By Shereen Siewert

Members of the Marathon County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a successor for Clerk Nan Kottke, who retired Friday after 48 years of service.

Following a closed session discussion, Kim Trueblood’s appointment was affirmed by a vote of 27-5. Trueblood was one of 45 candidates for the job, said Marathon County Deputy Administrator Lance Leonhard. The field of candidates was narrowed to five finalists, who were interviewed by board members in open session before a selection panel chose Trueblood as the top candidate.

As an elected official, Kottke’s term would have ended in April 2020. But the board in August, after the job posting closed, voted against holding a special election and instead chose to appoint an applicant to the office.

Board members initially were set to discuss Trueblood’s appointment last week, but the discussion was postponed to allow for additional investigation into Trueblood’s background, Marathon County Administrator Brad Karger said, in a phone interview with Wausau Pilot and Review. After the investigation concluded, the selection committee reaffirmed its position that Trueblood was the best candidate, Karger said.

County clerks handle a wide range of duties, from overseeing all elections to serving as chief clerk of the county court system. He or she issues marriage licenses and is responsible for legal publications. The county clerk also serves the county commission as its secretary, setting the agenda, recording minutes and votes, and handling administrative tasks for commissioners.

As chief election officer, a clerk maintains voter registration rolls and registers new voters. He or she collects fees and financial disclosure reports filed by candidates vying for public office. The clerk is responsible for appointing, recruiting, and training election workers and overseeing ballots, voting equipment, and polling places. When citizens submit petitions to recall a public official, or an initiative for the ballot, the clerk handles the documents in accordance with state and federal law.

Prior to her appointment Trueblood worked since June 2018 as an administrative specialist in the Marathon County Clerk’s office. She is a former substitute teacher with the Wausau School District was also a seven-year member of the Board of Canvass for Marathon County, according to her application materials.