Humboldt Township Supervisor Joe Derocha points out the multi-volume permit (on top shelf) that will allow Lundin Mining (who purchased the Eagle Mine from Rio Tinto) to process ore from the Eagle Mine at the Humboldt Mill. Derocha is now running as the Democratic candidate for Marquette County Commission District 2. (Keweenaw Now file photo)
NEGAUNEE, Mich. -- Joe Derocha, Humboldt Township supervisor, is the Democratic candidate for Marquette County Commission District 2, which includes the townships of Negaunee, Ishpeming, Ely, Humboldt, Republic, Champion and Michigamme. He invites supporters to attend a Campaign Kick-Off Event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 19, 2014, at Derocha's 41 Steak House, 5 miles west of Ishpeming on US 41.
Donation/Tickets are $20 at the door. Food, beverages and live entertainment will be provided.*
Derocha is unopposed in the Aug. 5 Democratic Primary Election. In the November 4, 2014, general election he will run against Republican Justin Carlson.
A lifelong resident of Marquette County and a local business owner, Derocha has years of experience working with the County Board on issues critical to Marquette County and District 2 in particular. As supervisor of Humboldt Township since 2008, he has been involved with the community in several ways.
Since taking office, Derocha has donated his time and a portion of his supervisor’s salary to create a pantry that serves a free monthly community lunch open to all residents. He has worked with local residents and officials at all levels of government (township, county, state and federal) to improve the economic conditions, enhance job creation opportunities, and improve the quality of services to the residents of Marquette County.
The hallmarks of his vision, Derocha says, are "job creation, environmental stewardship, and enhancing the quality of life of [my] constituents in District 2."
Derocha has worked with the EPA, DNR, and DEQ on numerous environmental remediation issues in the industrial district known as the Humboldt Mill Project. (The Mill, when completed, is destined to be used for processing ore from the Eagle Mine near Big Bay, Mich. -- scheduled to begin production later this year.) He also led the effort to reactivate an abandoned rail corridor serving the Humboldt Mill. Derocha has followed the mill project closely and has expressed his concern that the local environment be protected. In addition, he established dialogue with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community recognizing and respecting their ceded territory.
Derocha was an instrumental part of the Marquette County negotiating team for the non-ferrous mining severance tax in Lansing. Because of his efforts local units of government and the Republic-Michigamme and the local NICE school districts have benefited greatly.**
"I am a local guy," Derocha notes. "I know this place and the people and they know me. As a Marquette County Commissioner I will keep fighting to do good things for the economy and our way of life in this place that we call home."
* This campaign event is hosted by the Committee to Elect Joseph Derocha, 12 Krooks Road, Negaunee, MI 49866.
** See our Dec. 1, 2012, article,"Updated: County, township officials oppose Huuki's mining severance tax bills" on the severance tax and the Humboldt Mill.