Issues, candidates on ballot are all important

Please vote for the proposal for a Marquette County Department of Veterans’ Affairs requested by the Marquette County Veterans Alliance.

As Chairman Provost said, “It is a small price to pay to help the veterans.”

My husband served in Vietnam. I know from personal experience of the sacrifice our military veterans make.

Jerry Cannon, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, 1st District not only served in Vietnam, but he also served in the Michigan Army National Guard. He was deployed multiple times, including two tours in Iraq.

He is a contemporary of my husband, many of those in that era, who were drafted into the service or enlisted because they had no other choice.

Mr. Cannon has a record of dedicated service. He believes the purpose of service is to improve the lives of others. I am confident Jerry Cannon will support and protect social programs including Medicare, Social Security and the Affordable Health Care Act.

Repeatedly voting to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act is irresponsible, in my opinion. Providing health care for the people works in Canada, in the United Kingdom and in the US..

Pete Mackin got my vote for the 109th District Senate seat. He served on the Boards of Marquette County Corrections, Airport Zoning, Aging Services, the County Planning Commission, the Salvation Army, the Chocolay River Watershed Partnership and Township Elections Inspector. Mr. Mackin has a dynamic work ethic. He cares about the working class. I have faith in Pete because he believes “if you’re directly providing a service in the community (field biologists, teachers, cops, firefighters, etc.,) we need to take care of you.”

I support military veteran and Negaunee Mayor Keith LaCosse for 4th District county commissioner. I agree with Mr. LaCosse that the current County Commission benefits and perks are extravagant. In my opinion, these generous benefits are not commensurate with part-time public office.

The April 28, 2001 Mining Journal article, “Board Pay Highest in U.P.” reported the annual stipend for each County Commissioner is $8,000 and $9,000 for County Chair. “The county also pays the premiums on a life insurance policy valued at 11/2 times their annual salary. Commissioners also receive retirement benefits under the provisions of the Municipal Employee Retirement System of Michigan.”

The county also pays all premiums for medical, dental and optical insurance benefits for each commissioner. In addition, the fees for any conferences that commissioners attend and mileage to and from meetings and conferences are also paid by the County.

Due to the reapportionment of county commission districts, Chocolay and Sands Townships are combined with Precinct 2 in the city of Marquette. Townships and cities have different priorities. I urge District 6 voters to cast their ballot for Karen Alholm, who already has an established record of service to Chocolay Township.

For Marquette Area Public Schools Board, I voted for Kristen Cambensy. I did not vote for Rich Rossway or Brian Cherry because they voted against the MAPS teacher contract.

I understand and respect that each and everyone of us has his/her own story. I could not in good conscience vote for any legislators who closed down the government, but continued receiving their generous paychecks.

Threatening to privatize social security or cutting Medicare is simply not an option.

I trust Gary Peters, candidate for the U.S. Senate, will not compromise programs like Medicare and Social Security. I have faith Mr. Peters, will support the Affordable Health Care Act.

I voted for Mark Schauer and Lisa Brown because I don’t appreciate the tax on my pension. In addition, it is essential we provide our children with the very best education comparable to the education systems in countries such as Finland. Cuts to education and Right to Work should not be tolerated.

According to www.FeedingAmerica.org, Marquette County has a high food insecurity rate. We must elect public officials who are sensitive to the needs of the people. No one in the U.S. should have to go to bed hungry.

I have faith in the candidates for whom I cast my ballot. Faith in the human spirit is what drives us to survive and transcend.

Do your part. Go to the polls and let your voice be heard.

Editor’s note: Therese Scram is a resident of Marquette County.