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Two vie for open Keweenaw Cty. board seat

July 14, 2012
By Stacey Kukkonen (skukkonen@mininggazette.com) , The Daily Mining Gazette

EAGLE RIVER - Two Keweenaw County residents are running for seats on the county's board of commissioners in the August primary.

Don Piche of Lac La Belle currently holds a seat on the board and is looking for re-election. Don Keith of Eagle Harbor served on the board for 10 years and hopes to return. During the November 2011 election, Keith ran for the representative seat held by Matt Huuki.

"I'm running to help the county move forward," Piche said. "One of the biggest things that we accomplished since I've been here is getting work done (at the courthouse and sheriff's office) and getting finances straightened out at the mountain lodge. That has been the biggest issue since I've been on the board."

Piche and Keith are vying for a two-year term, running as a Democrat and Republican, respectively.

Since joining the board, Piche and the current board members have worked to iron out finances at the lodge, including loaning the lodge money for some operations and then halting further funding.

"If this board didn't do what we've done, the county would be in dire straits," he said. "I want to make this place work as efficient as possible and see that the building is maintained and fixed up and get the mountain lodge on track and running properly, which I think we've done a fairly decent job so far."

Keith said he has been asked by several people to run for the seat again and being a commissioner fulfills his civic duty.

"I care," Keith said. "Many of my neighbors have asked me to consider serving another two years."

Keith said during his five terms on the board, he has helped see the county with day-to-day operations and decisions. If elected again, he hopes to be able work to develop tourism in the north end of Keweenaw County.

"I have some serious concerns about the way the money is being budgeted," he said.

Keith said he also hopes to see the board meet within the individual Keweenaw County townships throughout the summer meetings for accessibility to township governments.

No one will appear for District 2 on the primary ballot but Ray Chase has filed as an independent for the November ballot in that district. District 2 encompasses Houghton and Sherman Townships and part of Allouez, said county clerk Julie Carlson.

Because of redistricting, Ernest Mooney, who is currently chair of the board, is placed in the same district as Piche.

"I want to step aside for Don," Mooney said in a previous story for The Daily Mining Gazette.

Carlson said District 5 is a bit smaller after redistricting.

"(Redistricting) will take effect on this ballot," she said. "Before this election, Houghton Township and Eagle Harbor Township were in one district. Now Grant Township and Eagle Harbor are in one."

Redistricting occurs every 10 years after the census in an effort to even up residential numbers among districts. One district is represented by one of five commissioners, Carlson said.

Also on the ballot, Donna Jaaskelainen is running for a four-year term as county prosecuting attorney, Ron Lahti is running for a four-year term as sheriff, Carlson is running for a four-year term as county clerk and register of deeds, Geri Hall is running for a four-year term as county treasurer, James Kaura is running for a four-year term as county mine inspector, Gordon Jaaskelainen is running in a partial term as county road commissioner, Del Rajala is running for a two-year term as commissioner in District 3, Frank Stubenrauch is running for a two-year term as commissioner in District 4 and Randy Eckloff is running for a two-year term as commissioner in District 5. All are running unopposed.

Mooney is running against John Karvonen for a six-year term as county road commissioner.

In Allouez Township, Mark Aho is running against Victor Tanskanen for a four-year term as township trustee, Kevin Gherna is running for a four-year term as township supervisor and Amy Garrow is running for a four-year term as township treasurer.

In Eagle Harbor Township, Rich Probst is running for a four-year term as township supervisor, Jeane Olson is running for a four-year term as township clerk, Ann Johnson is running for a four-year term as township treasurer and Connie and Richard Harrer are running for four-year terms for township trustee where two people will be elected.

In Grant Township, Ken Stigers is running against Alexander Protzel for a four-year term as township supervisor, Kelly Coltas is running for a four-year term as township clerk, Karen Karl is running for a four-year term as township treasurer and Ned Huwatchek and Art Davis are running for four-year terms as township trustee.

In Houghton Township, James Vivian is running for a four-year term as township supervisor, Carol Jones is running for a four-year term as township clerk, Shari Chase is running for a four-year term as treasurer and Mary Long and Jack Treganowan are running for four-year terms for trustee with two to be elected.

In Sherman Township, Rob Middlemis-Brown is running for a four-year term as township supervisor, Adeline Schmidt is running for a four-year term as clerk, Marilyn Kastelic is running for a four-year term as treasurer and Deneen Connell and Robert Strykowski are running for four-year terms as trustees.

Also to appear on the ballot are several proposals, including a county proposal asking for an increase of .5 mill for four years inclusive for courthouse, jail and grounds improvements.

Eagle Harbor Township is asking for an operating millage previously expired of 3 mills to be imposed and levied for four years for general township operations, raising an estimated $118,492 in the first year.

Grant Township has two proposals, including Proposal A, asking for a levy of 3.5031 mills upon taxable real and tangible property with the township for the years 2013 through 2016, and Proposal B, asking for a levy of 2 mills upon taxable real and tangible property with the township for years 2013 through 2016.

Sherman Township has two proposals, A and B, asking for a renewal of 3 mills for general township operating purposes and a renewal of 1.8958 mills for general township operating purposes, respectively.

 
 

 

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