After living in Oak Creek for 32 years and serving as the town clerk when it was a part-time job in the 1970s, Karen Halterman decided it was time to try the job again.
Oak Creek Mayor Kathy "Car--go" Rodeman announced Tuesday that the Oak Creek Town Board had selected Halterman, a board member herself, to serve as its first town clerk in more than 25 years.
"It was a really, really tough decision," Rodeman said.
"The Town Board deliberated about 1 1/2 hours (Monday night) after we had interviewed the three candidates. Two of them were so close it was unbelievable."
Several factors came into play as Town Board members interviewed and discussed the three Oak Creek residents who applied for the job, including knowledge of the town and residency, Rodeman said.
"(Halterman) is aware of everything" she said.
"She's helped take care of some of the town's issues that have fallen by the wayside since Nancy left."
Oak Creek's former town clerk, Nancy Crawford, died in November. Rodeman said the town knew Crawford's position would not be filled until after the holidays out of "respect for (Crawford's) work and her family."
Tonight, Halterman will attend her last meeting as mayor pro-tem and an administrative commissioner on the board, Rodeman said.
"That is the one downside," Rodeman said. "(Halterman) is going to have to step down from the board."
Halterman said Tuesday that she was thrilled to have been selected for the job and hoped to live up to Crawford's standards.
"I'm honored," she said. "I am going to try my best because this is a very complex and challenging job."
Halterman had served as the town clerk in the 1970s and as mayor in the 1990s.
"I am familiar with what's going on in the town. I look forward to bringing that knowledge into my new position. I love my community. I am honored to serve it in another fashion," she said.
Halterman said she couldn't help but feel a little sad about leaving the Town Board.
"I've really enjoyed being on the board," she said. "I've always felt it a privilege. It's great that everyone has the opportunity to have that experience."
Rodeman said the town would immediately begin accepting letters of intent from Oak Creek residents who would like to fill the vacant seat on the Town Board.
Rodeman said interested parties need to be at least 18 years old and have lived in the town for at least six months to be eligible for the spot.
Letters are due to the town hall by 5 p.m. Jan 23 for the town employees to prepare agenda packets for selected person for the Jan. 26 Town Board meeting.
"I hope that I continue to gather knowledge from this job and shine as Nancy did -- if that's even possible," Halterman said.