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School, city, mayor and park board have open seats in upcoming election

Mayor Rich Mattern

Prospective candidates interested in serving on the city’s park board, commission, school board or as mayor must collect 300 petition signatures by Friday to be considered for the race.

Along with the seat of mayor– which incumbent Rich Mattern hopes to be elected to for his fourth term – two City Commission seats are open and three seats on the park board are up for election. As of Monday, no one had yet filed for the four-year park board terms held by Chairwoman Sharon Odegaard, Denise Johnson and Jeff McCracken.

Four, four-year terms are also opening on the West Fargo School Board. As of Monday, three have filed for re-election, incumbent Allan Skramstad, Kara Gravley-Stack and Jon Erickson.

Three people have filed so far for two City Commission seats up for election that are now occupied by Duane Hanson and Mark Wentz. Newcomer Bradley Olson has filed for one of the City Commission seats, City Administrator Jim Brownlee said. Hanson and Wentz also plan to run again.

The top two vote-getters will fill the two open seats.

Wentz was appointed to fill former Commissioner Lou Bennett’s seat in 2012 when Bennett moved out of state. Hanson was elected to his first term in 2010 after serving for 11 years on the West Fargo School Board.

As the April 7 deadline to file approaches, Mattern is so far unchallenged. In the past three elections, Mattern was challenged once. He beat current City Commissioner Mike Thorstad by 256 votes in 2010. Mattern said he is seeking a fourth term because he wants to see some of the projects he has helped bring forward all the way to the finish.

“We’re doing well, but I want to see us continue to do well,” Mattern said. “I’d like to be there as we work through the new police department and Main Avenue.”

The mayor and city commissioners serve four-year terms.

Municipal Judge Susan Baily has filed for re-election.

Candidates for the June 10 election must get 300 valid signatures on a petition for candidacy to run for the City Commission and park board. Petitions must be filed no later than 4 p.m. April 7 at West Fargo City Hall.

School board members will be paid $4,730 during the 2014-15 school year, said District Business Manager Mark Lemer.

The mayor is paid an annual salary of $11,535 and city commissioners are paid $7,688. Park board members are paid an annual salary of $1,932.