KENNETH CITY — Town Clerk Nancy Beelman, who was at the center of last spring's controversial mayoral race, unexpectedly resigned Monday.
Also resigning was Beelman's assistant, Marla Hailstone.
"I feel it is imperative to withdraw from an increasingly political and discordant working environment," Beelman wrote in the letter announcing her decision. Her resignation is effective Oct. 7.
Beelman could not be reached for comment late Monday but Kenneth City Mayor Pro Tem Teresa Zemaitis confirmed that Beelman and Hailstone had announced they were leaving.
Many blamed Beelman, who has worked for Kenneth City for more than two decades, for the election dispute that consumed the town in the spring.
Beelman certified Zemaitis as a mayoral candidate in December. But in January, after the filing deadline had passed, Hailstone found a clause in the town charter forbidding public employees from serving as mayor. Beelman told Zemaitis, a public schoolteacher, she could no longer run.
Zemaitis refused to drop out and defeated incumbent Muriel Whitman by a landslide. The council sued to block Zemaitis from office. The case was settled with a deal that Zemaitis would serve as mayor pro tem until March, when voters will have a chance to change the charter to allow Zemaitis to be mayor.
Beelman earns about $65,000 a year. Hailstone, a part-timer, earns about $12,000.