The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Wakefield's part-time utility clerk job in question


December 2, 2017


Wakefield — A promotion among the city of Wakefield’s staff has resulted in the question of whether to retain a resulting vacant slot.

City council members on Monday approved the appointment of Sue Ahonen as new city clerk and that, in turn, left empty her former position as a part-time utility clerk.

Wakefield City Manager Richard Brackney told the Globe on Friday that he informed council members during a Thursday workshop that they now can ponder whether they want to retain that particular job.

Although the decision ultimately belongs to Brackney, he said he appreciates having input from members, so he asked them to think about whether they wish to see the job stay or go.

The city’s occasional workshops are meant only for the purpose of information sharing. Council members cannot vote during a workshop session.

Additional workshop discussion revolved around progress occurring on two recently acquired city properties, one at 1404 Pierce St. and one at 1010 Maki St.

Brackney told the council that the properties, which the city took on through tax reversion, now must undergo an asbestos inspection before demolition can occur.

“They are both blighted houses that need to be taken down,” he said.

In brighter news, Brackney described a city campaign to offer to Wakefield residents free LED light bulbs, each of which are the equivalent of 60 watts.

Brackney said the bulbs use 9 watts instead of 60 and are rated to last 18 years. Moreover, he said, “Everybody’s been telling me that the light is much better. It’s easier to see.”

He added that he was expecting 1,000 of the bulbs to be delivered by Friday, but the order was delayed until Dec. 11.

Once the bulbs arrive, they will be distributed at the municipal building at no cost to Wakefield residents.

The program, said Brackney, will continue “indefinitely.”

Among other discussion, the council also learned:

—City water rates are undergoing an audit and may need to be adjusted before long.

—In terms of 2018 elections, any items desired on the August and November election ballots must be declared by May and August, respectively.

—“Nee-Gaw-Nee-Gaw-Bow,” the statue installed in 1988 next to the Wakefield Visitors and Information Center, after a donation by artist Peter “Wolf” Toth, is in need of restoration.


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