Schloegel seated on commission

Paul Schloegel is sworn in as a member of the Marquette City Commission Monday by Deputy City Clerk Kyle Whitney. (Journal photo by Jaymie Depew)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette City Commission has a new member on board.

At the commission’s meeting Monday, Paul Schloegel was sworn in as the newest city commissioner, filling the seat that was left vacant in December after the sudden passing of Mayor Tom Baldini.

In a 4-2 vote, Schloegel obtained the majority of votes while Jermey Ottaway received the rest.

“I just want to be with the people of Marquette and make it a better place to live,” Schloegel said shortly after being sworn in.

Under provisions of the Marquette City Charter, the commission had 60 days to fill the vacant seat via appointment. Applications for the vacancy were made available on the city website and the Marquette City Clerk’s Office and were accepted Jan. 9-26.

In that time, the clerk’s office received seven applications from interested parties.

Aside from Schloegel and Ottaway, the applicants were: Aaron Andres, Margaret Brumm, Gustave Rydholm, Dennis Smith and William Sved.

Schloegel will serve the remainder of Baldini’s term, which expires in November 2020.

With experience serving on the Presque Isle Park Advisory Committee and the Marquette Planning Commission, where he worked on projects to address erosion issues, short-term rental agreements and the land development code, Schloegel has a long “track record” serving the city, making him a “great choice,” said Commissioner Mike Plourde.

“We had seven really good candidates. It was very difficult for me to make a decision (but) I think Commissioner Schloegel will be a great commissioner and his track record is miles long with service with the city,” Plourde said.

Originally from Menominee, Schloegel moved to Marquette in the 1990s to attend Northern Michigan University. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in public relations and a minor in political science. Schloegel served on the Presque Isle Park Advisory Committee from 2003-2009. He’s currently the general manager of Northern Energy Solutions and serves on the Marquette Planning Commission, which he will have to resign from since he was appointed city commissioner. With his resignation on the planning commission, a vacancy will be created.

“I just want to say thank you for allowing me to serve the community … (and) to everybody else that went for the position tonight. I hope that they find another avenue within the city to serve and be a part of the process,” Schloegel said. “It’s an honor for me. Since I first left Menominee and came up here and fell in love with this community, I hoped that some day I would be able to serve in this capacity. I just want to be a person that you know you can come to me and I’ll listen to what you (have) to say.”

As part of the commission’s selection process, each applicant was given three minutes to address two or three challenges and/or opportunities the city faces in the upcoming year or two.

Some of the challenges Schloegel said he hopes to address is balancing the budget, repurposing power plants to bring tax dollars back into play, and fixing the roads, especially Lakeshore Boulevard, which has experienced flooding issues in recent years due to its proximity to Lake Superior.

“Let’s get it ready for the citizens and tourists, let’s move the road back,” he said. “Hopefully, we can leave a legacy of what we’ve hoped (for) to our kids in the future.”

Mayor Dave Campana congratulated Schloegel and commended the other applicants, adding that he hopes they continue to seek office and work with the city.

The seven-member Marquette City Commission acts as the legislative branch of city government.

Commissioners serve three year terms and may not serve more than two consecutive terms.

The duties of the commission are to represent the citizens of Marquette, establish policies and approve the budget. The commission also has the power to hire a city manager and city attorney, and to appoint citizens to serve on numerous advisory boards and commissions.

According to the city charter, a candidate to fill a commission vacancy must have been qualified and registered elector of the city for at least one year immediately prior to filing for election.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal.net.