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Key races in Iron County

August 6, 2012
By NIKKI YOUNK - Staff Writer , The Daily News

CRYSTAL FALLS - Iron County residents will be voting on several county offices, proposals, and township offices in the Aug. 7 primary.

At the county level, all candidates are running as Democrats.

In the race for sheriff, incumbent Mark Valesano will face challenger Donald W. Nordstrom, Jr.

In the race for treasurer, Melanie Camps, the current Iron County Deputy Treasurer, will face off against Punner Franzene, the current Bates Township Treasurer. Incumbent Marcia Cornelia did not file for re-election.

Three out of five county commissioner seats are contested.

In district one, which covers the city of Gaastra and the townships of Iron

River and Stambaugh, incumbent Wayne Wales faces opposition from Patti Peretto, a former commissioner and board chair.

In district two, which covers the northern half of the city of Iron River and Bates Township, Jim Brennan will face Roger Zanon. Incumbent Fran Wills did not file for re-election.

In district five, which covers the townships of Crystal Falls, Mansfield, and Hematite, incumbent Bev Camp faces opposition from John L. Faccin.

The following candidates are running unopposed for their county-wide seats in the primary: Melissa Powell for prosecutor, Joan Luhtanen for clerk, Joetta M. Grieg for register of deeds, Tom Karvala for mine inspector, Tom Clark for drain commissioner, Dan Germic for road commissioner, Christopher Sholander for road commissioner, Rosalie King for district three commissioner, and Carl Lind for district four commissioner.

There will also be two proposals on the ballot.

All Iron County residents will vote on the allocated millage proposal. The proposal asks to increase the millage allocation to the townships from 1.20 mills to 1.25 mills and decrease the millage allocation to the county from 6.48 mills to 6.43 mills for the years 2013 and 2014.

There would be no increases in taxes, just a change in how the millage is disbursed.

Residents of the city of Crystal Falls and the townships of Crystal Falls, Hematite, Mansfield, and Mastodon will vote on the Forest Park Schools bond proposal.

The estimated millage that would be levied is .12 mills in the first year, then an average of .62 mills in each of the following seven years. If approved, Forest Park would gain $995,000 to pay for technology and building upgrades.

Contested primary races in local municipalities are listed below:

Bates Township

For the office of supervisor, incumbent Grant Helgemo will face challenger Douglas L. Bonno. Both are running as Democrats.

For the office of treasurer, Lisa Gasperini will face Teresa Nelson. Both are running as Republicans. Incumbent treasurer Punner Franzene did not file for re-election, as she is running for the position of Iron County Treasurer.

Iron River Township

For the office of clerk, incumbent Amber Laturi will face challenger Dawn Pisoni. Both are running as Democrats.

For the office of treasurer, incumbent Nancy Clements will face challengers Sherri Tarsi and Robert Tulppo. All are running as Republicans.

Stambaugh Township

There are three candidates running for two seats on the board of trustees. They are incumbents George Brunswick and Kevin S. Isaacson, and newcomer Julius Bonel. They are all running as Democrats.

Nikki Younk's e-mail address is



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