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Three vie for two seats on city commission

Brad Olson may be the only one in this year’s City Commission race that is not an incumbent on the West Fargo City Commission.

But he still has experience.

He served as a Bowbells (N.D.) city commissioner before moving to West Fargo.

Olson is vying for one of two seats on the city commission up for election on June 10.

He will need more votes than one of the two incumbents; Duane Hanson or Mark Wentz.

If elected, Olson would be the only city resident south of Interstate 94 serving on the commission.

Hanson is looking to serve a second term on the city commission after serving for 11 years on the school board. Hanson said he feels a duty to serve his community and would like to do so for one more term.

Wentz was appointed to fill out the remainder of Lou Bennett’s term in 2012 after Bennett made the decision to move out of state.

Since then, Wentz said he has been working hard to learn the ropes and his city, which he hopes to serve a full term.

Hanson, 58, is a financial advisor who raised two daughters in West Fargo with his wife, Betty. He also owns his own small business.

Olson, 53, a program director at U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency has a son and daughter with wife Sheila.

Wentz, 45, and his wife Nancy have a son and daughter. Wentz serves as general manager at Red River Electric, Inc.

The three candidates have tended to agree on many issues facing West Fargo including support of the 1 percent sales tax proposed to pay for infrastructure improvements in the next 20 years. The sales tax will also be on the Tuesday ballot.

The three candidates also support developing West Fargo’s business area.

Olson said he would like to see the area of Sheyenne Street developed further with plans for multi-purpose buildings.

Wentz said the commission has approved improvements along Main Avenue and Sheyenne Street and new businesses are moving in.

Hanson said it would be great to have a centralized area in West Fargo. He said the city has been helping businesses along Sheyenne Street update their property and he hopes more business will be attracted to the area.

Voters will be asked to vote for two candidates on Tuesday.

Commissioners serve four-year terms and are paid an annual salary of $7,688.

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

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