New faces in Ontonagon

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette New County Commissioner Bryan Hamilton (right) serves following the resignation of Gray Webber due to health issues. Robert Nousiainen (left).

ONTONAGON — The roster of local officials is again being reshuffled with a major reworking of the position for chief deputy of the District Court clerk approved Tuesday.

Probate Court Judge Janis Burgess made the pitch to reform the position, which going on its third hire since 2015.

The position is complicated and not easy to replace. Having to do so is not cost effective, Burgess argued.

“There are all the rules and regulations and administrative reporting requirements of that position that the state chooses to impose on the district courts. Things move faster through the district court than they do in the other courts, so you really need to know what you’re doing and stay on top of all of the changes,” she explained.

To help more permanently fill the position and maintain knowledgeable staff Burgess recommended the position be paid at a higher rate more appropriate for the level of knowledge and complexity and be turned into a full-time position.

Now a two-day-a-week role, the full-time position would combine the district court clerk duties and those of a circuit court reporter.

The changes were unanimously approved by the board.

Later in the meeting, the board accepted the resignation of Alan Ralph from the Economic Development Commission (EDC).

Ralph cited lack of alignment on pacing and inability to focus on specific projects as reason for his departure after 20 months in the role.

“I’m more interested in working independently and at my own pace, in a different manner than I’m allowed to as an EDC member,” Ralph said.

The resignation was accepted and Jim Bobula, Superintendent and Principal of Ontonagon Area School and Kip McIntyre, business owner of Pat’s Motorsports in Greenland, were appointed to the now two vacancies.

The August meeting marked the first for new County Board member Bryan Hamilton following the resignation of Gray Webber.