Breitung board fills 2 vacancies

QUINNESEC — Breitung Township Board has filled two vacancies, naming Karie Taff as clerk and appointing Brent Johnson to a trustee seat.

Township Clerk Wendy Larson submitted her resignation in April, saying she wished to pursue an out-of-state opportunity. Taff, who previously served as deputy clerk and assessing clerk for the township, will complete a term that expires Nov. 20. She is undecided about running for a full term as clerk.

Johnson will replace Trustee Aaron Rochon, who serves as undersheriff in Dickinson County and has applied to become acting sheriff with Scott Rutter stepping down in June. Rochon is running for sheriff in the Nov. 5 election. Even if he is not appointed sheriff, his duties are expanding and it is becoming difficult to continue serving on the board, he said.

Johnson previously served as a trustee and is now on the zoning board of appeals. Sharon Reuter also expressed interest in the position. Reuter previously sought a trustee seat after the resignation of Rich Wales and is on the zoning board of appeals and the tax board of review.

Trustee Ben Peterson said that choosing between the two was a difficult decision, with both candidates being potential assets.

The board ultimately chose Johnson to serve a term expiring Nov. 20.

Johnson and Reuter are among five Republican candidates who have filed for four trustee seats in the Aug. 6 primary. The others are incumbents Peterson, Michael Day and Paul Taff. There are no Democratic candidates.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

— Voted to waive a sealed bid requirement for expenditures over $5,000 for a cleanup of the Kerry Schinderle property at 421 Henford Ave. Schinderle’s appeal of the township’s dangerous property declaration was dismissed in Dickinson County Circuit Court due to Schinderle not filing the required paperwork correctly, clearing the way for the township to take action. Superintendent Steve Mulka said he would still get at least three quotes for the work. The board authorized Mulka to spend up to $10,000 without further approval.

— Approved annual membership dues to the Michigan Townships Association in the amount of $5,447. In addition, the board approved an additional $1,900 premium membership that will give the township full access to MTA online courses at no additional charge.

— Heard from Bethany Leiter of Highline Internet of Escanaba. Leiter reported that construction will soon begin on a fiber high-speed internet network for those underserved in the township. Service will be available in August.

— Approved a $500 donation to the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 50 Fourth of July Fireworks event.

Jim Paul can be reached at 906-774-2772 ext. 229 or at jpaul@ironmountaindailynews.com.


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