build an exercise trail,” said Mayor B.J. Phillips.
“At Rogers Park, we want to try and get a grant to improve the size of the skate park, upgrade the little pavilion and the ball park a little bit,” he added.
Preble-Rish was also tasked by the council with preparing and submitting two projects to the Water Management grant Cycle for a pumping station to increase pressure on Pioneer Road West, and a pumping station on Mud Hill Road to allow water service to Washington County Public Works.
The council also set the town’s Halloween hours for 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 31.