2016-11-17 / Local News

Lutke to assume village presidency

Canvassers to meet once more
By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff

Steve Lutke has never run or held public office. but he’s looking forward to taking over Monday as president of the Village of Suttons Bay.

Lutke was the apparent top vote-getter in the Nov. 8 Election garnering 179 write-in votes.

The village election result and other results from write-in campaigns in the village and for the Suttons Bay Board of Education remain preliminary. They will not become official until confirmed by the county Board of Canvassers. The board met last Wednesday, the day after the election, and are scheduled to meet again Friday to complete their work.

But preliminary results show Lutke as the clear winner in a two-candidate race for village president. Longtime trustee Karl Bahle, declared as a write-in and received 47 votes.

“The first thing I’ll do is get my feet planting firmly in the ground,” said Lutke, co-owner of the Hop Lot Brewery in Suttons Bay. “I’m on the DDA (Downtown Development Authority) board and in my conversations there and at the brewery, I’ve come to feel there needs to be a younger person involved to bridge the gap in perspective.”

Among his top priorities is improving communication between the council and village residents.

“Not that it’s been so bad, but I want to make sure people feel welcome to communicate with the council and continue down that path,” Lutke said.

He and his wife, Sarah, have a 2 1/2-year-old son who attends the preschool program at Leelanau Montessori Public School Academy.

Karl Bahle, who is in the middle of his trustee term, will continue to serve on the council.

He will be joined by Will Case, who based on preliminary figures received the most votes for trustee with 291. Incumbent Colleen Christensen was also on the ballot and received 268 votes.

Two candidates filed as write-ins for the remaining seat available on the Village Council.

Roger Suppes, a retired businessman, had support from 82 voters and will also take office next week. Former village president Richard Catton, late to file his intent as a write-in, had just 21 votes.

There will be three new faces on the Suttons Bay Board of Education after Jan. 1, 2017.

Incumbent David Buffum, the only candidate to file one of four seats on the board, had 2,360 votes Nov. 8. Barring and changes from the Board of Canvassers Friday, he will be joined by Jennifer Porter, who had 209 write-in votes; Erik Bahle, 198 and Jennifer Lewis, who had 125.

Gregory Gurka, the fourth write-in candidate for school board, garnered just 51 votes.

Sitting members on the Board of Education — Roger Merriman, Robert Potvin and Cindy Opie — did not seek re-election.

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