City commission candidates seeking re-election

by Peter Jakey-Managing Editor

Buried beneath the coverage of the governor’s race, as well as other state and federal seats that are up for grabs, are decisions to be made in Onaway.

Ron Horrocks

The Onaway City Commission has three expiring terms coming up Dec. 31.

In May, city voters participated in a recall election where the incumbents retained their seats.

The normal election cycle has not changed, though. Running for uncontested two-year terms for city commissioner are Bernie Schmeltzer and Ron Horrocks.

Mayor Gary Wregglesworth is running unopposed for a three-year term.

Wregglesworth retained his seat during the November recall election, while Horrocks and Schmeltzer both won in May. All three incumbents want to continue serving.

The Outlook contacted each candidate seeking comments about why they want to continue serving.

“There has been tremendous progress the past 15 to 20 years,” said Wregglesworth. “Onaway has changed a lot for the better, I feel. I want to see that continue. I don’t want to see us regress backwards into a community that fights with each other on TV and in the newspaper, and gets nothing done. I am reasonably convinced this is my last term. I’m almost 100 percent positive this will be my last term. So, I would like to see an orderly transition.”

“I have enjoyed my time as an elected official,” said Schmeltzer. “It’s given me a chance to have a say

Bernie Schmeltzer

in the policies of government. I have always tried to get as much information to make an informed decision, and when it comes down to it, if there is something to prove that decision to be wrong, we can always change it. I have enjoyed what I have done for 29 years, as an elected official.”

“We care about our small community and we want to keep it viable and we want to keep our heads above water,” said Horrocks. “We don’t want to go in debt any further than we have to to keep the city going. We’ve had to make some tough decisions, but they seem to be working.”

The following is biographical information as well as the names as they will appear on the ballot.

Ronald “Ron”  Horrocks: He is a lifelong resident who attended Onaway schools and Alpena Community College. He has been involved with the Onaway Area Chamber of Commerce, Onaway Area Community Schools board of education, Awakon (Onaway) Credit Union, Presque Isle County Historical Museum and Onaway Historical Museum board, and is a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Bernie Schmeltzer: He was born in Marquette and earned his bachelor of science degree in secondary education from Northern Michigan in 1969. He was hired for a teaching position in the Onaway schools in 1969.  Schmeltzer earned a masters degree in school administration from Central Michigan University in 1985. He became assistant superintendent in Onaway in 1995 and

Gary Wregglesworth


retired from the Onaway school system in 2000, after serving the district for 31 years.

Gary Wregglesworth: He was born in Presque Isle County and has been an Onaway resident for 27 years. A graduate of Onaway High School, he also completed the Baker College paramedic program in 2009-10. He works security at the Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center, 1989 to present; paramedic 2011 to present.