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Four run for two seats on Ishpeming council

October 28, 2010
By JOHANNA BOYLE Journal Ishpeming Bureau

ISHPEMING - The Ishpeming City Council will have two open seats on Tuesday's ballot.

The seats are held by Mayor Gary Nelson, who has decided not to run again, and Mayor Pro Tem Pat Bureau, who is running for re-election.

The two open seats are three-year terms.

Four people, including Bureau, are listed on the ballot.

Bureau, who has been on the council for a total of eight years, has also been involved on the committee exploring the creation of a west end district library, the annual Renaissance Festival and Art Faire, the recently created Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce and is a board member on the Michigan Municipal League.

"Decisions I make are based on the facts I have at hand. I don't have anyone else steering my decisions," Bureau said. "I've always been involved in city work."

If re-elected, Bureau said she would like to see continued cooperation between the Ishpeming and Negaunee libraries, further work on the recreational development of the north shore of Teal Lake, growth of the city's fund balance and a reduction in the city's millage rate.

Also running this year is John French, an Ishpeming resident since 1996. He is one of the organizers of the Renaissance Festival and former member of the city's cemetery board. French is employed by Pioneer Surgical in Marquette.

"I think the current city council recently has taken some positive steps to developing the downtown," French said. "I want to make sure we continue those positive steps."

In addition, French, who has attended nearly every council meeting since January, said he would like to see the council combat the city's drug problems by encouraging new businesses and cleaning up neighborhoods.

Also included on the ballot is Ishpeming business owner Elaine Racine, who owns Elaine's Place on Third Street. Racine has been involved in the Ishpeming Pioneer Kiwanis, is on the board of directors for Access Justice Now, a domestic violence prevention organization, and on the board of the Women's Center.

"I've contemplated running for the city council for about 10 years, but the time had to be right for me," Racine said. "I'm very proud to be an Ishpeming resident and if I'm elected, I hope that I can help to make it an even better, safer place to live."

The fourth candidate listed on the Ishpeming ballot is Mike Tall, a former Ishpeming EMT. As a 30-year member of Cliffs Natural Resources emergency preparedness boards, Tall said he wants to see the city's police, fire and emergency services stay "on the right path."

"I'm pretty much a common person. I'm not out to prove anything," Tall said. "I'd like to see the city back on its feet."

Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her e-mail address is



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