Houghton County

County Commision District 1(1)

Tom Tikkanen (R)-candidate did not respond

Rick Kasprzak (D)-candidate did not respond

County Commission District 2 (1)

Albert Koskela (R) -candidate did not respond

Valorie Troesch (D)

Question 1:Top challenges include (1) reversing many of the errors of the past Board majority, such as restoring good community-minded and forward-thinking people back into Board-appointed positions where they can help lead the County toward a sound, sustainable future; (2) putting in place a process for the Board to evaluate and prioritize competing long-term projects with a vision toward making Houghton County more livable and financially vibrant; two of the most urgent matters include comprehensive recycling and the County jail facility; (3) engaging the citizens of Houghton County to take a greater interest in the workings of the Board of Commissioners and other County agencies other than in time of crisis; (4) determining how the County can meet its underfunded employee pension obligations so current and future retirees will get the benefits promised them without overburdening the taxpayers of Houghton County.

Question 2: First, because I am running as a Democrat and I support the fundamental principles and ideals of the Democratic Party. These include the belief that a great community looks after the least of its members, adopts fair and responsible economic policies, values all its resources including economic, human, environmental, and cultural; supports equal rights and treatment for everyone; and has confidence in and respect for voters to make important decisions about its community. Second, I am honest and responsible with no hidden agenda and no time for backroom politics. Third, I am capable of being an effective Commissioner from day one. I’ve had multiple challenging careers – practicing law; teaching college classes; writing, administering, and evaluating government and private grant proposals; managing older adult programs; owning a local retail business – over the past decades, and I’ve taken on each new challenge willingly and successfully. Fourth, I have a demonstrated commitment to the Houghton County community. I’ve served on numerous non-profit boards (such as Keweenaw Land Trust, Dial-Help, and League of Women Voters of Copper Country). I also served on two township boards – Road Committee and Brownfield Board. I currently volunteer at the local women’s shelter and serve as a volunteer mediator for UPCAP. Fifth, I have lived and worked in Houghton County for 20 years – my husband and I moved here because he had lived here years before and always wanted to return. Finally, the people who know me trust me and know that I am a good listener. I will listen to the voters and residents of Houghton County.

County Commission District 5 (1)

Tim Palosaari (R)-candidate did not respond

George M. Rajala (D)-candidate did not respond

Prosecuting attorney (1)

Michael E. Makinen (D)

Question 1: The most important issue facing prosecutors is underfunding criminal justice in all areas.  For example, crime labs are understaffed.  Therefore, evidence may not be processed quickly and prosecutions ( particularly drug and computer crimes ) are delayed or sometimes compromised.  The state is closing prisons to save money putting dangerous parolees on the street and overloading jails. At the same time funding for mental health and other support programs is down.  Consequently, the primary challenge is maintaining the present level of service despite an overall decrease in state support.

The secondary challenge is to be proactive to meet changing requirements imposed on counties by the state and federal governments.  New requirements are coming relating to indigent defense, younger offenders, electronic filing/computer usage.  These changes will or may require training/staff flexibility, funding considerations, etc., in order to continue to carry out the duties of the office.

Question 2: In my time in office, I have tried to evaluate all cases on an individual basis with fair consideration to all involved in a timely and efficient manner. The Houghton County Prosecutor’s office operates on a budget (and staff) that is roughly 50% less than similar sized counties.  Despite limited funding, the office has averaged 150 felony and 600 misdemeanor prosecutions a year. During my tenure, the prosecutor’s office has worked cooperatively with other offices in the courthouse to provide better service to the community.  It has: A. Earned a certificate of achievement in the child support program jointly with the office of the Friend of the Court.  Grant funds received from this program for prosecutorial services has nearly doubled with no increase in staff. B. Worked jointly with the 97th District Court as a member of the Treatment Court team to implement its very successful treatment court. C. Worked with the Chief Judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit  Court to propose and indigent defense plan to meet requirements of recent legislation. The plan is in the process of review for submission to the State. I have been proactive as prosecutor, and the office is prepared to meet upcoming changes that are being mandated by the State.For further information visit www.michaelmakinen.com

Douglas Edwards (NPA)

Question 1: The top challenges I will face in the years ahead if elected, is the same I faced during my 20 years as prosecutor. The top challenge is to hold every criminal defendant accountable for their actions and use the input from the victims in resolving each case. I will continue to treat each victim like a client. My compassion is with victim not the defendant. Other top challenges will be treating each defendant fairly while complying with the U.S. and Michigan Constitution and laws of the state. It never mattered to me if the defendant was rich or poor, well known or unknown, all defendants were treated professionally. Seeking justice has always been my goal.

Question 2: The people of Houghton County should vote for Douglas Edwards on November 8th if they want a Prosecutor who:1) Is the only candidate with 20 years of prosecutorial experience and has multiple murder and criminal sexual conduct convictions. 2) Had an overall conviction rate over 98% without cherry picking cases 3) Is a strong victims right advocate, who has always had time to meet with victims and discuss issues of concern. 4) Has excellent legal training and is an experienced trial lawyer who enjoys criminal trials. 5) Is the only candidate with a Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement degree with a passion to practice criminal law. In summary: Every voter in Houghton County should ask, who do they want support from, should they become a victim? Who do they want representing the State of Michigan and fighting on their behalf for the next four years? IF IN DOUBT, ASK YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS. Let’s have a great turn out this election year. In 2012 almost 10,000 voters did not vote in the general election.

Sheriff (1)

Brian J. McLean (R) -candidate did not respond

Derek J. Poyhonen (D) -candidate did not respond

Chassell Township

Supervisor (1)

Christopher Holmes (R) -candidate did not respond

David O. Mattson (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Elm River Township

Supervisor (1)

John Reynolds (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Joe Siller (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Trustee (2)

Rick Baumler Jr. (NPA) -candidate did not respond

David W. Saari (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Richard Trudgeon (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Franklin Township

Supervisor (1)

Mary Sears (R) -candidate did not respond

Roger Sullivan (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Hancock Township

Trustee (1)

Ronald P. Racine (R) -candidate did not respond

Julianne Haischer (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Ken Moyle (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Laird Township

Clerk (1)

Elaine K.Vassel (D) -candidate did not respond

Carolyn LeClaire (NPA)-candidate did not respond

Osceola Township

Supervisor (1)

Steven Karpiak (R) -candidate did not respond

Rick Greub (D) -candidate did not respond

Trustee (2)

Aaron Janke (R) -candidate did not respond

Donald D. Wareham (D) -candidate did not respond

Bruce J. Beaudoin (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Schoolcraft Township

Trustee (2)

Josh Loukus (R) -candidate did not respond

Kevin Codere (D) -candidate did not respond

Susan C. Marcotte (D) -candidate did not respond

Stanton Township

Supervisor (1)

John V. Botto III (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Marv Heinonen (NPA) -candidate did not respond

David Sakari (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Trustee (2)

Janet Larson (R) -candidate did not respond

Gerald M. Campbell (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Robert Mantta (NPA)-candidate did not respond

Katie Tormala (NPA) -candidate did not respond

Village of Calumet

Trustee – 2 year term (2)

Sidney Dharmavaram

Question 1 & 2: I would like Calumet to function like a Village should.  I would like the council to be presented issues in a timely manner, the community and council members should communicate, and a well-informed decision should be made on the merits.  Presently, I and the community are presented with issues at the last minute.  Insiders have already developed the parameters and we are confronted with the choice of accepting their deal or face dire consequences if we delay to consider a community based solution.  I want to implement community-wide action, based upon community-wide input, and eliminate, forever, cronyism from the realm of Calumet’s public interest.  The tradition of back-room deals and revolving door council/business positions is harmful to the prosperity of Calumet citizens.  I would like to have grants for residential and business improvements spread throughout the community.  We should adhere vigilantly to the economic concept of the velocity of money.  It is far more prosperous to the community to award small grants to many, rather than to a single project or a limited number of expensive projects. 

For over a decade, the Village infrastructure fund has been raided to support premium snow removal for Calumet business and residential snow removal is barely adequate.  Our reputation for premium business snow removal for the business community is essential to Calumet’s economic prosperity.  However, depletion of the infrastructure fund presents the community with an impending economic disaster.  Calumet businesses must be required to fully support business snow removal and the infrastructure fund must be restored to await capital improvements.  

Mary L. Hunt -candidate did not respond

Sandra Johnson -candidate did not respond

Tyler Ross -candidate did not respond

Trustee – 4 year term (3)

Sharon Abramson -candidate did not respond

Thomas Bowles -candidate did not respond

Richard Buchko -candidate did not respond

Jim Camp -candidate did not respond

Virginia A. Dwyer -candidate did not respond

Clerk (1)

Nathan Anderson -candidate did not respond

Robert P. Tarvis Jr. -candidate did not respond

Village of Lake Linden

Trustee 4-year term (3)

Allan F. Hoffman -candidate did not respond

Jason E. Reese -candidate did not respond

June Schraufnagel -candidate did not respond

David E. Tobias -candidate did not respond

Village of Laurium

Trustee four year term (3)

Bob Erickson

Question 1: The declining tax base and the lost of revenue sharing from the state.It is getting more difficult to provide services to the residents.

Question 2: I feel people should vote for me for the following reasons, I was a member of the Laurium council as a trustee but I had to resign as I moved out of the area.I was a member of the board of review for Torch Lake Township and Breiting Township Board of review in Dickinson County.

I completed 185 credits hours from Michigan Technological University. I took classes in Economics,Accounting and Marketing. I feel I am qualified for the position of trustee To run the Village in a prudent matter based on my experience as a trustee and education, I am there to listen to people and not force my agenda. I will be a good steward of the residents taxes.

Walt Fish

Question 1: Every Village is different, but for me, my primary challenge is to get other trustees to see that we have room for improvement and that we need a forward thinking council to help get us there. My secondary challenge is to help the council see the need for communication (positive) between the residents and the village leaders and staff.

Question 2: I am running for another 4 year term starting November 2016. I thought long and hard before putting my name on the ballot, because it can be discouraging to feel like your beating your head against the wall. I took a look back and reviewed the of the issues I championed, took note of the results, and saw that things have improved. Its important for the residents to know that they have a voice and that thier concerns will be appreciated when brought to the attention of the village employees or council. It’s also important that they have someone who will thoughtfully consider every expense, especially those involving large equipment purchases. I have never backed away from asking the hard questions.

Trevor D. Hodges

Question 1: I feel the main issues of our community are the detrition of the village in general, Main Street has a lot of dilapidated buildings, the George Gipp Complex needs attention, and the department of public works equipment is old and has needed to be updated for some time now. Also simple things like sidewalks need to be repaired or fixed, currently the village will not do anything with them. I feel if we work on fixing some of these items we can make Laurium more attractive for people to live in, in doing this homes will sell and the tax base will increase.

Question 2:I think the number one reason people should vote for me is change, I will not settle for the status quo. I am young, energetic and will do whatever I can to make Laurium a better place to live in. Mostly I would like to accomplish things that should have been getting done in the past. For example, the Department of Public Works heavy equipment is mostly out of date. With our hard winters the public works staff needs reliable, up to date equipment to ensure our streets are cleared, they have been doing a great job with old equipment they have. I also would like to see fiscal accountability, I feel that tax dollars should go back into the community, no matter how small the project is.

Loralee Miller

Question 1:The top challenge that will be faced if elected is to provide exceptional services (snow removal, road maintenance, trash removal, police service, etc) to Laurium while maintaining a strict budget.

Question 2:My experience consists of serving the past eight years on the Laurium Village Council.  During this time I have run five successful festivals, which raised money to improve the Village hall ballroom and the ball fields at the Gipp Recreation Area.  Created a business directory to promote local businesses and tourism. I have also organized and run the annual Village Holiday party for the past four years.  As a business owner and long term resident I feel very privileged to have served on the council and look forward to serving another term to promote our community values.

Village of South Range

President (1)

Justin Marier -candidate did not respond

Therese Parolini -candidate did not respond

Martin A. Steinmetz -candidate did not respond

Adams Township School District

Board (2)

John Asiala -candidate did not respond

Jason Coffey -candidate did not respond

George D. Eakin -candidate did not respond

Bruce Heltunen -candidate did not respond

Chad Snell -candidate did not respond

Calumet Public Schools

Board (2)

Francis J. Beiring

Question 1: There are issues that affect the education of our youth: changing social issues to technology; which influence what is taught in our schools. The schools’ major challenges become, 1)how do we stay on top of important topics, and 2) what efforts are made to ensure how and what is being taught is in the best interest of the community they serve. Calumet is making good strides in maintaining its position as a top school in the area, but after getting involved in school it is apparent that the board is “rubber stamping” key issues rather than being engaged and making decisions based on sound education and understanding. This is troubling to me. Our school and community deserve better The school is being run with little interaction with community. The current board is unwilling to listen to the community and make little attempt to get public input on school issues. The budget is always a top concern for any school district. A check and balance system is needed between the board and the administration to ensure that the decisions made are fiscally responsible and represent spending that best serve to further educate our kids.

Question 2: My goal is to improve the communication between the board, the administration and the community; so the students will benefit and can become productive members of society.

Philip D. Halonen -candidate did not respond

Melanie Parker -candidate did not respond

James Vertin

Question 1: Budget issues are always a challenge for K-12 education considering the present inadequate State funding. We want the best programs in place along with keeping up to date on technology and it gets harder and harder to do. The challenge comes in working with what dollars we do get but not compromising good programs.

Question 2: I’m very interested in serving on the School Board. I’d like to work with the other members and help in whatever way I can to ensure that CLK continues to offer a solid education to our students and that it operates in the most efficient way possible. I feel my 25 years as a former employee at CLK in support services can be helpful as I have first hand knowledge and a good understanding of many of the inner workings that support the school system in its entirety. Through my work experience I feel I have something to offer and would like the opportunity to serve the students and the people of our district.

Chassell Township Schools

Board (4)

Randal Danison -candidate did not respond

Kenneth Kytta -candidate did not respond

Marcia Messer

Question 1:Some challenges include keeping the budget in check and making sure the fund balance is above the state minimum. While also making the school environment enjoyable for the students, while also making sure that they are learning to their maximum potential. Making sure that the school is a safe place for the students and teachers. A notable challenge is keeping the communication lines open between the board, administration, staff and community members.

Question 2: People should vote for me because I try to keep an open mind and weigh all options when making decisions. I am also committed to being prepared for the meetings and doing any research on my own time. Being a school board member takes more than just showing up for meetings, you must also be informed about changes going on in the state legislature. There is also a commitment of attending professional development courses to make sure that you are informed about the changes. I am committed to keeping the communication lines open to the residents of the district.

Brady Tervo -candidate did not respond

Suzanna Tuomi -candidate did not respond

Todd A. Vankleeck -candidate did not respond

Lake Linden-Hubbell Schools

Board (3)

Lori J. Ambuehl -candidate did not respond

Patricia A. Burton -candidate did not respond

Jeffrey S. Dennis -candidate did not respond

Rebbecca R. Loukus -candidate did not respond

Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area Schools

Board (4)

Dallas Bond -candidate did not respond

Donna A. Engman -candidate did not respond

Tera Janke -candidate did not respond

David W. Maki

Question 1: The top challenge for all school board members, particularly in a smaller district such as Dollar Bay, is making sure that all financial resources are budgeted in the most effective way possible. Sometimes the decisions are obvious, but sometimes they’re difficult, and it’s important that when faced with a challenging situation, board members make these decisions so that as many students as possible will be positively impacted. Our district, despite its size, has experienced growth and has become a frequent school-of-choice district. We’ve also experienced changes in two key leadership positions recently due to retirements. It’s important that we encourage our new leaders to maintain the programs that have made our district the success that it is, while at the same time encouraging new perspectives that could enhance the district.

Question 2: I believe I can be an effective school board member because I’ll bring a fresh perspective to the board, while I also have been connected to the district for six years. My daughters are in fifth grade and kindergarten, so the long-term future of the district is very important to me as well. I have experience serving on local boards, including the Portage Lake Little League and the City of Hancock’s Finnish Theme Committee, and I’ve been in leadership roles on both.

Beverely Schmitz

Question 1: The challenges facing our school in the future will be the academic requirements, growth and capacity.  Student’s interest in attending our school because of the academic status will challenge the district over the next few years on how to deal with the growth which, leads into budget issues. The board needs to consider constructing an addition and upgrading the current school building in which, will be additional budget challenges with fixed revenues and growing expenses. Our school budget is on the lower scale and is challenged to try to do more with less. It needs more educational resources with up-to-date technology that the budget doesn’t currently allow for. We need to plan for the immediate needs today, as well as, scale for the growth of tomorrow for all the children in the district. The budget affects what the curricula and courses are in the school, the staff asked to take on extra duties and transportation being hired out to keep the costs at a minimum. Most importantly, the budget keeps our hard-working staff from getting salary increases and other conditions of employment.

Question 2: My involvement with the school for over 30 years as a sports fan, a parent, an assistant elementary basketball coach and PTO member. I want to effectively work towards a brighter future for all the children of the district.  I want to bring innovative ideas, questions and fresh ideas to the table. I am an advocate for the children’s educational values and visions. I’m ready to accomplish the long term commitment to collegiality and collaborate with the board to work towards a great future for our students.  I am responsive and receptive to parents, staff, students and the community at large and encourage an open dialog. I want to provide opportunities to students to help them reach their potential. I’m committed to the time and energy this position will require of me and I welcome the opportunity to contribute my working knowledge, my years of involvement with the school and community activities while collaborating and working as a team with other board members to accomplish the goal of continuing to push education forward creating, refining and fulfilling the boards mission to make Dollar Bay the best district for students, teachers, staff and community members.

Jeff Stevens -candidate did not respond