Bessemer millage proposal fails, Wakefield passes


Miranda Anderson/Daily Globe

Election official Bev Ahonen prepares voting registration for Wakefield City Manager John Siira at the Wakefield City Hall on Tuesday evening. The officials mentioned there was a fair turnout – 78 voters before the "dinner rush," though they hoped for more than 300 total. The polls were open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

GOGEBIC COUNTY- Bessemer and Wakefield city councils face changes in composition after Tuesday's election, and Bessemer voters turned down a millage proposal with nearly three out of four voting 'no.'

Bessemer Headlee Override Millage Proposal

Voters in the city of Bessemer decided not to override the Headlee Amendment, which would have given council the option to raise millage up to 20 from 17.3564, or $20 from $17.3564 per $1,000 of taxable value. 268 'no' votes and 99 'yes' votes were cast.

Bessemer's new city council

August Semmerling garnered the most votes, with 271.

Al Gaiss and Doug Olsen tied at 257, Linda Nelson earned 214 votes, and Marlene Zaleski came in with 173.

Bill McDonald did not receive enough votes to represent Bessemer on the council, with a total vote count of 140.

Gaiss, Olsen, Nelson, and Zaleski are all current council members. Semmerling is new to the council, previously serving on the Bessemer Area School Board for 41 years.

1,315 of Bessemer's 1,703 registered voters participated in Tuesday's election.

Semmerling declined to comment on election results.

Wakefield-Marenisco School Millage Proposal

Wakefield residents approved the Wakefield-Marenisco School District's Operating Millage Proposal in a 292 to 109 vote.

The millage is a renewal and provides the district with approximately $1,142,950 over ten years to cover operating expenses uncovered by other funding.

Wakefield City Council

Les Schneck earned the most votes for city council at 227, closely followed by current Mayor Dick Bolen at 225. New to the council is Bob Blaskowski with 216 votes. Joe DelFavero and Ted Finco retained their seats, with 196 and 184 votes respectively.

Charles Picoldi and Dan Roland lost, with 158 and 71 votes each.

1,287 Wakefield residents voted, out of 1,427 registered to do so.

Schneck said he was surprised with election results, as he was appointed in early summer to fill a council vacancy due to resignation of a former member.

Schneck said the council will continue to do the best they can for the citizens of Wakefield with the funds available, and correct sewer issues.


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