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New county board to face variety of challenges

Where we stand

December 23, 2012
The Mining Journal

The new, smaller, Marquette County Board will organize after the new year, with six members instead of nine.

It remains to be seen whether the streamlined number of commissioners and wider geographic districts will prove to be a help or a hindrance.

Some board members, like outgoing Commissioner Michael Quayle, think the public will ultimately suffer from the reapportionment effort which shrunk the panel's size.

He thinks the remaining commissioners will have many more committee assignments and other tasks to complete, let alone being able to meet effectively with constituents spread across the larger representative districts.

Others, like Commissioner Gerald Corkin, have worked on the board under a series of configurations. Corkin said the number of commissioners hasn't mattered in the past.

What's most important is having members with the same agenda -doing their best for Marquette County and its residents- in mind.

Like Quayle, Corkin was also disappointed with the fewer number of commissioner districts prescribed by the reapportionment plan, which was challenged and defeated in the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The redistricting forced some commissioners to run against each other in the primary or general elections this year. Other members retired or chose not to seek new terms, rather than face board mates in elections.

In the past, we too have complained about the reapportionment plan and thought it would be overturned. Having said that, we are now faced with the reality of the board's make-up, hoping for the best, moving forward into the new year.

We trust the 2013 board members, both those remaining and a new one coming in, will work diligently and effectively toward improvements for the county.

We wish the new panel well and thank the departing commissioners for their service, which for members Charles Bergdahl and Nick Joseph, extended for two decades.



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