The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Simmons appointed Ironwood Township supervisor


May 14, 2019


Ironwood TownshipIronwood Township once again has a township supervisor, as the township board of trustees Monday appointed Jim Simmons to fill the vacant office.

“I feel he’s very qualified,” Treasurer Maria Graser said, in support of Simmons. “Through everything we’ve gone through in the township, he’s been there for us 100 percent.”

Simmons will complete the remainder of former supervisor Steve Boyd’s term, which ends after the 2020 election. Boyd died in April after a battle with cancer.

Simmons told the Daily Globe he doesn’t plan to run for office in 2020 but said he wanted to finish Boyd’s term and help move the township forward.

“You need to have clearly defined goals; you need to have timetables, milestones, clearly defined objectives,” said Simmons, in response to a question about his vision as supervisor. “And if you can’t meet them at a certain time, you have to ask yourself why they weren’t met.”

Simmons said he had 30 years of accounting and managerial experience, as well as a Master of Business Administration and 28 graduate credits in public administration.

Along with his accounting experience, several board members also praised Simmons for raising concerns about former treasurer Jyl Renee Olson-DeRosso’s embezzlement.

“Through the whole embezzlement issue, there were only a couple of people that really believed there was an issue when I was pounding my fist on the table saying, ‘Numbers don’t line up.’ Mr. Simmons was one of them,” said Trustee Kevin Lyons. “He taught me a lot about audits, and I appreciate that.”

“I feel that’s the kind of person we need in here right now,” added Graser.

The board approved Simmons 4-2, with trustees Marlene Saari-Mieloszyk and Bev Michaels voting against the measure.

Prior to Simmons’ appointment, a motion to appoint Sharon Hallberg failed to get a majority of the board support with a vote of 3-3. Saari-Mieloszyk, Michaels and Lyons voted for this measure; with Graser, Clerk Mary Segalin and Trustee Bernie Brunello voting against it.

After the meeting, Simmons praised Hallberg and said he was looking forward to working with everyone to move the township forward.

In other action, the board:

—Approved hiring Thomas Novascone as township assessor. Lyons voted against the measure as the board didn’t specify where the money to pay for the service came from.

—Approved a stipulation reducing the taxable value of the Walmart property by $218,837 to $3,616,888. Assessor Dave Hardie told the board this number was a negotiated compromise and Walmart had originally sought to have the value reduced by $635,000.

—Authorized township officials to send a letter to residents connected to the sewer system reminding them that connecting sump pumps and other gray water systems to the sewer system violates a township ordinance.

—Adopted a resolution in support of making township offices appear in the non-partisan section of the state’s ballot.

—Adopted a resolution amending Ordinance 56 regarding the uniform system of house numbers in the township. The change clarifies that township employees can install the house number signs.

—Tabled action on purchasing clay for the ball field behind the township hall as the board hopes it will be able to get a grant for improvements to the field and park in the future. According to information presented at the meeting, its unclear how much the field will be used this year and those who use it are going to try and mix the existing clay with sand to maintain it for another year.

—Also tabled the purchase of new fire number signs for the township until township officials can check with the company if the purchase can be split over two years.


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