WAUSAU — The Wausau Town Council accepted the resignation of Council Member Kerry Collins during Thursday’s council meeting.
Mayor B.J. Phillips read a letter from Collins which cited “personal choices and health reasons” for his decision to resign from the council. The resignation letter was dated Dec. 30 and stated that Collins would resign immediately.
“We hate to see him go,” Phillips said. “He knows what he has got to do and hopefully we will see him back here someday.”
Phillips asked the council for suggestions as to who could fill Collins’ seat until the city election in December.
“I have to make a replacement, but looking at the city policy I don’t see a time sequence on the process,” Phillips said, adding he would like to have a nominee in place for the February meeting so the council could vote on the nominee and swear them into office at that meeting.
“I would like to see if Roger Hagan would be interested,” Council Member Dallas Carter said. “He has the experience and he could fill in, if he would be willing.”
Hagan was formerly the mayor of Wausau but he retired in 2012. Phillips said that in February Hagan would have been retired for 13 months, which would be long enough for him to be eligible to serve on the council again.
Council Member Marlene Blount also suggested John Earl Walsingham as a possible interim council member. “He has also done it in the past,” she said.
“Both of these are excellent candidates,” Phillips said. He asked the council members to contact the nominees and see if they would be willing to serve.
Phillips also asked the council if the town hall could be used as an emergency shelter in the future.
The Washington County Office of Emergency Management contacted Phillips and asked if it could add the town hall to its list of potential shelters.
“I don’t think it is very likely to ever happen, but if there were a family passing through and the weather was such that they needed a place to spend the night, could we do that?” Phillips asked.
“We’d never be a place where you could set up cots and a kitchen, and if we had someone stay here, I’d be willing to stay here with them,” Phillips said. “It wouldn’t be one of those situations where you just open up the building and turn them loose.”
John Foster invited the council members to the Washington County Emergency Management Office for an Arbor Day observance at 10 a.m. on Jan. 17.
“In Florida, Arbor Day is celebrated on Jan. 17, and the Wausau Garden Club is going to be planting a tree at the EOC in honor of the city’s former clerk, Margaret Riley,” Foster said.
The public is invited to the Arbor Day event.