Marquette County

District Court Judge (1)

Derek Swajanen

Question 1:

The challenges facing District Court will be the re-allocation of resources to cover the judgeship loss in Marquette County; allocating pre-trial services to incarcerated individuals prior to sentencing; finding alternative treatment for individuals with mental health problems, as there is a void in this area; and formalizing a special court for veterans, which I have been advocating for years. We must take care of our youth, our individuals with mental health needs, and our veterans.

Question 2:

Based upon my extensive experience and training, commitment to community, and ability to lead, I am the best person to be the next District Court Judge.

Marquette County will lose one judgeship and filling this position is critical. The next District Judge must do many tasks that were previously handled by Circuit Court. For nearly 20 years I worked in District Court and have a very unique knowledge of these issues. I handled 12,500 hearings in District Court and another 2,500 hearings in Circuit Court. I currently work as an attorney representing indigent individuals; a civil/defense attorney; a guardian ad litem for youth; and formerly as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Marquette County, handling a range of cases including difficult murder cases. I also had the honor to instruct many of the law enforcement officers throughout Marquette County as an instructor at the Michigan State Police Forensic Laboratory Evidence Technician Course; NMU Police Academy; and Legal Update for police officers. I am the only candidate with this overall breadth and experience.

I have the passion to invest in District Court and believe that this is the court of the people, where lives can change forever. District Court will eventually have to handle various other cases, including divorce hearings; paternity/support cases; and felony trials. I am the only candidate with extensive experience in these areas. I have a very unique set of skills that set me apart.

My commitment to my family and community are unquestionable. All you have to do is ask a friend and they will tell you about the great things that our family does. My mentoring youth in the community shows in coaching and managing various programs for the past 20 years, including hockey, soccer, and American Legion baseball, and supporting Sons of The American Legion; Teaching Family Homes; U.P. 200; Jacobetti Home for Veterans; Shop with a Cop; Coats for Kids; Childrens Museum; and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Karl Weber

Question 1: All county departments face funding challenges arising from “dark stores” and other issues.  This is compounded in the court system by the loss of a state-funded judge position in the Circuit Court, which has required the county to fund a full-time referee position.  With the reduction in judges, the District Court will take on additional duties.  Our court staff is dedicated and hard-working, and I am prepared to work closely with them and with the other judges to administer justice in Marquette County despite these challenges.

Perhaps our greatest challenge within the District Court caseload is our community’s significant substance abuse problem.  Alcohol and drugs have always been contributing factors in criminal behavior, but recently our county’s methamphetamine epidemic has impacted all courts in the county.  Finding creative, effective methods of intervention presents an ongoing challenge for our court system.

Question 2: I have 25 years of legal experience and have been serving as a District Court Judge for the past year.  I’ve already established positive and effective working relationships with the other judges and the courthouse staff.  I’ve worked with my colleagues to develop a plan for coverage in the Circuit Court once Judge Solka retires at the end of the year, and I am prepared to take on any duties needed to continue our long history of providing prompt access to the court system.  Since I began with the District Court, I’ve become well-acquainted with the caseload, case processing and court proceedings we handle.  I’ve participated in educational seminars with the Michigan Judicial Institute and I attended the 2016 Annual Meetings of the Upper Peninsula Judges Association and Michigan District Judges Association.  I have a reputation for being serious about my work, well-prepared for my cases, and timely in my decisions.

My community involvement includes serving as Chairman of the Northern Michigan University Board for two terms, volunteering on the Community Foundation of Marquette County Board for over a decade, and serving as a Director for Range Bank for 15 years.  I served as the Special Assistant Attorney General for the Dominic Jacobetti Home for Veterans and am currently on the board of the Upper Michigan Legal Institute.

I understand that the courts exist not for the judges, or the lawyers, but for the people.

https://www.facebook.com/JudgeWeber/

Commission District 3 (1)

Stephen Adamini (D)

Question 1: Helping to maintain the fiscal integrity of the county in the face of concerted efforts by parties in Lansing to reduce our tax basis or eliminate taxes we would receive at the local level by directing that those taxes be sent to Lansing instead of our local units of government. Examples of this include the “dark store/big box” controversy and the  manner in which the State eliminated the ad valorem taxes the Eagle Mine would have paid to local governments and created a specific tax in an equal amount, all of which would have been sent to Lansing. After a vigorous fight the county was able to keep 60% of that tax, but the local units of government lost 40% of the taxes they otherwise would have received.  We cannot be passive bystanders in this battle.

Question 2: We are blessed in Marquette County in that a large majority of our citizens are endowed with a great deal of  “common sense.” They don’t always agree with each other but they are most always willing to sit down and discuss their differences in order to come to a common understanding. That is a primary reason why I remain active after the end of my legislative career. All elected officials should encourage that civil discourse and then listen to what their constituents believe is in their best interests, after all this is a democracy. I have lived in Marquette County for 71 years. I have lived my entire adult life (53 years) within the boundaries of District 3 and have been a home owner and taxpayer in the District for 47 years, and maintained my law office within the District for 45 years. That being the case, I would imagine that my cares and concerns about what goes on in this District are shared with most other citizens. That does not mean that I think that I know it all or that I am unwilling to listen to their views on matters that would come before the Commission.  In my professional career I probably tried approximately 65-70 cases.  I probably successfully helped my clients amicably resolve 7,000+ cases.  The key to being a good advocate is being willing to be a good listener. I believe that I can be that good listener and an effective advocate for the citizens of District 3. I humbly ask for your vote.

https://www.facebook.com/Elect-Stephen-Adamini-Marquette-County-Commission-District-3-1115994998481051/

Bill Vajda (NPA)

Question 1: For 30 years, we have struggled to implement sustainable solutions to long-standing challenges with our energy infrastructure, our multi-modal transportation connections, and regional job loss. We face new challenges with the foundations of our economy, I.E., mine closures, healthcare transitions, and dwindling higher education enrollment.  We need to build an economic future that works for everybody.   We must enable balanced growth without excessive property taxes, or raising service rates to unaffordable levels. The World remains a changing place, and Marquette County must find the right way to change with it.   We cannot stand still.  We need leaders that have the courage to seek out new ideas, and think in new ways about shaping the future. We need to retain existing jobs and help successful businesses become more competitive.  We need to enable growth and the creation of well-paying jobs.  We need to attract and encourage new businesses to locate in our area, and reduce dependence upon any single employer by diversifying our economy. To do this, we need reliable energy infrastructure, well connected multi-modal transportation, affordable utility rates, and competitive property taxes.  We need to ensure all residents share in the benefits as well as the costs, and we need to understand clearly what this means.   Many people in our community make tough choices everyday about spending priorities, and we need leaders who understand every tax dollar counts.  We face these challenges together, and need effective leaders to unite us if we hope to build a sustainable future that works for all county residents.

Question 2: We have an obligation to leave Marquette a better place and to create a bright future for our children and grandchildren. I know we can.  The challenges are not political, and do not require partisan solutions. I am running as an independent candidate, with an independent voice, and independent views. Let’s work together to move Marquette County forward.

https://www.facebook.com/billvajdaforcountycommission/

Champion Township

Supervisor (1)

Tina Koski (D) -candidate did not respond

Jacob Joseph Kleczka (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Chocolay Township

Trustee (4)

Mark R. Maki (D)-candidate did not respond

Judy White (R)

Question 1: Chocolay Township is facing deteriorating roads just as many of the townships are in the U.P.  However, neither the county nor the township has sufficient funds to repair and/or replace these roads.  I see this as the biggest challenge for the township board.  We need to address the needs of our residents and to make sure the roads are safe for travelling. Another challenge in the Harvey area is the aging sewer system.  We need to search for and apply for grants to facilitate in replacing the pump stations.

Question 2: When I was elected in 2012 my first priority was to initiate a place for the seniors of our community to come together and socialize.  This was accomplished, along with the help of two other people.  This is now in its third year. The people who get together twice a week at the township hall have become a large family.  I also felt that the playground facilities needed much improvement.  This is still a goal I hope to reach especially at the Silver Creek playground.  I am very frugal and choose to spend the taxpayers’ money in a way that will benefit, if not all, the majority of our residents.  Being the only female on the township board can provide a different perspective on some issues.

Donald P. Rhein (R)-candidate did not respond

David Lynch (R)

Question 1: The top challenges we face as a Township is maintaining existing infrastructure and encouraging re-development of the core commercial zone along US-41.  Our Firehouse millage will be paid off this year and we will be classifying conditions of township roadways and preparing plans to rehabilitate and maintain our streets. With the firehouse tax millage expiring next year we have an opportunity to put a good plan before the voters to provide proper repair and ongoing maintenance of all of our roads.   We also need to develop plans to provide for the future replacement of township water and sewer systems.  These systems need to be adequately funded and evaluated to allow the township to seek additional state and federal funding to assist with needed upgrades.  This project will keep the users of the systems from bearing all the costs of the repair and replacement of those systems.  We must also strive to keep the rural charm of the township intact.  We need to develop proper zoning to encourage the reuse of the existing commercial districts without allowing sprawl along US-41 and M-28.  We also must maintain and develop the recreational opportunities within the township. We have excellent parks and sports facilities that need proper maintenance and upgrades.  Working with available grant funding opportunities as they arise will allow us to leverage our limited township funds to do more with less.

Question 2: I have served on the Township Board for the past two years and have learned very much on current township operations and priorities.  I have been in the public utility industry for the past 30 years bringing much needed expertise to the township Board. I understand the nature of our beautiful township and want to develop appropriate plans for the redevelopment of the US 41 corridor while maintaining our rural charm that make Chocolay Township so special.

Anthony Giorgianni (NPA)-candidate did not respond

Forsyth Township

Clerk (1)

Jane E. Nordeen (D)-candidate did not respond

Michelle Borrett (R)-candidate did not respond

Trustee (2)

Chris Adams (D)

Question 1: The primary responsibility of a Township Trustee is to work with the Township Board to provide vital services, Fire, Ambulance and Police to the Township.  In the current economy, resources are limited.  It is imperative that the Township Board provide the community leadership to provide for the safety of its citizens.

Question 2: Currently serving as Trustee on the Township Board I am accessible to Township residences and respond positively to their concerns.  I served the Township as Supervisor from 2004 to 2008.  I am or have been a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, The Commission on Aging, The Board of Review, Planning and Zoning, Clock Tower Committee and liaison between the Forsyth Township Public Library and Township Board.  These experiences have offered the opportunity to stay well informed concerning Township issues.

One of my hobbies is keeping our roadsides and green spaces litter free.  I am an active volunteer in our church and St. Vincent dePaul.  Working with and for the community is an important aspect of my life and with your vote I will continue to serve on your Township Board.

Neil L. Armatti (D)-candidate did not respond

Peggy Noha (R)-candidate did not respond

Leonard Bodenus II (NPA)-candidate did not respond

Humboldt Township

Supervisor (1)

Sanford R. Pesola (D)-candidate did not respond

Thomas Prophet (R)-candidate did not respond

Clerk (1)

Andrea C. Glisson (D)-candidate did not respond

Sarah Etelamaki (R)-candidate did not respond

Trustee (2)

Ken Irwin (D)-candidate did not respond

Jeff Ogea (D)-candidate did not respond

Peter E. Koski (R)-candidate did not respond

Ishpeming Township

Trustee (2)

Charles Johnson (D)-candidate did not respond

Curtis Sjoholm (D)-candidate did not respond

David A. Bosio (NPA)-candidate did not respond

Marquette Township

Treasurer (1)

Ernest Johnson (D)

Question 1: The major challenge facing the Marquette Township Board will be financial, due to the State Tax Tribunal ruling on assessed valuation, which decreased the valuation of a number of commercial properties within the Township.

This created a major decrease in revenue, which will effect the services provided within the township now and into the future. With less revenue the board must identify the core services that must be addressed to meet the needs of the township. Then make sure these services/activities are funded.   All other activities and services that are currently being provided must be prioritized. With the revenue left these services/activities can be addressed for funding.      This all becomes a balancing act, as no one knows when the next commercial property/properties will file with the State Tax Tribunal or what that ruling will be. Any filings will cost the township funds in defending the valuation and then if successful there will be additional loss of revenue.  I have only addressed the loss of revenue from the Tax Tribunal Ruling and effect it will have on the township, but the board must also be concerned with any state law that may require funding, plus the continual increase in operating cost each year.    To me financial most important, as everything revolves around money, without it we cannot meet the needs of the Township. Question 2: A candidate who has a record of community interest and involvement, of doing things for the people, working with the people for a better community. A township resident for the last 47 years, married with 3 grown children. Retired as Director Emeritus from NMU after 27 years.   Current and past community involvements:

Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum

Marquette County Township Association, Trustee

U. S. & International Luge Official

Pioneer Kiwanis

Mason / Shriner

Past member – United States Luge Board – Lake Placid, New York

Township Board Trustee 1992 – 2000

      Township Planning Commissioner – 4 years

Township DDA Committee, 10 years (8 years Chairperson)

Township School Board, 9 years (7 years Treasurer, 2 years Secretary)

I have been and continue to be involved in our community to make Marquette Township and Marquette County a great place to live, work & raise a family

Daniel J. Adamini (R)-candidate did not respond

Michigamme Township

Trustee (2)

Dawn L. Perry (D)-candidate did not respond

George Kendall (NPA)-candidate did not respond

Robert DellAngelo (NPA) 

Question 1: My first priority would be to try to reunite a divided community! We can accomplish much more if we work together as a community to accomplish goals that are in the best interest of the community as a whole! My next priority would be to establish a plan to most efficiently utilize the financial resources that come as the result of the severance tax from Lundin Mining. I feel the funds should be used to improve the livability of the community which will have long term positive effects long after the mine is gone. We need to make this a community that families and retirees will choose to live in. We also need to take advantage of a great resource which is Lake Michigamme! The tourism potential is enormous! I will promise to spend your tax dollars as if they were mine. I plan to exercise extreme financial discipline and responsibility!

Question 2:  I am a native of the Upper Peninsula. I was born and raised in Ishpeming, graduating from Ishpeming High School in 1971. I understand the culture of the U.P. and understand what makes us tick. I am now a full time resident of Michigamme where we have a home on the lake, which was a cottage for 25 years but is now our permanent home. I have a lot of governance experience and financial acumen. When completing my medical training we moved back home where I started a medical practice in Ishpeming which grew to a practice of 3 physicians and 1 optometrist. What started out as 1 office grew to 4 offices and employed over 20 people. I was the managing partner during my entire career.  I have served on the following boards; Marquette Community School board member, Bell Hospital board member and Chairman of the board, Peninsula Bank board of directors,present member board of directors Superior Health Partners,past board member Lake Michigamme Properties Owners Association,board member Catholic Social Services, presently serve on the board of review for Michigamme Township, and served as chief resident at Henry Ford Hospital Ophthalmology department. I feel the present Michigamme board has done much to improve this community and I would to work to continue  to make this an even better community to reside in. I have no personal agenda, and only want to see decisions made in the best interest of those residing in and utilizing our communities  assets!

Powell Township

Treasurer (1)

Arline I. Erickson (D)-candidate did not respond

Robert W. Martin (NPA)

Questions 1 & 2:Powell Township, located in northern Marquette County is home to just over 800 residents.  Township residents should have access to governmental information free (no FOIA or fee required as is the current practice).  I advocate open, limited government – spending taxpayer dollars wisely and frugally.  Powell Township currently carries a substantial fund balance and I feel a challenge may exist balancing competing requests for funding. Powell Township is an extremely safe and beautiful part of Michigan and I feel government efforts should be focused on keeping it that way.   I was born, raised and educated in the U.P. I obtained my B.S. degree in Finance from Northern Michigan University graduating with honors.  I have nearly 30 years’ experience working in the financial services industry.  I was elected to the Marquette Area Schools Board of Education serving as Trustee and Treasurer.  I feel my background; training experience and love of the U.P. uniquely qualify me to serve as Treasurer of Powell Township. I am running as an INDEPENDENT candidate so voters must not vote the straight ticket to vote for me.  I strongly feel an INDEPENDENT Treasurer will best serve the interests of Township residents since I will not be beholden to any political party.  I believe U.P. common sense, coupled with my extensive financial management experience will best serve Township residents without undue influence from any political party.

Republic Township

Supervisor (1)

John C. Ulrich (D)

Question 1: In 2003 and 2004 I spent a year and a half as Republic Township Supervisor due to the resignation of the previous supervisor.

I learned many things during that year and a half as township supervisor. To use a well known phrase: “You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.” The township supervisor position is a leadership position. There are four other board members who aid in making decisions concerning the business of the township.

The first challenge I will face, if elected, is to encourage the community members to work together to make Republic known as a place where a common goal is the most important thing. Republic citizens input to the board will help make this community grow toward that common goal. That citizen input should come at the township board meetings. Working together for the good of the community should be the board’s goal. The second challenge, if elected, will be to see the township prosper and thrive with new businesses coming into the township. That can only happen with the help of the township board and the citizens working toward that common goal. The third challenge, if elected, will be to educate the community concerning the principles on which this nation was formed. It was formed as a democratic republic and that should be our guiding principle to move this township forward. The forefathers of Republic Township changed the name from Iron City to Republic to symbolize what the founders of this nation believed in. I believe that the township can prosper once more with a democratic republic form of government, which the Oxford Dictionary defines as “When the complete authority and power is derived by citizens and the government is run by elected officials, then the form of government is called as a democratic republic government.”

Question 2: I am asking people to vote for me to bring unity and prosperity back to Republic because I am running as a statesman and not a politician.

James Brennan (NPA)-candidate did not respond

Tilden Township

Supervisor (1)

Lori K. Kulju (D)-candidate did not respond

William E. Luetzow (R)-candidate did not respond

Turin Township

Trustee (2)

Betty L. Eggleston (D)-candidate did not respond

Mary Jayne Richmond (R)-candidate did not respond

Michael S. Connors (R)-candidate did not respond

Wells Township

Supervisor (1)

Robert J. Therrian (D)-candidate did not respond

Kasey Mann (R)-candidate did not respond

Treasurer (1)

Sandra holmes (D)-candidate did not respond

Emily Bruce (R)-candidate did not respond

West Branch Township

Supervisor (1)

Jack Heidtman (D)-candidate did not respond

Ron Stenfors (R)

Question 1: One of the top challenges I see is getting to promote more cooperation between West Branch and Skandia townships. At this time, the two townships, share the fire department, first responders, recreation facility, wastewater treatment plant, and Skandia-West Branch Water Authority. With all of these joint activities, we must have a supervisor who will work cooperatively with Skandia Township. We need to have leadership who will work to get along with our neighbors.

Another top challenge is to redevelop youth recreational activities. We have an ice rink which hasn’t been used in several years, baseball diamonds which are very rarely used because of no little league teams. Working with the Lions Club, Fire Department, and the local churches, I would like to see these activities started up again. I would also work with the K.I. Sawyer community to develop activities for their children.

I would like to see more openness from our township government. Residents attending meetings feel that the board is reluctant to discuss items in front of citizens. There are no secrets. Lack of openness cost the township up to a million dollars with the ill-fated effort to run the recreation center at Sawyer (The W). our present supervisor was a strong supporter (as a board of trustee) of this fiasco.

I would like to see an end to trash dumping in rural parts of our township. I will listen to K.I. Sawyer residents, and try to resolve their ongoing problems.

Question 2: Qualifications:

BS and MS Northern Michigan University

Retired public school teacher-Superior Central Schools 30.5 years, Gwinn schools 2 years.

Founder, owner and operator of Maple Lane Sports 1982-present.

West Branch Township Planning Commission 12 years, chairman for most of that time.

Skandia-West Branch Water Authority 5 years. Skandia Lions Club member 40 years-currently president.

As Supervisor, I will use my experience, and my ability to work with people,  to develop a better working relationship with Skandia Township, reduce township spending, improve township roads, control junk and trash through ordinance enforcement, and work with Sawyer residents to help resolve their issues.

Ishpeming City

City Commission (3)

Karl J. Lehmann    Question 1: The city of Ishpeming is an aging community and as such is facing the problems of an aging infrastructure and the high cost of correcting those issues. Our water distribution system has been patched for years and the sewer system as well. Recently our elected officials and city employees have tried to correct decades of patchwork with a costly but necessary plan that will eventually stabilize our water and sewer costs and street repair as well. I support these efforts, but I also realize that our taxpayers are being pushed to the limit and we must proceed cautiously so as not to overwhelm our residents.

    We must continue with our efforts to rid neighborhoods of blighted structures which reduce property values of adjacent homes and may result in the proliferation of drug houses as well. We should continue to support our police effort to reduce and hopefully eliminate our drug problems.

 Question 2:  I would ask for your support as I would bring many years of community involvement and experience to the Council.  I am a lifelong resident of Ishpeming, having graduated from IHS and Northern Michigan University. I have served as past president of the Planning Commission and Downtown Development Association. I also spent many years as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Parks and Recreation Committees.  I was a past president of the Wawonowin Country Club and the Ishpeming 4th of July Committee where I have served as a volunteer since its inception including the parade chairman from 2000 until 2014.

   I worked many years in mining and struggled through layoffs and downturns in the industry. I can empathize with those affected by the closure of the Empire Mine and would work on a local level to assist them wherever possible.

   I worked for many years with two management companies. I managed recycling and waste collection businesses as well as trucking companies, hotel and restaurant operations. I would bring many years of management, personnel, budget and bottom line common sense to the Ishpeming City Council. I can only do it with your support.

Stuart Skauge -candidate did not respond

Dale Maki -candidate did not respond

Mike Tonkin -candidate did not respond

Gabe Seelen

Question 1: One of the top challenges of this position would be finding new ways help the city grow and to prosper.  We need to find ways to encourage business to develop here as well as provide more housing options for prospective new residents.  The city has a lot of assets that, with the right direction, could be utilized to provide those business and housing needs.  The city also needs to stay on track with the infrastructure upgrades that have been taking place over the last few years.  Without these upgrades, the water and sewer systems will not last.  The City of Ishpeming needs to get on a course of prosperity and development.  If I am elected, I plan to work hard to make that course a reality.

 Question 2: People should vote for me because I will have the best interest of the citizens in mind when a decision needs to be made.  I was born and raised in the City of Ishpeming, graduated from Ishpeming High School and furthered my education at Michigan Tech, graduating with Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.  I moved back to the area in 2008 because I felt like Ishpeming would be a great place to live, work and raise a family.  I have been involved with the city in various capacities over the last several years serving as Chairman of the Ishpeming Planning Commission and as a member of the Ishpeming Zoning Board of Appeals.  I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve as a member of the Ishpeming City Council.

Marquette City

City Commission (2)

Matthew Luttenberger

Question 1: Top Challenges: If I am elected I believe the top challenge will be the modernization of the commission. Items like Facebook posts, read aloud in session, or to even just the various groups and city appointed committees for their opinions before making a decision. I see too many open posts for committees and then never hear their advice for municipal projects when they come for approval. Interactive government instead of personal goals of the commission members would be the goal, and one that started with committees and groups, but don’t seek their advice anymore. Although, the top challenge will be the interaction with those commission members who may not agree. There are a lot of personal opinions, and we need to start using facts instead.

Question 2: I will never tell you who to vote for. That is your position, your vote, your voice. I want to hear that and represent that, not myself, but you the city. I can’t do that by pushing a personal agenda.

David J. Campana

Question 1: I see the main challenge to the city for this coming year to be keeping our budget balanced and not spending more than has already been allocated. Maintaining our streets, water and sewer lines is absolutely necessary for our city to function. Our residents and businesses cannot afford to be without these services for any period of time. Hopefully we can continue to address replacement and repairs before they cause major disruptions.

It is also important for Marquette to help facilitate the on-going construction projects within the city. This includes the Service Center, the BLP Energy Center, the Veridea project, and Lifepoint-MGH among others.

Lastly, city staff will need to look for new ways to raise revenues as the city now faces increased unfunded liabilities, zero state revenue sharing, and slow growth in property taxes. This reduction in revenues comes at a time when the city is being challenged in the state Tax Tribunal Court by several mid-size and large businesses plus we are facing the shutdown of our biggest taxpayer, the Presque Isle Power plant. A loss in revenue sources leads to a loss of city services.

Question 2: I am seeking the vote of the residents as I want to continue serving Marquette and keep our city moving forward and becoming a better place to live, work, and play. I have served three years on our city commission where I have been learning and gaining experience in dealing with municipal issues. I am willing and available to put in the time and effort required to properly serve our city. My only goal is to make the right decision for the good of the people and make Marquette a great city.

Sarah K. Reynolds-candidate did not respond

Marquette Board of Light and Power (1)

Robert J. Niemi

Question 1: The BLP has served our area for over 125 years and is now at an exciting juncture with the development of the Marquette Energy Center.  Some of the challenges I see for the Board in the future are:

1.  Completing the Marquette Energy Center and planning for utility’s future with the limited life of the Shiras generating units.

2.  Developing a sound financial plan to consider small rate increases on a more planned basis in order to eliminate the need for large increases all at one time.

3.  Development of the solar garden with a reasonable per kilowatt rate to make it attractive for people to invest in the garden.  We also need to take into consideration those ratepayers who have already invested in alternative energy with the implied promise of a rate that insures a return on their investment.

4.  The BLP must continue utilizing hydro generation, and also investigate additional sources of solar and wind generation in the future.

5.  As part of their strategic plan the BLP has a series of governing policies which need to be implemented by the Board.  While there are always challenges with new procedures I think this will allow the BLP to continue progress into the future.

I want to assure that the City of Marquette and the BLP service area have safe, reliable and affordable electricity continuing into the future.

Question 2: I came to Marquette in 1973. Married to Joy Hansen Niemi and we have two grown children: Steven and Allison. I have a BA from MSU and an MA in Public Administration from NMU.  I was the Executive Director MARQ-TRAN for 31 years, now retired; Treasurer, IMQT SmartZone Board; and served on Marquette Downtown Development Authority.  I was elected to two terms on the City Commission, served one year as Mayor Pro-Tem, and one year as Mayor. On the Commission I had the opportunity each year to attend UP Energy Summits providing me a good understanding of the challenges in the electrical utility industry.  I have 41 years experience in local government and public administration, all in the City of Marquette.  We are fortunate to have a city owned electric utility and my experience in public management will be an asset to the Board of Light & Power.

Edward Angeli

  1. Question 1: Public utilities face many tasks in the foreseeable future.  The ongoing demands and the running of a safe, reliable and cost effective power is one of the biggest challenges we face. The Marquette Board of Light and Power has done a great job over the years maintaining this reliability for our community. As government regulations, customer requirements and infrastructure needs change, so must the BLP.  My main challenge will be to get these responsibilities done on time and under budget while maintaining our utilities independence.
  2. Question 2: I have six years experience serving on the Marquette Board of Light and Power, five of which I served as their chairman. After a two term absence of being off the Board as required by our city charter, I look forward to once again serving the rate payers of the BLP. Keeping abreast of our city’s power concerns and developments, I will be have the ability to hit the ground running.

Negaunee City

City Commission (2)

Bill Anderson, Jr.-candidate did not respond

Jim Kantola-candidate did not respond

Gary Sjolund

Question 1: The top challenges I will face if elected to the Negaunee City Council are:

  1. 1. Finding ways to do more with less.  Cost of health care and energy are rising more rapidly than the amount of revenue received from property taxes. State revenue share is nonexistent which means we have increasing costs without increasing revenues to match.
  2. 2. Bringing the fate of the Sundberg Building to a conclusion.  Negaunee is under order from the Marquette County Building Inspector to make the building safe or tear it down.  Currently, the building is unsafe and an eyesore.  If it comes to tearing the building down the City of Negaunee is responsible for sourcing a contractor to do the demolition and pay the bill.  The city will then have to recover the cost which is estimated at $120,000 from the building owner.
  3. 3. Dealing with the challenges of repairing the greatest number of roads with the funds generated from the new millage and state gas tax.

Question 2: Citizens should vote for me for the following reasons:

  1. 1. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Michigan State University.  I was employed by General Motors Corporation serving 37 years on the Financial Staff.  Upon retirement I was the Finance Manager for World Wide Facilities, Lansing location.  Through my employment I developed strong budgeting and analytical skills which will help managing the finances of the city.
  2. 2. I am a member of the 2016 City of Negaunee Board of Review.
  3. 3. Over the years I have volunteered in many capacities such as Jaycees, Junior Achievement, UP200, Project Keep Kids Warm, Food Bank, mentor for runaway and homeless youth, youth sports and am an active member of my church.

Nick Visser-candidate did not respond

Mayor (1)

Don Gladwell -candidate did not respond

David R. Kangas -candidate did not respond