CRYSTAL FALLS—Iron County county commissioners plan to select an interim District 5 representative by Jan. 21 so the new member can attend a state-wide training seminar.
The County Board voted Jan. 2 to accept letters of interest through Jan. 18 to fill the vacant seat.
“It should be advertised with the understanding that they will not be able to fulfill the rest of the term,” County Clerk Joan Luhtanen said of the interim appointment.
The election date is contingent upon who applies for the seat. Because the interim position is being filled during an off election year, a permanent member must be chosen by special election.
If two members of the same political party apply, a primary election is in order. If only one member of a party applies, a primary election would be unnecessary, and a special election will be scheduled, with the winner serving the remainder of the two-year term.
During the Jan. 2 meeting, the board of commissioners formally accepted District 5 commissioner Bev Camp’s resignation. The district includes Mansfield, Hematite and Crystal Falls townships.
The meeting was the first for Commissioners James Brennan, Ray Coates and Patti Peretto. Senior Commissioner Carl Lind was elected board chairman.
The board also voted to retain Crystal Falls attorney Steven Tinti to represent the county during litigation for issues regarding Indian Lake. Tinti had served as civil counsel for the board, but Peretto questioned retaining both Tinti and Prosecuting Attorney Melissa Powell.
“I’m not comfortable passing this right now,” Peretto said of a motion to retain Tinti. She contended that with Powell already qualified to represent the county, it may be redundant to hire a second attorney.
Powell pointed out that in her role as prosecutor she is legally obligated to make judicial matters her first priority. That could create scheduling conflicts with county obligations.
Letters of interest for Board of Commissioners District 5 can be mailed to Board of Commissioners Office, 2 S. Sixth St, Crystal Falls, MI 49920 or can be dropped off at the office in person. The deadline is 4 p.m. Jan. 18.