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11 vying for Fargo City Commission as filings close, with 9 for School Board and 5 for Park Board

FARGO - The upcoming June city election will be one of change for Fargo's City Commission, School Board and Park Board.Several incumbents have declined to run or reached their allowed term limits, leaving openings for new faces and new ideas.That...

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Candidates for Fargo City Commission include (top, l to r): John Strand, Mara Brust, Robin Nelson, Scott Wagner and Joe Burgum; (bottom, l to r) Tammy Amble Linn, Lance Yohe, Bridget Ertelt, Tony Grindberg, Nealul Andrew.

FARGO - The upcoming June city election will be one of change for Fargo's City Commission, School Board and Park Board.

Several incumbents have declined to run or reached their allowed term limits, leaving openings for new faces and new ideas.

That guarantees that two-fifths of the City Commission and at least a third of the School Board will be new members after the June 14 election. In both of those races, large fields of candidates are vying for open seats.

None of Fargo's legislative primaries are contested.

Fargo City Commission


Eleven people are seeking two seats up for election on the five-member City Commission, which are wide open. Mike Williams can't run again due to term limits, and Melissa Sobolik decided not to seek re-election.

Each seat carries a four-year term. The base yearly salary for city commissioners is $23,577.

The candidates are:

• Tammy Amble Linn, 4910 Rose Creek Parkway S. She is a sixth-grade teacher at Discovery Middle School in Fargo.

• Mara Brust, 385 7th Ave. S., No. 102. She is an attorney with the Conmy Feste law firm in Fargo.

• Robin Nelson, 2739 30th Ave. S. She is the chief executive officer of the Boys and Girls Club of the Red River Valley/Fargo Youth Commission. She is finishing out her term on the Fargo School Board.

• John Strand, 124 8th St. N., No. 3. Strand is co-owner of the High Plains Reader. He is finishing out his term on the Fargo School Board.

• Lance Yohe, 331 8th Ave. S. He is the president of Trans Boundary Solutions, a company that works on water issues. He was previously executive director of the Red River Basin Commission.


• Scott Wagner, 2906 Edgemont St. N. He owns Wagner Window Cleaning. He also served for many years as a Cass County commissioner.

• Tony Grindberg, 4755 Douglas Drive. Grindberg is president of Grindberg and Associates, a strategic consulting business. He previously was aviation business unit manager for Appareo Systems, and a state senator representing Fargo from 1992 to 2014.

• Matt Kuebler, 306 20th Ave. N. He is a teacher at the Fargo campus of Dakota Memorial School, a private school district for students 10 to 18 years old who have been admitted to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. He also coaches hockey and football at Fargo Davies High School.

• Bridget Ertelt, 1469 35th St. S., No. 109. Ertelt is a legal secretary with the federal public defender's office in Fargo.

• Joe Burgum, a self-described community builder and entrepreneur. He is one of the founders of Folkways, which created the Red River Market in downtown Fargo, and facilitates Co.Starters, a course to help entrepreneurs launch local businesses.

• Nealul Andrew, 1109 42nd St. S., No. 316. She works for Corwin Automotive.

Fargo School Board

Nine people are seeking four open seats in the School Board race. Three incumbents, Paul Meyers, Robin Nelson and John Strand, declined to run. Each of those seats carries a four-year term.


School Board members are paid $12,000 per year. However, a vote by the board in January called for future board pay increases to be tied to the percentage pay increases given to district employees.

The candidates are:

• Jim Johnson, a 15-year veteran on the board, is running for re-election. Johnson, 344 7th Ave. S., is vice president for business development at Hallett Financial Group in Fargo.

• Thomas Hill, 1521 6th Ave. S. Hill is the community impact director at United Way of Cass-Clay.

• Kristi Ulrich, 6115 16th St. S. Ulrich is director of communications and director of development at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota.

• John Rodenbiker, 1025 9th Ave. S. Rodenbiker is an information security manager for Eide Bailly.

• Brandi Aune, 1521 7th St. N. Aune is an administrative secretary for North Dakota State University's Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences.

• Jacob Webster, 1341 4th Ave. S. Webster is an alarm and communications officer at Sanford Health in Fargo

• David Gregor, 1014 24th Ave. S. Gregor is an agent for New York Life Insurance Co.

• Doug Rymph, 1021 8th St. S. Rymph is a retired NDSU faculty member.

• Ahmed Kamel, 2901 38½ Ave. S. Kamel is an associated professor of Computer Science and Management Information Systems at the Offutt School of Business at Concordia College.

Fargo Park Board

Five people are seeking the pair of four-year seats up for election on the five-member Park Board. Park Board members earn $5,796 per year.

The positions up for election are held by Barb Johnson, who didn't file for-re-election, and Brad Wimmer, who stepped in for Joel Vettel. Vettel resigned to apply to be the Park District's next executive director. The board meets Tuesday, April 12, to consider approving a committee's recommendation to hire Vettel to run the city's park system.

The candidates are:

• Brandi Malarkey, 3138 Edgewood Drive N. She owns Knead a Break? Massage Therapy. She was previously an outreach coordinator for NDSU's North Dakota Compass project, which measures social indicators in communities across the state.

• Rusty Papachek, 1809 E. Rose Creek Parkway S. He works for R.D. Offutt Co. as an owner representative and project manager. He was previously general manager for the West Acres mall and a former Fargo School Board member

• Stacy Griggs, 2440 E. Country Club Drive. She is a 30-year resident of Fargo who says she's an experienced community volunteer.

• Jerry Rostad, 2534 E. Country Club Drive. He is an assistant chief information officer for the North Dakota University System and a captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

• Grant Mehring, 1014 15th Ave. S. He works at NDSU as a research specialist for the plant sciences department. He is working on a doctorate in plant sciences.

This article has been changed to correct the spelling of Tammy Amble Lynn.

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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