The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Reorganized county board picks road commission board member


Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

NEW GOGEBIC County Board of Commissioners Chair George Peterson, of Watersmeet, left, receives the gavel from outgoing chairman Joe Bonovetz, of Bessemer, on Wednesday afternoon.


Bessemer - The Gogebic County Board of Commissioners appointed a road commission board member on a split vote at the county board's Wednesday reorganizational session.

On a 4-2 vote, Dan Peterson was named to the road commission board, topping Kevin Haustein.

New county board chair George Peterson, of Watersmeet, cast the deciding vote for Dan Peterson, who is no relation.

Earlier in the meeting, the board agreed to continue the policy that the board chair votes last.

Tom Laabs, Jim Oliver and Jeff Wasley also voted for Dan Peterson, while Bob Orlich and former board chair Joe Bonovetz supported Haustein.

Dan Siirila abstained from voting because he did not sit in on the interviews for the vacancy that was created when Siirila was elected to the Ironwood Township seat on the county board.

Siirila said the appointment had to be made soon because the five-member road commission board was down to three members and when one person was sick this week, a meeting had to be canceled because there was no quorum.

Dan Peterson joins recent appointee John Matonich, Roy D'Antonio and Marti Wegner on the road commission. A seat previously held by Rob Drier is up for reappointment. There's an existing pool of three candidates for the Drier seat, including himself.

After being nominated for the county board chair seat by Orlich, of Wakefield, George Peterson was approved on a 7-0 vote. The principal at the Watersmeet school, Peterson said he if he has "too many irons in the fire," he'll step down from the chairmanship.

"I'll try to fill the shoes that Joe (Bonovetz) left," Peterson said in praising Bonovetz' leadership.

The appointment of Peterson follows a longstanding informal policy of rotating the chairman's position.

Bonovetz said he did not wish to be reappointed to the chair seat.

Siirila was elected vice-chair Wednesday on a unanimous vote.

Gogebic County Prosecutor Nick Jacobs was chosen as parliamentarian.

The schedule of meeting dates for the county board of commissioners in the Gogebic County District Courtroom will continue as in the past. It includes:

-Regular board meetings: Second and fourth Wednesday of every month, at 5 p.m.

-Finance committee: Fourth Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m.

The board agreed to advertise to fill a vacancy on the forestry and parks committee that was left when Siirila was elected to the county board.

It also agreed to issue credit cards to Siirila and Mindy Prenderville, an airport employee. Richard Holm, who retired from his airport job, previously held a card. The credit card limits are $2,000.

County administrator Juiliane Giackino said department heads must review all employee purchases and initial them under a change in the county's policy. That means airport manager Mike Harma will need to authorize any airport expenditures.


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