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Five to run for two Alpena council seats

ALPENA — Five candidates will vye off against one another in the November election for a pair of seats on the Alpena Municipal Council.

The filing deadline was Tuesday, and there are four political newcomers, and incumbent Cindy Johnson. Councilwoman Amber Hess, whose term expires at the end of the year, will not seek re-election, as she is moving out of the city limits, but remaining in Alpena County.

According to Alpena Clerk Anna Soik, Johnson, Karol Walchak, Ashley Wilmot, Tracie Schaedig, and Kevin Ginter met the filing deadline and criteria to be on the ballot.

Others wishing to run, must do so as a write-in candidate and their names will not appear in print. The council is made up of non-party candidates.

Johnson, who was victorious as a write-in candidate in 2014, is seeking a second, full, four-year term. She said she enjoys being mayor pro tem, and being involved in decisions that help Alpena to reach its full potential.

“It has been an honor to serve, and (I) would like four more years to complete some of the things we are working on,” Johnson said. “I’m a hard worker and get things done.”

Wilmot said she is excited to run for council and believes some new ideas, thoughts, and opinions on the board will be refreshing. She said she can relate to people of all demographics and will work hard for residents.

“I just thought it was the appropriate time for me to step up and contribute in a bigger way for my community,” Wilmot said.

Ginter is a fireman, who believes good representatives research, study, and investigate issues before voting. He said he wants to see better transparency from all levels of government and vows to make decisions in the best interest of those who live, work, and visit the city.

“I want to do what is best for the community and help with issues like the fire department, recreational marijuana, our parks, and the ongoing water and sewer litigation between the city and Alpena Township,” Ginter said. “I’ll do the best good, for the most people. Obviously, I won’t be able to please everyone though.”

Schaedig said continuing to improve relationships with other municipalities is a goal of hers. She said communities are stronger when they work and respect each other. She said helping to find a resolution to the water and sewer litigation is also a task near the top of her to-do list.

“We need to continue to build the relationship between the city and township. We’re different, but we need each other, and we’re better together,” she said. “Issues need honesty and hard work to negotiate, but it’s necessary for us to grow. When we find an equitable resolution the transition into it may have some growing pains, as all good relationships do.”

Walchak said there are many positive things taking place in the city and she is amped up to be a part of making it even better. Several of the issues she intends to focus attention to are those that address the environment and the area’s natural resources.

“I am excited and proud to run for office and I want to be a part of all the wonderful things taking place in Alpena” Walchak. “I think if our city can continue to work on each problem with energy and creativity, we will continue to have a solid trajectory. Personally, I want to start with the landfill issues and maybe work with our recycling industry to combine our resources to create a solution for our looming landfill issues. Overall, I’m excited to be a part of this wonderful time.”

The general election is Nov. 3.

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