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Democratic candidates for Marquette County drain commissioner

MARQUETTE — Two candidates are running in the Aug. 4 primary to be the Democratic candidate for Marquette County drain commissioner in the November general election.

The drain commissioner is responsible under state statute for overseeing all the county’s drains, including natural or artificial creeks, ditches and pipelines for carrying stormwater.

While serving a four-year term, the drain commissioner is also responsible for all new drain construction, maintenance of existing drains and the establishment of water management districts, according to the county website.

The Democratic candidates are Paul Altobello, who currently serves as the director of the Ishpeming Area Wastewater Facility and incumbent Mike Farrell, who has served as the drain commissioner for 27 years, according to the League of Women Voters’ Vote411 website.

Paul Altobello

1. In your view, what is the most pressing issue for Marquette County Drain Commissioner’s office at present?

Altobello: Keeping Marquette County’s Watershed cleaner and healthier than is it now.

2. If elected as a Marquette County Drain Commissioner, how do you propose to address that concern?

Altobello: For over 30 years my life has been dedicated to keeping our Watershed clean. I want to put my experience to work at the County level by spending my time in the field investigating where the drainage and soil erosion problems are, and come up with practical common sense solutions. Being out in the field is an absolute must during construction and maintenance of County drains and culverts. My plan is simple, be involved with each and every project while being transparent with the public at all times!

Mike Farrell

1. In your view what is the most pressing issue for Marquette County Drain Commissioner’s office at present?

Farrell: The most pressing issue for the Marquette County Drain Commissioner’s office is the growth of our business districts and the continued need for overall stormwater management to deal with this growth.

2. If elected as a Marquette County Drain Commissioner, how do you propose to address that concern?

Farrell: As this growth continues to move into less developed communities it will become important for these communities to have the right tools to have the ability to review plans to ensure stormwater is being dealt with appropriately. The office of the Drain commissioner will continue to be available to assist in these reviews and to help implement the tools needed to accomplish these reviews.

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