Appointed Calumet council member addresses issues

CALUMET — Roxanne King was appointed in June as the newest member of the Village Council as a replacement for Sharon Abramson.

“I think it was based on the fact that I have an accounting background,” said King, 59.

She is serving a shortened term but is running in November’s election to serve a full term on the board.

While King and her husband only returned to the U.P. from downstate last year, they both had previously attended Michigan Technological University (MTU).

After leaving MTU, they spent most of their time in Michigan and Illinois, with a couple “sojourns” to New York and Washington, D.C..

“Which I didn’t like very much,” King said.

When King’s husband found out he could keep his job and work remotely, they moved to Calumet. They have two sons, one of which is currently studying at MTU.

“That’s his choice. We didn’t force him,” King said.

King thinks Calumet’s Village Council is going through a difficult time right now, partly because many people believe the village it is bigger than it really is.

“They think it’s like 5 square miles, and it isn’t even 1 square mile,” she said.

The surrounding township of Calumet is much larger, but which local government provides which services, and the boundaries between the two are not always clear.

King says the village has a much smaller budget than the township, which makes it difficult to provide many extra services.

“Most of the budget goes to the two police officers, which we absolutely need, and snow removal,” King said.

She would like to see regulation in the village changed to allow the online lodging service AirBnB to be allowed in the residential areas of the village.

She said she would also like to see restrictions relaxed on storage of recreational vehicles.

“We need to allow people who own RVs and boats to park them in their yard,” King said, “as long as they’re maintained and mowed underneath.”

While she knows that medical marijuana and dispensaries is a big issue in Calumet right now, she doesn’t feel she knows enough about it to take a firm position. However, she doesn’t see a need for the village to be any different from the surrounding communities on the matter.

When she isn’t busy tackling the challenges facing the village, King prefers quieter activities.

“I do a lot of knitting and craft work,” King said.