Iteen challenging Bleau for PM Township treasurer’s position

July 17, 2023

Iteen challenging Bleau for PM Township treasurer’s position

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — Voters in Pere Marquette Charter Township will decide the fate of the current treasurer and supervisor during a recall election on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Karie Bleau was elected as treasurer in November 2020 and began serving on Jan. 1, 2021. A recall petition filed by township resident Tim Iteen alleges that Bleau inaccurately administered township water billing and refused to rectify the inaccuracies. The petition was approved by the Mason County Election Commission allowing a recall election to proceed. Bleau, who is married to Township Supervisor Jerry Bleau, is being challenged by Tim Iteen’s wife, Sarah Iteen. 

Bleau is running as a Republican while Iteen is running non partisan.

Read related story here. 

MCP reached out to both candidates to discuss why they want to be Pere Marquette Township treasurer. 

MCP: Please talk about why chose to run for Pere Marquette Charter Township treasurer: 

Karie Bleau

Bleau: I have a long history of public service in both elected and volunteer capacities and I believe that voters should have a choice.  In 2020, when the incumbent decided not to seek re-election and there was only one candidate, I decided to offer the residents of Pere Marquette Charter Township a choice.  As the incumbent for this election, I hope to continue to utilize my knowledge and experience to serve the residents of Pere Marquette Charter Township. 

Iteen: After listening to board meetings and talking to many concerned Pere Marquette residents, I want to bring integrity, honesty, and transparency back to the township.

MCP: What is your background/experience in financing and government? 

Iteen: I have experience in the financial industry for 12-plus years, with eight years in accounting. I have great customer service, I am approachable, a good listener, diligent, and collaborates well with others. I understand who my customers are (internal and external).

Editor’s note: Iteen is currently employed as an accounting clerk at Safe Harbor Credit Union.

Sarah Iteen

Bleau: I have 30-plus years of accounting/bookkeeping experience as I have held several positions in the private sector throughout my career that I have been responsible for the finances of the organization. I previously served as the clerk for the Charter Township of Alpena, was appointed to the Alpena County Parks & Recreation Commission for several years during which I served as the secretary and vice chair.  I also served three years as the treasurer of Alpena County Agricultural Society, and have organized, hosted, and acted as the fiduciary for several grass-roots benefits – raising over $65,000 for three different families.  I am currently responsible for collecting and distributing approximately $30 million tax dollars and managing an investment portfolio approximately $8 million dollars as a part of my duties as the treasurer of Pere Marquette Charter Township.   

MCP: Please talk about your family, spouse, children

Bleau: I have been married to Jerry for almost 24 years.  I have two grown children and three grandchildren.  

Iteen: My husband and I have two children. I grew up on my parent’s family farm which I worked on with my five sisters. This upbringing taught me perseverance and the value of hard earned dollars. After having kids and realizing they needed room to play, we found a home in Pere Marquette Township 12 years ago and have been a resident every since.

MCP: Please talk about some of the changes you have implemented or will implement in the PM Township Treasurer’s office: 

Iteen: I would focus on the statutory duties of the job as treasurer. I would also work on bringing back a welcoming and friendly environment to the treasurer office and to the township as a whole.

Bleau: During my tenure, I have moved the treasurer’s office to the front of the building to make it more convenient for residents to access the office.  I have implemented in-house printing and mailing of the tax bills that has decreased those expenses.  I have increased the electronic payment options for residents.

MCP: What do you think is the role/responsibility of an elected official? 

Bleau: I believe the first priority of an elected official is to provide help and service to everyone in any way they can. 

Iteen: As an elected official, my role would be working for the residences of Pere Marquette Township to ensure their tax dollars are responsibly handled. I would be there to listen, understand, and serve the residents. As well as being responsible for my statutory duties at the township.

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