SUDAN- Matt Tuchel is the only candidate on the ballot for the seat currently held by Breitung supervisor and chairman of the board, Tim Tomsich, who has served on the township board for nearly 40 years. Tomsich retires from the city council.
Outgoing Clerk Dianna Sunsdahl, first elected two years ago, is running unopposed for the seat of Clerk.
Tuchel is the plant manager of the Tower-Breitung Wastewater Board. As an employee of the Tower-Breitung Wastewater Board, Tuchel is not a direct employee of the township, so holding the position is not a conflict of interest, he noted. This would mean Breitung’s other two supervisors hold a seat on the TBWWB, as Tuchel would not be eligible to sit on that board. The TBWWB oversees the common infrastructure that provides water and sewer service for Tower and Sudan.
Tuchel has worked for TBWWB since 1998, after graduating from Vermilion Community College. He worked for the Babbitt Water and Sewer System while a student at VCC.
Tuchel is used to being busy. In addition to his duties on the Wastewater Board, he is an active volunteer, serving with both the Breitung Fire Department and the Tower Area Ambulance Service. He joined the fire department in 2000 and the ambulance service the following year. He was Director of Ambulances for five years and is currently responsible for training in the department.
He estimates that he responded to more than 50 ambulance calls last year and between 20 and 30 fire calls. In previous years, he recorded more than 100 ambulance calls, but the new on-call system splits the calls among service members.
“We don’t see people applying for these kinds of jobs anymore,” he said, referring to the opening to the city council. He had considered running for the position of fire chief of Breitung, but decided he could better serve the community as a supervisor. “You can’t be a boss and run as a supervisor,” he noted.
“I know I don’t know as much as Tim Tomsich,” he said, “but I plan to learn as much as I can from Tim and Treasurer Jorgine Gornick, if elected.
Tuchel has some financial and budgetary experience with his current job, but understands there would be a lot to learn about canton finances. He noted that there are many resources and training available for township officials.
Tuchel said he doesn’t see any real changes coming for the commune, apart from possible retirements of some long-serving employees. He noted that the workload of township employees is steadily increasing.
“We don’t have a full-time clerk-treasurer like at Tower,” he said, “and we have two full-time maintenance workers, plus a full-time chief of police.”
The current staff are a real asset to the community, he said. “We have very good employees.”
Tuchel said the fire department has gained six new members in the past six months, bringing membership to a very healthy level, and the department is currently sponsoring a firefighter training course.
Tuchel lives in Sudan with his wife, Mindy, and children, Julia and Isaac.
Other township races
Vermilion Lake Township
Clerk – Holder Crystal Alaspa
Supervisor – Tim Hughes (seat currently held by Sarah Schmidt, who has not sought re-election)
Kugler, Eagles Nest, Embarrassment and the town of Tower all hold their elections in November (on even years).