By Sterling McGinn

At their December regular meeting, the Luce County Commission voted to appoint Newberry High School teacher and deputy Pentland Township clerk Christine Rathje to fill a vacant seat on the commission.

The meeting was held at the Luce County Courthouse on Tuesday, December 20 at 4:30 p.m.

The vacancy of the seat representing District 3, came after the resignation of Kevin Erickson who took the job as the county 911coordiantor this fall.

Both Rathje and Kirk Tranchita had submitted letters of interest to the commission and were interviewed by the board.

“It is a very difficult choice,” said commissioner Bill Henry. “We have someone with a lot of experience with the law side of what we do, and you have someone with experience working with government stuff.”

Following discussion, the board voted to appoint Rathje to the vacant seat.

Brandon Wheeler will also be a new face to the commission, who was elected in the recent election to fill the seat of retiring District 5 commissioner, Phyllis French.

Both Rathje and Wheeler’s seats will go into effect in January, and they will join Nancy Morrison; District 1, Michelle Clark; District 2 and Bill Henry; District 4.

In other news, Darrell Schummer was appointed to fill a seat on the Luce County Road Commission board following the retirement of longtime commissioner Robert Ottenhoff.

The county had received three letters of interest for the vacant position, which had been advertised.

“Mr. Darrell Schummer has faithfully attended a majority of the road commission meetings for the past two years as a member of the public showing commitment to understanding the position,” said Stuart McTiver, engineer, and manager of the road commission, who spoke during public comment and stated that his comments reflected his opinion.

“I would also like to personally attest to Mike Walker, who has a good understanding of road maintenance, equipment needs and government budgeting,” McTiver said.

The commission was again faced with a difficult decision that evening but expressed gratitude for receiving three letters for the seat.

Following discussion, the county commission unanimously approved the appointment of Darrell Schummer to the Luce County Road Commission board.