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Published November 16 2011

Former Valley City police chief runs for mayor

VALLEY CITY, N.D. – Barely a month removed from a divisive quarrel with the city here, former police chief Dean Ross on Wednesday announced he would run for mayor in the 2012 special recall election.

The election, scheduled for Jan. 24, was set last month after the city auditor verified that a petition to recall Mayor Bob Werkhoven had enough signatures to move forward.

The petition, along with a separate petition to recall city commissioner Ken Evenson, was circulated over the summer by a local group disgruntled with the city’s government.

Ross said he’s received feedback over the last few months from people in the community encouraging him to run.

“It’s a situation where I was promoted by a lot of different people, and I didn’t want to let them down,” he said.

Ross was a member of the Valley City Police Department for 38 years, until his dispute with former city administrator Jon Cameron resulted in his retirement on Sept. 28. Cameron has since resigned and taken a city post elsewhere.

Ross acknowledged that the negative publicity from his months-long dispute with Cameron could come into play during the election.

“That obviously is a concern of mine,” he said. “I hope that the negative press doesn’t follow this. I do not want a negative situation for this city. I just want a clean campaign.”

Ross will need to gather 159 signatures to get onto the ballot, and he’s looking forward to getting the process started.

“I love Valley City. That’s what it boils down to,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535