ELLINWOOD — Three Ellinwood residents are running for the Ellinwood City Council for two open positions. Mayor Frank Koelsch is running in an unopposed race for the mayor position. The local election will be April 2.
Incumbent Koelsch has been on the council for six years as a council member and 10 years as the mayor. He said that he recognizes the needs of the community, understands the budget and personnel matters and has a long-term vision for the city.
Koelsch said, “The city is lacking homes to live in.” He said the city is looking at a couple of places where additions can be made.
He sells Real Estate, went to Fort Hays State University and was in the army in Vietnam. He volunteers for the American Legion, VFW, and Chamber of Commerce.
Three candidates run for two positions
Alan Brauer grew up in Ellinwood, went to college at Valparaiso University in Indiana and earned a degree in Geography. He continued his education in city planning at Western Michigan University.
After college, he worked in the Chicago area for 12 years in city planning, which includes planning for new housing developments, zoning, variances and ordinances.
He and wife Kara wanted to move back to a more family values oriented community and lifestyle, so they moved to Ellinwood. They also have family in the area.
Brauer grew up on a farm near Ellinwood and is currently farming. Kara grew up in Great Bend.
There are some things he would like to see in the community. “I’d like to see an increase in housing. There are some houses for sale, but not a lot. If we increase housing, more people would move here. There is a lot of potential in Ellinwood.”
His wife Kara is a nurse at Country Living and they have three children, Samuel, Heidi and Joseph.
Ken Lebbin was previously on the city council for 21 years. He retired from his full-time job at Oneoak earlier this year and was ready to start volunteering once again on the council.
He is aware of the history of Ellinwood city infrastructure, growth potential and budgetary awareness. When he was on past councils, he took the time to visit all of the city departments and familiarize himself with the operational needs.
Lebbin would like to see more lots for additional housing, as the city can afford it, and keep the city moving forward.
His biggest hobby is aviation, particularly World War II.
He is married to his wife, Debbie.
Irlan Fullbright is on sixth year on the city council. In the 1980s, he also spent 12 years on the council.
Fullbright said, “Ellinwood is a good place, and I’d like to help keep it that way. It’s (being on the council) an opportunity to give back to the community.”
He’d like to maintain what the city has and continue to improve upon them as the city has in the past.
Fullbright likes to study things, keep an open mind and look at both sides so he can make informed decisions.
He is married to his wife Virginia and has two children.