Three years ago, Nancy Timm decided she would not seek another term as Royalton’s town clerk.
However, the following year, her name was back on the ballot.
“No one came to the caucus to nominate someone,” Timm said. “I said, ‘I will look for someone for next time.'”
This year is “next time,” and there are two candidates for the position.
Timm is not one of them.
After 28 years of serving as Royalton’s clerk, she is not seeking re-election.
Running for the position this April are Debra Buchholz and Florence Tate.
When Timm first ran for town clerk in 1985, she did so with the promise that “all I had to do was to take the minutes, type them up and put the notice in the newspaper.”
That is what Gary Schafer, one of the town’s supervisors said to her, after asking Timm if she was interested in being town clerk.
Timm remembers what her late husband Charles said to her.
“He said, ‘Try for it. You won’t get it anyway.’ And, I’ve run unopposed ever since. I had a few write-ins, but nothing serious,” she said.
Born in Milwaukee, Timm was 4 years old when her family moved to rural Manawa.
She graduated from Little Wolf High School and then went to Oshkosh Business College, taking courses in bookkeeping, shorthand, English and spelling.
“I couldn’t get a hold of shorthand,” she said. “Charlie said, ‘Let’s get married.'”
That was in 1951, and Timm has lived in Royalton ever since.
They adopted three children: two boys and a girl.
Her husband passsed away in 2004, and she later remarried, to Victor Struck.
Timm has eight grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and three more great-grandchildren on the way.
During Timm’s almost 30 years as town clerk, she has worn many hats.
She quickly discovered she liked the job.
“I’ve always liked having everything come out to the penny,” she said.
In regard to the job description Schafer originally presented to her, Timm said, “He had no idea the bookwork involved. In those days – 1985 until 1993 when I got my first computer – I did everything in big ledgers.”
In addition to being Royalton’s clerk, Timm was also the cemetery sexton for Baldwin’s Mill Cemetery and Hobart Cemetery.
“The first thing I had to do was make a new map for Hobart and a new record book for each of them. I started putting the obits in the books when someone passed away,” she said.
Timm will continue to do the cemetery work through the end of this year and said she will also likely serve as deputy clerk through 2013.
Another “hat” Timm had was selling tickets on Saturday mornings at the town’s dump.
That ended in 1990, when the dump closed.
But, soon there was a new job for Timm.
Around that same time, Royalton joined five other communities in building a recycling center.
The town of Little Wolf’s clerk was instrumental in setting it up, and eventually, Timm was asked to take over that job.
She did so for 18 years, retiring last March from it.
Her final “hat” involved building permits.
“We had a deputy zoning administrator. He was going to move from the town. The town talked about what to do,” Timm said. “I opened my mouth and said I would do it, so they stopped looking. So, I had that job until two years ago, when the county took it over.”
As Timm looks back at the past 28 years, she remembers the many years town board meetings were held at her home during the winter months.
The round oak heater in the town hall is at least 75 years old. A supervisor had to go there early to start it, so the hall would warm up in time for the meetings.
If there is one part of her job which changed the most, it is the elections.
“When I started out, all I had to do was get the ballots, call the pollworkers two weeks ahead of time. We didn’t have to do any training,” she said.
In 2006, the town got its first voting machine.
During the last 10 years, election training increased for town clerks.
In regard to discussion about whether Wisconsin should continue to have same-day voter registration, Timm said, “I think it should stay on election day, especially in rural areas.”
During her tenure, Timm worked with three different chairmen.
What asked what she most enjoyed about being town clerk, she said, “Meeting the people, and I liked keeping the books. I wasn’t crazy about making resolutions or ordinances, but the Wisconsin Towns Board has been a great help in that score. The hardest part was remembering people I would see once per year. I faked it.”
Timm’s last official day as town clerk will be Tuesday, April 16, which is the date of Royalton’s annual meeting.
She says she will not miss the “mad rush of getting everything ready for the Town Board, plus the three to four days of papoerwork after it.”
Timm, who is 80, has a few ideas of what she will do with her additional time.
Gardening and yardwork are among them.
Timm also plans to, “Bake cookies. Clean the house. Go visit the people I never had time to, or at least call them.”