Two candidates facing off to determine Frederic Township Supervisor position
Tue, 07/21/2020 - 11:42am caleb
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Two officials already serving Frederic Township are facing off for the township supervisor position.
Incumbent Frederic Township Supervisor William Johnson is facing a challenge from Brandon Gabriel at the August 4 primary election polls.
Gabriel currently serves as the zoning enforcement officer for Frederic Township.
Gabriel and his wife have tried to be involved in the community, doing their part and teaching children to be supportive advocates for others in the community. They have been foster parents for six years for 20 plus children, and have successfully advocated as far as the Michigan Governor’s Office in order to get help for children when needed.
They have also been juvenile transporters for Otsego and Crawford Counties Juvenile Court Divisions over four years and served as Parent to Parent Consultants for the Adoptive Family Support Network for five years.
Gabriel owns J&B Property Preservation as well as a business that offers custom designed products and also distributes various products.
Gabriel was previously a youth football coach in Grayling and Gaylord for five years, was a bus driver, and is currently at EMT/firefighter.
Johnson has lived in Frederic for 50 years. He has served the people of Frederic for 16 years on the township board and for 12 years as supervisor.
Gabriel filed to run for office based on speculation that Johnson would retire.
“I am running for office because originally our current supervisor was considering retiring from the position,” he said. “However after working at the township as the zoning enforcement officer for the last two years, I have learned there are a wide range of things that could be handled differently, from the budget to the future of our beautiful township,” Gabriel said. “The people of our community deserve leadership and elected officials that will listen to the community and consider their thoughts and feelings when making decisions.”
Johnson said he is simply seeking to serve another term as township supervisor.
Gabriel said the budget, downtown beautification, and secondary road projects are issues the township board must face over the next four years.
Johnson said jobs in the community, a clean safe environment, and better roads are issues the township board will have to take on.
Gabriel cited his personal attributes and working with officials at different levels of government as reasons he is best suited to be the township supervisor.
“I am the best candidate to address these issues because of my experience working with multiple agencies as well as many state and local officials over the past several years,” Gabriel said. “I have the patience, people skills, and determination to get things done. I believe in a government by the people and for the people. Together we can continue to make Frederic Township a beautiful place to visit and raise our families.”
Johnson said his experience and collaboration with other officials are reasons why he should be elected to serve another term.
“I am an honest and fair person. I have experience on the job. I work with all the people of the township and listen to their problems, and together we solve the problems. I will always work to make the township a better place to raise a family,” Johnson said. “Under my guidance the township has acquired the old elementary school for our township hall and community center, I started recycling in the township that has become a great operation, I started the super cleanups 11 years ago and to date we have removed 178 40-yard rolloffs of trash from the township. I work well with the Crawford County Road Commission to address the road problems.”
Incumbent Frederic Township Treasurer facing challenge for her position on the township board
The incumbent Frederic Township Treasurer, who has held the position for six years, is facing a challenge at the Tuesday, August 4 primary election polls.
Karen M. Dawson and Michael O’Dell are running as Republican candidates for the position.
Dawson has lived in Frederic for 38 years and raised her children in the community. Her husband, Tom, retired from Camp Grayling’s Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site, where he served as a machinist. She has served on the Board of Appeals for Frederic Township. She teaches Sunday and vacation bible school and decorates the church altar.
Dawson said she wants to continue to serve township residents.
“I am currently the township treasurer and have served in the position for the past six years,” Dawson said. “I enjoy my job and want to continue to serve my community with the love and care that I always have.”
O’Dell currently drives a school bus for Crawford AuSable Schools, and also announces the home sporting events for Crawford AuSable Schools. He is on the Board of Review for Frederic Township. He is also senior pastor of Living Water Christian Center in Frederic.
O’Dell moved into Frederic in 2008. He was involved with Little League as a head coach for about five years when his son was a member. His church has hosted food drives and given the food to the Grayling High School’s Viking Food Pantry. He was part of the team that held Spark in the Park a few years ago, which included Christian bands and worship teams playing music at the park in Frederic.
O’Dell said he wants to serve the township in another capacity and make it a friendly place for families.
“I am running for office of township treasurer because I love doing things for our community. I want to make a difference where I can. Being on the Board of Review for the Township has made me want to do more for my community,” O’Dell said. “I want to make Frederic a place where people want to come and spend family time, and possibly make it their home. I want to be part of making Frederic that family place, bring things into Frederic that the kids will get involved in, and bring things into Frederic that will create memories for a lifetime.”
Dawson said issues the township board will face include beautification of the township such as street lights, flowers, and sidewalks. She said the township board needs to be more attentive to the community and their need for residents to attend the board meetings. She added the township should focus on bringing the “small town charm” back to the community to better support local businesses.
O’Dell said issues the township should address are trying to bring in some more businesses, doing and having things that make Frederic more appealing for families and kids, and having more clean up days so it will fit individual families’ schedules.
Dawson said she would be the voice for residents on the township board.
“As a board member, I listen attentively to our community needs and vote accordingly for the best interest of the people,” Dawson said.
O’Dell said he is the best suited candidate for the position because he wants more people to settle in the community.
“I have a family myself, and I want my children to want to come back, or even stay in their hometown when they grow up,” O’Dell said. “I want to be a part of helping the people of Frederic by listening to what their wants are and being their voice, and working for them to try and get what they are wanting and needing to help them live their best lives in the beautiful Township of Frederic.”