Ted Pihlman named grand marshal
Ted Pihlman, former city councilor and county commissioner, has been voted by the Moose Lake Area Chamber of Commerce board to be the grand marshal for the Moose Lake Fourth of July parade.
Pihlman has served the community and area for most of his life. He has had businesses in Moose Lake for 45 years, as well as serving in local government. He has also served his country in the Army National Guard, and on the honor guard of the local American Legion.
On the nomination form, Pihlman’s daughter, Lana Newman, wrote, “I would love and appreciate seeing my dad being chosen for grand marshal in 2013. He has dedicated his time and effort for the betterment of our community for three decades. I think that it would be a perfect time in his life to be shown appreciation for all that he has done.”
The biggest change in the community occurred when Pihlman served on the Moose Lake City Council for six years. The state de-institutionalized the care of patients at the Moose Lake State Hospital and converted the existing hospital to a medium-security prison.
A facility for the Minnesota Sex Offender Program was added.
“I am very proud to have been involved with the transition of the Moose Lake State Hospital to what we have today, the MSOP and the prison system,” said Pihlman. “I was involved in that very heavily when I was on the city council.
“Those brought 1,100 jobs to the community. With the 400 jobs at Mercy Hospital, that makes 1,500 jobs in the community. Twenty-five percent of the employees in each facility live in the community. They shop here and they buy gas here.
“Other communities would have killed for one or the other. We got the whole pie.
“Those will be here forever. Money will be spent in our community.”
In his 24 years serving the Fifth District on the Carlton County Board of Commissioners, Pihlman named the new Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College as the most significant facility that the county board had assisted.
“The county’s contribution of over $400,000 made the difference of it being there or not, according to (former state senator) Florian Chmielewski. How do you measure the impact of that for kids to get an affordable education?
“Other significant projects were the new Carlton County Transportation Building and the new Community Services building in Cloquet.
“After 24 years, there were so many things that I was involved in, like road and bridge issues. I served on the Airport Commission, the Lakes and Pines Community Action Council, the Health and Human Services Board, Carlton County EMS, the Big Sandy Watershed Project, and all meetings involving issues connected to the flood in June 2012. I also served on the Carlton County Economic Development Authority for 24 years and a host of other committees too numerous to mention.”
Pihlman lost the election last fall to his opponent.
“I miss it,” he said.
Pihlman had grown up north of Barnum in Skelton Township and moved to Moose Lake with his family when he was 18.
While serving in local government, Pihlman owned two businesses in Moose Lake, Ted’s Auto Body and, later, Ted’s Glass, which he still operates today.
“Other than Walt Lower (owner of the Lake Theater) I think that I have the oldest continuous ownership of a business in Moose Lake,” said Pihlman. “I started with Ted’s Body Shop in 1968, and I’ve owned Ted’s Glass since 1990. That’s 45 years under the same ownership.
Pihlman recently has faced health challenges and regrets that he cannot be more involved.
“Due to health issues, I haven’t had the opportunity to be as involved as I would like to be on many issues,” he said.
“I’m extremely proud that people have felt confidence in me to serve that many years on the city council and 24 years on the county board.
“And I am honored to be selected as grand marshal of the 2013 Fourth of July parade when they had so many deserving applicants.”