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Metsa campaigns for Michigan House seat in 110th District

JANET METSA

HOUGHTON — Janet Metsa, a Houghton County businesswoman, is a Democratic candidate for state representative in Michigan’s 110th District.

“The Western U.P. is a unique place, far from Lansing,” Metsa said. “I have deep family roots in the U.P. and understand the values we prize most. Our next state representative needs to understand our issues, and to be able to effectively communicate our needs to the state legislature. I believe my background and experience qualifies me to do that and to be a strong representative for the 110th District.”

The district includes Keweenaw, Baraga, Houghton, Iron, Ontonagon, and Gogebic counties, plus Ishpeming and Powell townships in Marquette County.

“Initiatives I would bring to Lansing include economic development, renewed infrastructure, ensuring public health, lower energy prices, and more autonomy for the U.P. on strategic issues of local importance,” Metsa said. “However, I believe the next two years will be consumed with economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Services such as education, public health, revenue sharing, pensions, and law enforcement will be under extreme budgetary pressures, and this district needs someone to make sure the U.P. gets their fair share of diminished state resources.”

Metsa said she will focus on bringing new jobs and businesses to the area.

“As a business entrepreneur and former Keweenaw Economic Development Association Board member, Janet has been an important force in building the Western U.P. economy,” said Philip Musser, former KEDA executive director and Smartzone chairman.

“Janet not only started her own business but was also a key person on the KEDA board in designing and carrying out an aggressive economic development strategy for the Western U.P. at a time when businesses had closed and jobs had been lost,” Musser said. “This is again a critical time when the Western U.P. needs to continue to reinvent its economy to create family sustaining jobs as it emerges from the pandemic. The Western U.P. region needs economic savvy leaders like Janet.”

“Growing up on a Chassell dairy farm, and as a current landowner, I understand the need for wise management of our land and water resources, Metsa said. “Forest products, minerals, and farm products have long been the financial base for the U.P., and their sustainable use is essential for our economic future. Wise use of our natural resources should be balanced with maintaining the natural beauty and ecology of the western U.P., which attracts large numbers of visitors seeking an incomparable outdoors experience. We should ensure that our children and grandchildren can enjoy this same legacy.

“Finally, as the parent of 3 children who attended K-12 in Houghton, education and supporting our teachers is a priority. To keep our young people learning in these difficult times, our students and schools need access to the technology tools — high speed internet and computer/tablets — essential for distance learning and work.”

Metsa has established a private consulting practice specializing in air and water environmental issues. Much of her consulting work focuses on database and model development combined with software development and review. These tools are used in assessing process sustainability and environmental impacts. She has had consulting collaborations with researchers from several universities and private industry.

In 2005, she established Vesitech, Inc to explore the development and commercialization of water treatment technologies.

Metsa has served on the Portage Township Zoning Board of Appeals, Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance Board, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Council and Lutheran Campus Ministry Board.

Residing in Portage Township, she is married with three adult children and one grandchild.

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