ISHPEMING - Two Ishpeming City Council members will go head-to-head for the mayor position in the Nov. 6 general election.
Council members Mike Tall and Elaine Racine are running mayor, which is currently held by Pat Scanlon.
The term of office is two years. Only council members in the middle of their four year term are allowed to run for mayor.
Each candidate was asked to provide a few background details they think voters should know, why people should vote for them and what issues they would actively pursue if elected. Word limitations were enforced on each answer. Tall did not respond to numerous requests for comment.
Racine, for her background said: "I was born in Ishpeming and I've lived here all of my life. I graduated from the Ishpeming High School, and worked at Bell Memorial in the business office until my store was purchased 39 years ago. In 1985 I started the annual Thanksgiving Dinner at Bethel Lutheran Church and enjoy working there every year. I've served on several boards and committees in Ishpeming and Marquette, and I'm an active member of St. John's Catholic Church."
When asked why voters should elect her, she said: "I've been on the Ishpeming city council for almost two years and I always research a topic before I vote on it. I know that I must vote for what is best for the taxpayers of our city. I cannot vote on a personal level for myself, or for anyone else. I also like to listen to the concerns of the residents. I may not always agree with them, but that's not important.
"What is important is that I listen and understand their concerns and try to help them resolve it, if possible, quickly and fairly. I've ridden in the snowplow a couple of nights, spent an afternoon at the police station, been on a drug stakeout, gone on a city tour with the code enforcement lady and visited our fire department during one of their maintenance meetings."
On what issue she would actively pursue, Racine said: "If I'm elected as mayor, I will try to help our city resolve some of the many vital issues facing it. We need a new or a vastly improved fire hall, DPW and police facility. I've learned how hard our understaffed police department and DPW employees work, and I've seen the dedication our volunteer fire department has. We have streets, water lines, and many buildings downtown, and in our residential areas, that need to be repaired or demolished.
"Unfortunately at this time money is scarce, and the city's infrastructure is in dire need. We also need to eradicate the 'drug problem' in our city. This means that money can only be spent on vital elements, not on frills, favors or special interests. Our city's budget needs a council that will stand firm on not wasting taxpayers money. I know that our city problems can be solved over time, and we can again make it a safe, comfortable place where people will want to live or start a business. It will take persistence, and as most of you know, I have a lot of that."
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401.