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L’Anse town board challenger seeking ordinance review

Wallace Sweeney, better known around L’Anse as Buddy, is running as an independent against Republican Brian Kissel for a partial term on the L’Anse Township Board. The term will end in November of 2020.

Sweeney has been studying Michigan township law and the L’Anse Township ordinances. He said the zoning ordinances, originally drafted by U.P. Engineers and Architects around 2011, are “terrible.”

“There’s so many mistakes in there, it’s unreal,” Sweeney said. “The whole thing needs to be redone.”

He also says the current Township Board has been making legal errors because it is not following documents like Michigan Township Zoning Enabling Act.

As a trustee, he said he would try to get the board to slow down and examine their actions.

“Because Weyerhaeuser and RES is pressuring them, they’re just snapping decisions out and not learning what is legal and what isn’t first,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney thinks Kissel is part of that problem, and that is why he is running against him.

Sweeney says he is not against wind energy all together, but opposes the location of the wind farm.

“The Huron Mountains are not the place to put them,” he said.

He thinks the project wouldn’t be happening at all if it were not for federal subsidies.

Sweeney runs L’Anse Manufacturing on Dynamite Hill Road in partnership with Mark Massicotte. They took over the shop in 2006, but Sweeney has worked there since the early 1980s.

Sweeney has lived in Baraga County his entire life. He’s been married to his wife Jane for 39 years, they have a son, daughter and four grandchildren.

Sweeney volunteered with the L’Anse Fire Department for 27 years and also volunteered with the L’Anse and Keweenaw Bay Hockey Associations.