Arsenault won’t run for new term on county board

MARQUETTE – Long-time Marquette County Board member Paul Arsenault announced Tuesday he won’t run for re-election.

Arsenault, 57, of Ishpeming Township has served on the county board since 1988. He was most recently re-elected to a two-year term in 2012. He will serve out his current term, which expires Dec. 31.

“I’m getting off (the board) because I’d like to see younger blood on there, with energy and interest and wanting to make a difference,” Arsenault said.

Arsenault said he also wants to concentrate on his businesses. He said he wanted to announce he wasn’t running in time to give potential candidates a chance to hear about the vacancy at least a few weeks before the 4 p.m. April 22 filing deadline.

“I think it’s important to have some candidates,” Arsenault said. “I want the people to decide who replaces me, not special interest.”

Arsenault’s District 2 voting district includes about 10,723 residents, according to the county’s 2011 reapportionment plan, and includes Negaunee, Ishpeming, Champion, Michigamme, Republic, Humboldt and Ely townships.

Arsenault has been involved with local government and community organizations for nearly three decades. He has been a long-time member of the Michigan Works Board, chairman of the Six County Alliance and a small business owner for 30 years.

Arsenault said some highlights of his tenure on the county board include serving as chairman of the committee that established the first enhanced 911 emergency system in the Upper Peninsula, moving the Marquette County Airport to K.I. Sawyer and working as chairman of the Marquette County Economic Development Corporation for five years during redevelopment of K.I. Sawyer, after the U.S. Air Force base closure in 1995.

Those interested in running for Arsenault’s seat need to file paperwork with the Marquette County Clerk’s Office by the April 22 deadline.

As of Tuesday, Commissioner Steven Pence and county board Chairman Gerald Corkin had filed paperwork to run for re-election. Pence represents District 1 and Corkin District 4.

The county board has six members. Remaining commissioners include Deborah Pellow, representing District 5, Bruce Heikkila in District 3 and Greg Seppanen in District 6.

The terms of all county board members will expire this year.

The primary election will be Aug. 5 and the general election will be Nov. 4.