Marquette Board of Light and Power election coming this fall

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Sam Rush/NW

Jesse Wiederhold

Four candidates are running for open seats on the Marquette Board of Light and Power this fall. Among them are Edward Angeli, John Braamse, Matt Luttenberger and John Sonderegger. The Board of Light and Power positions are nonpartisan, similar to the city commission seats that are up for election.

Candidates were asked the same questions. Specifically, they were asked what they can do for NMU students and the community.

Edward Angeli

Angeli, if re-elected, will have served the MBLP for twelve years. As for keeping utilities low for all, Angeli said that everyone should “have the most cost-effective, reliable and environmentally safe power.” Angeli knows that “NMU students are often on a limited budget, like a lot of our residents,” he said.

“Keeping power affordable is important. Keeping local control of that power ensures direct input into all of the above,” Angeli said. He believes that everyone owes a duty to their community. Angeli said that his duty can be done at the MBLP. With years of experience under his belt, Angeli wishes to keep serving his community.

John Braamse

Braamse supports keeping the MBLP a non-profit, publicly-owned utility. This “eliminates a profit motive and keeps rates lower than many other local utilities,” said Braamse. He also supports expanding renewable energy. Braamse has been interested in participating in his community ever since he returned in 2012 from the military. Braamse has a B.S. in government and an M.S. in general administration.

“I would like the MBLP to produce and purchase more renewable energy to combat climate change as well as provide career possibilities in the areas of solar panel and windmill construction,” said Braamse. “I believe that my experiences working with others and my education will enable me to help solve problems and issues facing our community,” Braamse said.

Matt Luttenberger

Luttenberger, a Marquette resident, wishes to serve on the MBLP to keep up working and current policies. Luttenberger wants to incorporate more solar energy, if possible, to NMU and the surrounding areas. This would allow for more “jobs and power for all of us,” said Luttenberger. 

Luttenberger feels that there are already good contracts between the MBLP and NMU. Luttenberger explained that rates are negotiated during the summer where usage is lower, therefore creating an already low-as-possible rate system. This helps ensure NMU student bills are low. Luttenberger wants to push for more local, sustainable energy for the future as well.

John Sonderegger

Sonderegger has previously served the MBLP and says he is ready to get back to it. Sonderegger is a retired certified public accountant and has experience with small business, and privately-owned businesses. With previous time on the board, Sonderegger explained that he understands how the power grid works, and “knows how to best optimize our assets for the ratepayers and stakeholders,” he added.

“I’m interested in having a utility board that is both informed technically and from a business aspect, without any special agenda,” said Sonderegger. He also stated he supports the use of new and efficient technologies to keep costs low for NMU students and the community of Marquette. Sonderegger said that he wants a “well-run utility” for the MBLP.
As a reminder, voter registration ends Oct. 19. Absentee ballots must be postmarked Nov. 2 or be turned in Nov. 3 by 8 p.m. In-person voting at the Marquette City Clerk’s office is open now by appointment through November 2. Their number is (906) 225-8667.