Incumbent is seeking job growth in Baraga

Gale Eilola is running as an unopposed incumbent for Baraga County’s First District, a job he’s held since April of 1992 when he was first appointed.

He won reelection the following fall.

“We need more jobs in this area to keep our young people here,” Eilola said.

He thinks the school systems working to support the Career and Technical Education program with the Copper Country Intermediate School District (CCISD) are a good first step to getting more trained people in the area. He hopes businesses will start supporting the program more because they won’t have to search outside the area for skilled workers anymore.

“They’ll be right here,” Eilola said.

Eilola is happy that the county has been able to manage the small amount of tax income they get for the betterment of the community, but laments the small amount of property that the county can tax.

“Right now it’s at 17 percent,” he said.

He supports the Economic Development Corporation’s work to develop more businesses in the area, which would increase the tax-base.

Eilola has worked at the L’Anse Sentinel since 1972 and currently serves as managing editor.

Eilola got his start in community service through the 4H Club. The then joined the County Fair Board, which he’s the chairman of now. He worked with the Pelkie Fire Department for a time, and then ran for a seat on the County Road Commission.

“I did not make it on that,” Eilola said.

Shortly thereafter he was appointed to the County Board. Since then he’s also taken seats on the Baraga Area Schools Board, which appointed him to the CCISD Board.

Eilola is the chairman of the Regional Educational Media Center for the Western U.P. and the Baraga County Community Foundation. He also chairs the Baragaland Senior Citizen Center.

Eilola is a church council member at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Pelkie and a member of the Michigan Works Talent Council.

Eilola has spent his entire life in Baraga County. He lives in Pelkie with his wife. They have four kids and seven grandchildren.

He spends his free time singing with the Bay Area Chorus and vegetable gardening in the summer.