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Juhl to change hats in county

By Staff | Nov 6, 2008

Bev Juhl, the top vote-getter in the Emmet County supervisors race Tuesday with 3,022 votes, is just the second woman elected to the Emmet County Board of Supervisors.

Juhl said Wednesday morning after the election that Gus Meadows was elected in 1978 and took office in January 1979 and passed away in April. Before and after that time, no other woman has served on the board.

Many would agree that Juhl’s lifelong association with Emmet County and 24 years of service as auditor uniquely qualify her for the board. In addition to servicing as auditor of elections, Juhl serves as board secretary, giving her a solid knowledge of county issues.

Since the auditor’s office also is responsible for developing the county budget with the supervisors’ approval, that’s obviously a key area of concern for Juhl as she eyes changing jobs in January.

“Always the budget” is a matter of concern, Juhl said. “Funding is always going to be an issue … keeping up the courthouse … providing services.”

Juhl said a more recent challenge to the county will be high diesel prices and increasing costs for heavy equipment for secondary roads. “It’s going to be a challenge to keep our roads and bridges up to snuff,” said Juhl.

Juhl noted as one bright spot increased revenue from the local option sales tax to local services. The tax will raise $300,000 overall, with the board having discretion as to how half that amount will be spent.

Mental health is another area of concern for the county budget, Juhl said. The county now is at the maximum levy allowable by state law.

While Juhl’s election to the board does not change the political makeup, Democrat Roger Anderson, the longest-seated member of the board, was fourth in a field of five candidates for three board seats. After Juhl, Republican Randy Beaver was second with 2,541 votes, Democrat Alan Madden third with 2,451, Democrat Anderson fourth with 2,302 and Republican Tim Schumacher with 1,715. Juhl and Schumacher were non-incumbents while the other candidates ran for re-election.

“I would have been sorry to see any of them go,” Juhl said. “I know one of them would have to go when I ran. I felt strongly enough about it that I wanted to do it.”

Juhl felt that the length of Barck Obama’s coattails did in fact reach all the way to the county level.

“I think maybe it did,” Juhl said. “Everybody’s concerned about the budget and the war.”