Gammon to replace Belden as alderman

As a result of the April 4 election, a new face will be joining the St. Elmo City Board. Ken Gammon ran unopposed and will replace the outgoing Sharon Belden, whose term expired.

Gammon is a newer resident of St. Elmo, having moved to the area after marrying his wife, Becky, in 2004. His hometown is Kinmundy. The couple now has two children: Macie, 10; and Logan, 9. The father of two is employed as a drafter at Irwin Telescopic Seating Company.

Getting involved in city government was not something he actively pursued, but rather stemmed from a conversation his wife had at the city office. While paying the water bill, Becky was approached by someone who asked if Ken would be interested in serving. Upon hearing this, he gave it consideration.

He said that he, like everyone from time to time, has complained about city issues and felt that he could “see what we can do.”

Gammon said that he doesn’t have a laundry list of issues that he wants to address, but rather will spend time with his neighbors, listening to their concerns and working to help them.

With small kids of his own, kids are a top priority for him. Gammon said that he knows many people are upset by the closing of the swimming pool in St. Elmo, and that finding activities that will engage young people is an increasing problem in St. Elmo and all small communities.

Gammon commented that since he has lived in town, the downtown has improved, with St. Elmo being able to attract and retain businesses. He said that it is key for a community and that it is nice to have an attractive downtown commercial area. He cited his hometown of Kinmundy as a place that has seen a declining business community in recent years.

While his role may be new to him, at least one face won’t be. That face belongs to current alderman and chairman of zoning, improvements, and parks, David Watkins. Gammon said that both he and Watkins serve on the board at their church—St. Elmo Christian Church.

Gammon will take his oath of office at the next meeting of the full board on Wednesday, May 3.

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