Two candidates to interview for vacant Sturgis city commission post

Emmanuel Nieves (left) and Charles "Chuck" Huber will interview for the soon to be vacant 2nd Precinct commission seat currently held by Commissioner Travis Klinger. (Photos provided)

During an upcoming work session on Wednesday, April 12, the Sturgis City Commission will interview two candidates for the 2nd precinct commissioner seat being vacated by Commissioner Travis Klinger. Discussions regarding candidate qualifications and a decision on who to appoint will take place at the April 26 city commission meeting, with appointees sitting for their first meeting May 10.

First candidate, Emmanuel Nieves, submitted his application to Sturgis City Clerk Ken Rhodes on April 4. Nieves is the CEO of Nieves Pallet Solutions, LLC where, according to his application, he works in pallet repairs, sales, and delivery. He writes his reasons for seeking appointment as looking to make a positive change in the city where he lives and has loved since a young age. In a short essay expressing his reason for applying, Nieves wrote, “I am seeking appointment as 2nd Precinct commissioner for several reasons. One of them being I want to be part of the city where I’ve lived most of my life and be able to implement ideas and strategies to create change in a way that improves the City of Sturgis, not only now but decades to come. The most vital of my reasons for wanting to be commissioner is being able to inspire younger individuals to get involved in the community.”

According to his resume, Nieves says he is a persistent leader eager to lead and grow organizations. The resume also states he is skilled in strategic planning, problem-solving, and communication, with a good understanding of business principles, project management, and team leadership. Nieves cites his skills as budget and cost control, problem solving, sales, and time management.

Second candidate, Charles Huber, submitted a brief, handwritten application announcing his interest in the vacant city commissioner position on March 22. In his statement Huber says he retired in September 2022, and has served on the Sturgis Zoning Board of Appeals, Housing Commission (Maple Towers), and as a city commissioner. When asked about Huber’s short application statement, City Clerk Rhodes told Watershed Voice, “We’ve had a variety of submissions over the years for a city commission vacancy, both extensive and brief. We have never been strict about what documents people submit. In Chuck’s case, he has been a city commissioner twice in the past, and has served on a number of committees and boards.” Rhodes added that most of the current commissioners already know Huber, and perhaps that is why he chose not to submit more information.

Huber was first elected as a city commissioner in 2003 and resigned in 2005. He was elected again in November 2013 and served a full term through November 2018. Rhodes said, “His term lasted five years because the city’s elections switched from odd to even years, and so everyone’s term at the time was extended by one year.”

Interviews will begin on Wednesday, April 12 at 5 p.m. during the work session inside the large conference room at Sturgis City Hall located at 130 N. Ottawa St. Following the work session there will be a city commission meeting at 6 p.m. 

Beca Welty is a staff writer and columnist for Watershed Voice.