Gillett mayor resigns, city council has vacancies

Two 2023 council meetings had no quorum, president says
Warren Bluhm
News Editor

CORRECTION: Gillett City Council President Nanette Mohr ran the Feb. 1 meeting and plans to do the same for the next two sessions March 7 and April 4. The date of the March meeting was incorrect in the original version of this article printed in the Feb. 9 Oconto County Times Herald.

The city of Gillett is limping into the April election with two vacancies on the six-member city council and no mayor.

Mayor Josh McCarthy filed a notice of noncandidacy in December, and City Clerk Chelsea Anderson announced during the Feb. 1 council meeting that McCarthy had resigned because he has moved out of the city.

“His father passed away, and he inherited the house,” Anderson said. “He wanted to thank everyone who served on the council, city employees and the people who trusted him to be their mayor. He wanted to apologize for not being here tonight, and he will write a formal letter of resignation and hand it in soon.”

City Council President Nanette Mohr ran the Feb. 1 meeting and plans to do the same for the next two sessions March 7 and April 4. The new mayor and council will be chosen in the April 2 election.

Mohr emphasized that she is not serving as interim mayor.

“I’m just going to sit in my regular chair here,” she said.

Jonathan Blaskowski, who was in the audience for the meeting, is the only candidate on the ballot running for mayor. He is a lieutenant in the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department. He and his wife, Nicole, and their children have lived in the city since 2021.

“I’ve always had an interest in the politics and decided to jump in the mayor candidate pool,” Laskowski said.

Currently Mohr and Alderpersons Irene Drake and Jerry Luther are the only elected council members. Alderperson Ashley VanStraten was appointed in November to fill an unexpired term in the city’s Ward 1. In recent months, Alderpersons Marie Blaser in Ward 1 and Jon Gildemeister in Ward 2 have resigned. Jacob Ketchem served for several months last year before resigning to further his education.

Mohr, who represents Ward 3 with Drake, is the only person on the April ballot, so write-ins will determine who fills open slots in the first and second wards. Mohr said former Alderperson Sandra Hubbard has registered as an official write-in candidate in Ward 1 and that Blaser has also expressed an interest in coming back.

A longtime member of both the city council and the Gillett School Board, Mohr said the past year has been frustrating as council members come and go.

“Two meetings in 2023, we didn’t even have a quorum to have a council meeting,” she said. “In all the years I’ve been here — I’m not talking like from the dinosaur age or Mayflower age — I’ve never been part of a council that was not here. It’s been a struggle.”

People interested in registering as write-in candidates can contact Anderson at the city clerk’s office for more information at 920-855-2255 or