Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Viewpoint: John Pekkala, Democratic candidate for Houghton County Drain Commissioner

Editor's Note: Keweenaw Now invited John Pekkala, Democratic candidate for Houghton County Drain Commissioner, to explain to our readers what the duties of the Drain Commissioner are and why they should vote for him to remain as Houghton County Drain Commissioner, a position he has held since May 1, 2008.

By John Pekkala

John Pekkala, Houghton County Drain Commissioner, shares community festivities at the Chassell Strawberry Festival Parade in July 2008. (Photo courtesy Anton Pintar)

HOUGHTON -- The Houghton County Drain Commissioner is the administrator for the Drain Code of 1956, as amended (Act No. 40 of the Public Acts of 1956, as amended) and the County Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control (SESC) Program (Part 91, Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act 1994 PA 451, as amended). I have over 17 years of experience administering the Drain Code and the Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Act. I acquired this experience by working for the Genesee County Drain Commissioner and performing the duties as Houghton County Drain Commissioner.

The Houghton County Drain Commissioner issues Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permits and approves final plats for adequate storm water facilities. This process involves review of SESC site plans and proposed developments under the Land Division Act (Act 288 of 1967, as amended). A thorough review is imperative in order to assure that adequate protection is provided to our lakes, rivers and land resources.

I've helped hundreds of County residents and government officials begin the process of establishing a County Drain. I was directly involved with the process that begins with the application for a drainage district until the final completion of the County Drain. I became certified to administer the Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Act in 1991. After many years inspecting construction sites, I've been able to determine what soil erosion controls work best on a particular site. Sharing this knowledge with the project and construction managers ultimately avoids potential problems and unnecessary expense.

The experience that I have is unique and came from representing the Drain Commissioner and actually being the Drain Commissioner. Houghton County deserves this type of experience so that the office of the Houghton County Drain Commissioner is functioning as efficiently as possible. I maintain regular office hours as required by the Drain Code, and I'm available year-round to answer your questions.

My office is located on the first floor of the Houghton County Courthouse, 401 E. Houghton Ave., Houghton, MI 49931. Office Phone: 906-482-4491; Fax 906-482-7238; E-mail jpekkala@houghtoncounty.net. Visit the Houghton County Web site at http://www.houghtoncounty.net/.

1 comment:

maryschoos said...

As a member of the Houghton County Plat Board, I have to rely on the different agencies to review and approve the plat before I sign it. I have confidence in John Pekkala as Houghton County Drain Commissioner. I know he is experienced and dedicated.
Mary Schoos, Houghton County Clerk / Register of Deeds