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Osbourne appointed new Alpena County commissioner

ALPENA- Kevin Osbourne take his oath of office after being appointed to be the new commissioner for District 6, in Alpena County. Osbourne replaces Ron McDonald who died last month.

ALPENA–The Alpena County Board of Commissioners appointed a new representative for District. 6 during a special meeting on Wednesday.

Kevin Osbourne, who was the only candidate for the appointment, was interviewed by the commissioners and then appointed after a 7-0 vote of the board to replace Ron McDonald, who died on Aug. 20.

Osbourne, who is the chairman of the Alpena County Republican Party, is a retired fireman from Alpena Township who says he wants to be a commissioner as a way to continue to serve the community he lives in.

He will also replace McDonald on the ballot for the November election, where he will be unopposed.

“I was looking for something to do that was less physical and more mental than fire fighting to help out,” Osbourne said. “I have pretty much been in public service for my entire life. I’m not ready to just go home and sit in my house and do nothing. This seemed like the perfect way to serve the people in the community as I have done for years.”

Commissioner Marty Thomson said Osbourne’s appointment comes at a busy and critical time for the county. He said in the next month or so, the board will begin the 2021 budget process and that will be a good way for the new commissioner to learn more about the county’s finances and the tough decisions that will need to be made to cut into a deficit that exceeds $1 million.

Osbourne said as fire chief he worked with budgets for the township, but added that he knows he has a lot to learn in a short period of time.

“I know there will be a huge learning curve on my part, in a quick time frame, but I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

The board also reminded Osbourne about the amount of time he will need to commit to meetings, other county business, and the long days he will work. Osbourne said that wouldn’t be an issue for him and if there are scheduling conflicts, he will shuffle things around to be sure he can fulfill his obligation to the people in the county.

I will do what it takes to get the job done,” Osbourne said. “I am up to the challenge and excited to get to work.

After the vote, County Clerk Bonnie Friedrichs gave Osbourne his oath of office, and then he took his place at the table with his fellow commissioners.

Osbourn’s first full board of commissioner meeting will be on Sept. 29.

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