Kozlowski returns to county board on 4-3 vote

Former Alpena County Commissioner John Kozlowski was appointed back to his seat Tuesday afternoon, following an interview and a vote among his fellow commissioners.

Kozlowski and local businessman Tim Fitzpatrick were both interviewed for the position by the board.

Chairman Bill Peterson cast the deciding vote following a lengthy pause. “I know what my heart tells me. But I know what I thinks got to be done,” Peterson said prior to his vote. “And if it affects something with the people I know – fine. But I’m going to vote for John.”

Peterson’s vote was greeted by applause from those in attendance.

Commissioners Benda Fournier, Jesse Osmer, and Travis Konarzewski also voted for Kozlowski. Commissioners Bill LaHaie, Dave Karschnick and Burt Francisco voted for Fitzpatrick.

Ten residents, the majority of who reside in District #8, spoke in favor of Kozlowski during the public comment period, prior to the interview process. That included former county clerk Bonnie Friedrichs, who resides in District #8, and former District #8 commissioner and current Alpena Public Schools board member Eric Lawson.

Kozlowski did not pursue reelection to the board after he learned that as a federal employee he could not seek a partisan position. He later learned, however, that he could be appointed to such a seat. Kozlowski said on Tuesday, that he plans to retire from his fulltime job in two years so he can remain on the county board.

District #8 encompasses both Ossineke and Sanborn townships.