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New Fargo city commissioners, park board members sworn in

In a special commission meeting, Commissioner Dave Piepkorn was approved again as Fargo's deputy mayor.

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Fargo Municipal Judge Steve Dawson administers the oath of office to City Commissioners Denise Kolpack and Dave Piepkorn and Mayor Tim Mahoney during ceremonies in City Hall on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum
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FARGO — The newly-elected members of the Fargo City Commission were sworn into office on Tuesday, June 28, including newcomer Denise Kolpack.

Municipal Judge Steve Dawson delivered the oath of office to Kolpack, incumbent Mayor Tim Mahoney and incumbent Commissioner Dave Piepkorn in a special 4 p.m. meeting in the commission chambers at City Hall.

Kolpack takes the seat of Tony Gehrig, who did not run again in the June 14 election. City Commissioners serve four-year terms.

After the oath, the commission convened for the appointment of the deputy mayor and to determine commission liaison assignments.

Mahoney recommended Piepkorn be reappointed as deputy mayor and asked for a motion.

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Commissioner Arlette Preston responded by saying she wanted Commissioner John Strand to be considered for the position. Preston made a motion to that effect, but the motion died for a lack of a second.

The motion to have Piepkorn serve as deputy mayor passed on a 4-1 vote, with Strand dissenting.

Strand said it was no secret he’s asked the mayor to consider him for deputy mayor, but that he would stand with the commission’s decision.

Mahoney told the commission it’s typically up to the mayor to recommend the deputy position, and it’s typical for the most senior member of the commission and the previous deputy mayor to continue in that position.

The commission briefly discussed liaison assignments but Mahoney said they’d wait until the next meeting July 11 to approve them.

After the meeting, Kolpack said she plans to stay true to her campaign pledge of focusing on child care as a workforce issue, and on safety issues in the city.

She said she has a lot to learn about the office, and plans to listen first before talking.

“I’m going to continue to learn the protocols, but I'm not going to be afraid to speak up when I need to,” Kolpack said.

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The Fargo Park District also held a special meeting Tuesday to swear in new board member Aaron Hill and reelected board members Vicki Dawson and Joe Deutsch.

Park District commissioners serve four-year terms.

Huebner is a 35+ year veteran of broadcast and print journalism in Fargo-Moorhead.
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