County Board approves care center appointment

Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette The Baraga County Board of Commissioners approved appointments to the Baraga County Extended Care Corporation’s board. See here from left are Chairman Mike Koskinen, County Clerk Wendy Goodreau, Bill Rolof, Dan Robillard, Gale Eilola and William Menge.

The Baraga County Board of Commissioners appointed Carole Hokkanen to the Baraga County Extended Care Corporation (BCECC) Board of Trustees at their regular Monday night meeting.

The BCECC board oversees Bayside Village, a nursing home in L’Anse, as a semi-independent division on the Baraga County Memorial Hospital (BCMH).

After the reappointment of Linda Kinnunen was turned down by the commissioners, the BCMH board advertised for letters of interest for her seat. They received several, and submitted three for consideration by the County Board; Hokkanen, Kristen Kahler and William Seppanen Sr.

Board Chairman Mike Koskinen read each of the three letters aloud before nominations were accepted.

Commissioner William Menge immediately nominated Hokkanen, with a second from Gale Eilola.

Hokkanen’s letter emphasized her experience as a teacher, banquet manager at multiple hotels and a payroll manager. She wrote she visited L’Anse often and became a permanent resident in 2007.

Commissioner Dan Robillard nominated Kahler, with a second from Bill Rolof, after Hokkanen’s nomination.

Kahler’s letter said she has lived in the community for 50 years and serves on the board of the L’Anse United Methodist Church and the supervisory committee for the Baraga County Federal Credit Union. She also frequently visits Bayside Village because her mother is a resident there. She wrote that she felt this would make her a good liaison between the board, patients at the village, and their families.

The vote was in favor of Hokkanen, 3-2, with Robillard and Rolof against.

Robillard told the Daily Mining Gazette he does not know Kahler personally but by reputation, and nominated her based on the contents of her letter. He said he was comfortable with Hokkanen’s appointment.

“She seemed more than qualified,” Robillard said.

Hokkanen said she has not served on a board before, but is looking forward to the new experience.

“For the first two-three meetings I’m probably just going to sit and observe,” she said.

Menge was not available for comment.