Ironwood has new commissioners
November 4, 2021
By TOM LAVENTURE
Kim Corcoran, a current commissioner and mayor pro tem, collected 540 votes to gain the most in the field of seven candidates and one registered write-in candidate.
Corcoran, who has served as mayor in previous commissions, said she is grateful to be re-elected and to have the opportunity to serve again. This commission will follow through on the work of the previous commission, she said.
“I would like to keep the momentum going and continue to utilize our master plan to guide us along the way,” Corcoran said. “We also have some great advisory committees to offer direction on community needs.”
The priority is to see the water filtration plant through to completion, she said. The is essential to protecting the city’s water source and help the city progress with new investments.
“I am looking forward to working with the new commission,” Corcoran said.
David Andresen, a challenger candidate, collected 517 votes for second place.
The results make Corcoran mayor when she is sworn back into office at the Nov. 8 city commission meeting. Andresen’s second place finish will make him the mayor pro tem.
“I appreciate all the support and I am humbled by the opportunity,” Andresen said Wednesday. “I am excited to serve and I am looking forward to working with others. I hope to do my best and serve the citizens of Ironwood in a positive manner.”
Nancy Korpela, another challenger, came in third with 487 votes. She said Wednesday that she appreciates the strong support and is honored to serve with a “remarkable team” of city commissioners for the next two years and will work to “preserve and promote the prosperity, heritage, and beauty” of Ironwood along with ensuring a “welcoming, nurturing, and inclusive environment” for success.
“We’ve made great headway down the path we set out to accomplish when we set up our strategic plan,” Korpela said. “And we are now positioned to revise that plan with all our community members to forge new paths and opportunities that ensure the future investment, growth, safety, and development of Ironwood and the continued success of our historic community.”
Incumbent commissioner Jim Mildren collected 471 votes and incumbent Rick Semo received 463 votes to regain their seats on the board.
Incumbent Joseph Cayer fell six votes shy of the fifth council seat with 457 votes. Challenger Dan Wood collected 318 votes.
Ryan Gobats received 19 write-in votes.
Cayer, who has served six two-year terms since 2003, said he has lost elections before and that he departs the board now knowing that he contributed to a water filtration project he advocated for over a decade. Being part of the commission that built the city square and rebuilt the civic center was also a proud accomplishment, he said.
“It was a pleasure serving on the commission and I say thank you,” Cayer said. “We got some amazing stuff done and hopefully they will continue to work toward that type of thing.”
Six term mayor Annette Burchell did not run in this election. She led a field of nine candidates in the 2019 city commission race, followed by Corcoran, Cayer, Semo and Mildren with Wood placing sixth. The same five candidates also won in 2017.
There was an approximately 18% turnout of eligible city voters, according to the unofficial county results posted Tuesday evening. The Gogebic County Board of Canvassing was to certify the results on Wednesday afternoon which was past the deadline for this news story.
In addition to ensuring that the actual counts match what was reported on election night, the board, which includes representatives from both major political parties, will review any questionable ballots to allow or reject them based on state election laws.
The overall county voter turnout was consistent with non-presidential general election years dating back to at least 2011, said Ramona Collins, county clerk and register of deeds. There were no issues reported at any of the polling stations as of Wednesday, she said.
“Thankfully, I have not heard of any problems at the polls or precincts,” Collins said, noting that this is the result of skilled city and township clerks and election volunteers. “They are the key to all of this working smoothly.”