Deadline nears to file for 2017 general elections

WHITNEY

MARQUETTE — The deadline is approaching to file in the November 2017 election to run for open seats on the Marquette City Commission and the Marquette Board of Light and Power.

These are the only local seats on the November ballot in Marquette County, according to the Marquette County Clerk’s Office.

Interested candidates can pick up the relevant packet from Marquette City Hall at 300 W. Baraga Ave.

The deadline to turn in completed materials is 4 p.m. April 25.

There are three seats opening on the city commission and two on the BLP Board of Directors.

Terms for both entities are three years. Seats are nonpartisan.

Terms expiring in November are those of Mayor Pro-Tem Thomas Baldini and commissioners Mike Conley and Peter White Frazier, according to the Marquette County Clerk’s Office.

At the BLP, board member Dave Carlson and Chairman Tom Tourville have terms ending then as well.

Candidates must have been residents of the city of Marquette for at least a year prior to the election and not be in debt to the city.

Deputy City Clerk Kyle Whitney said candidates are required to obtain 25 signatures of Marquette residents, whose identity and residence will be verified.

“We provide you with additional forms, there’s 36 spaces I think,” Whitney said. “We tell people to fill it up because, without fail, there’s somebody who doesn’t actually live in the city or they’re not registered and they think they are or something like that, so we do verify them.”

Candidates also have the option to pay a $100 fee in lieu of collecting signatures.

If more than twice the number of candidates run than there are seats open, a primary will be held in August as there cannot be more than two candidates per seat on the ballot, Whitney said.

“For instance, come November, that ballot has to have six or fewer for the city commission on it. So if seven or more file by the deadline, there will be a primary in August,” Whitney said. “Same for the BLP. There’s two seats open, so if five or more file, there will be a primary in the BLP as well.”

Once candidates have submitted their application, they have two days beyond the deadline to withdraw their candidacy.

The city’s Elections Board will meet at 3 p.m. April 27 to verify candidates for office and release the official candidate list.

The city commission acts as the legislative branch of city government. Its duties are to represent the citizens of Marquette, establish policies and approve the budget, according to the city’s website.

Voters elect seven commissioners during nonpartisan, city-wide elections. Commissioners may not serve more than two consecutive terms in office.

The city commission must conduct all business at public meetings, which are held the second and last Mondays of the month at 6 p.m. in the commission chambers of city hall, located at 300 W. Baraga Ave.

The BLP is governed by its elected board consisting of five members who serve staggered three-year terms. Each board member may serve for two consecutive terms, after which they are ineligible to run again for two years.

BLP board meetings are held the second and last Tuesdays of each month at 4:30 p.m. at the BLP office at 2200 Wright St.

Mary Wardell can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is mwardell@miningjournal.net.