Gilman candidates want change

Five hopefuls running for two open seats

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GILMAN — With the Nov. 7 city elections fast approaching, few communities in Marshall County have more city council candidates than Gilman.

Two seats are up this year, and there are five candidates vying for a spot; all of them have goals for the city should they get voters’ approval.

“We need to keep the city council going,” said candidate Laurie Abramson. “There weren’t very many people that were actually running at the time that I decided to run; if we didn’t have the panel full … Marshall County would be running [Gilman].”

The self-described stay-at-home mom said that isn’t the fate she said she wants for the town.

If elected, Abramson said cleaning up the city would be a priority. She said she would also be able to raise funds put a lot of time into the job.

“I know they’re working on abandoned houses, and that takes a lot of time,” she said, adding she would help continue those efforts.

Kent Cross, who was selected to fill out a term on the council earlier this year, said he’s always been interested in city government. He is the Gilman race’s sole incumbent.

“I haven’t been on the council that long, and I think it’s interesting and there’s a lot more to learn,” the Interface Sealing Solutions employee said. “I think the street improvement projects and the sewer improvement project are things that we need to stay on top of.”

Cross added he is willing to listen to citizens’ concerns and ideas, and wants to make good decisions for the long-term welfare of Gilman.

“I just want to see Gilman come to be a community again,” said candidate Ben Fuller of his motivation to run for city council. “It seems like we’re not as community-involved as we used to be.”

The computer networking technician described himself as a “town talker” who enjoys listening to his fellow citizens. He said his experience as a Boy Scout and in the military helps him as a candidate.

Like Abramson, Fuller said he was concerned when he heard that Gilman might come under county jurisdiction if there were not enough city council members.

“I’m always open to suggestions and to listening,” he said.

Josh Haines said he is running to help fix up some parts of Gilman.

“I decided to run because I’ve got three kids, and nothing’s changed with this park for eight or 10 years,” he said of Gilman Public Park. “It’s falling apart, deteriorating.”

He said he grew up in Gilman and later returned with his family, and found the town to be very different than when he left. He also said he’d like to help solve the issue with abandoned homes in the city.

“I don’t give up on something I believe in,” Haines said.

Kathy Nissen also said she’s seen a lot of change in Gilman.

“All towns change as times change, some for the positive, some for the not-so-positive,” she said. “It’s a small, rural town, and I’d like to see it stay that way, and still progress.”

Nissen said she became familiar with citizens’ thoughts on the town as a manager at a local convenience store.

“I like to prioritize everything,” she said. “Right now we’re working on the waste treatment plant, I want to make sure we keep going on that.”

The polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7. Gilman City Hall will act as the polling place in the city’s election.

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Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com