From town clerk to city clerk
Beyer takes on New London position
By Scott Bellile
City of New London officials are confident the clerk’s desk at city hall will be in good hands after Susan Tennie retires next spring.
Tennie’s successor, Jackie Beyer of the town of Little Wolf, will begin training alongside her part-time as New London city clerk Monday, Oct. 16. Beyer will become full-time on Jan. 1.
Tennie will not retire until April, but the New London Finance and Personnel Committee agreed that due to the complexities of the clerk job, the city should hire Tennie’s replacement months early so the two can train together.
The New London Finance and Personnel Committee voted 4-0 to hire Beyer on Oct. 4. Mike Barrington was absent.
Beyer has been town clerk for Little Wolf since 2009. She is also chair of the Little Wolf Planning Commission and she served one term as a town supervisor.
In Little Wolf, town clerk is an elected, part-time job. When New London posted a full-time clerk opening in July, she could not pass it up.
“I feel very fortunate actually,” Beyer said. “This is my favorite thing to do is being town clerk. I just like helping people and being able to do it in New London where I grew up is that much nicer.”
Because she loves serving her neighbors in Little Wolf, Beyer said she may stay on as town clerk and planning commission chair if her work in New London does not interfere with those positions. She will discuss whether this is possible with the Little Wolf Town Board.
“I feel obligated to not just walk away,” Beyer said.
According to New London City Administrator Kent Hager, 50 people applied for New London’s city clerk vacancy. Four finalists, all with prior city or town clerk experience, were interviewed Sept. 5-13. One finalist withdrew on Sept. 21.
He said the city was lucky to attract so many applicants with job experience. Due to Beyer’s knowledge, the city will spend less time and money training its new clerk than anticipated.
“Local government experience is very important in this position because you have a lot of statutory obligations to follow up with,” Hager said. “[Being] a good office manager is great, but being familiar with state law, how to run elections and so forth is critical.”
More of a clerk’s many job duties include giving out various licenses, overseeing board of review, providing notary services, performing tax collection, responding to open records requests and preparing public meeting agendas and alderperson packets.
Beyer will be paid $22.70 per hour for her part-time work until January, when she will receive an annual salary of $47,212.
David Morack, chairman of the New London Finance and Personnel Committee, said in interviews Beyer showed exceptional customer service skills.
“The biggest thing in her favor was her personality,” Morack said. “She has a very warm personality, welcoming personality, very similar to our current clerk.”
If Beyer’s name rings a bell to Waupaca County voters, it may be because she was one of five Republican candidates who appeared on the ballot last year for county clerk.
Jill Lodewegen ended up winning the race, but Beyer said the campaign experience was valuable for her personally because it greatly improved her public speaking abilities.
Beyer also chaired Waupaca County’s Farmland Preservation Committee. She said she took pride in putting together a program that helped farmers protect their land.
Beyer grew up in the town of Lebanon. She is a 1981 graduate of New London High School. Currently she resides in Little Wolf.
For 24 years she and her husband, Rod, ran a dairy farm in Little Wolf that had been in his family for more than 140 years.
They sold off the cows in May. They now just do cash crop farming, which does not require their full-time attention and thus gave Beyer the availability to become a full-time city clerk.
Beyer said she is excited to get started next week as New London’s “go-to person,” although she acknowledged the bar is high.
“Sue is leaving some pretty big shoes’ to fill,” Beyer said. “She’s well loved and she’s done a really good job, an excellent job, and I’m looking forward to trying to maintain that level of service to New London.”
Tennie said of Beyer, “She’ll just fit in really nicely.”