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Published May 08 2012

Fargo Park Board challengers aim to give back

FARGO – The two political newcomers seeking seats on the Fargo Park Board this year both say they want to give back to the community where they were raised.

Dan Dumas and Ryan Bergseth, both north Fargo natives, are among four candidates vying for the two park board seats that will be decided in June.

The men shared their ideas for Fargo’s parks during a candidate forum Tuesday night sponsored by the Fargo-Moorhead League of Women Voters.

Incumbents Joel Vettel and Barb Johnson, the board’s president, are seeking re-election this year.

However, since the park board’s regular meeting was also Tuesday night, neither Vettel nor Johnson participated in the candidate forum.

Dumas said he’s had a lifelong involvement in sports, including coaching youth sports and playing competitive golf.

“There’s nothing like being part of something that’s for the good of so many,” Dumas said. “I’ve seen from the sandbox years and up how important it is to instill teamwork and good sportsmanship.”

Bergseth, 31, said he could bring a younger voice to the park board.

“I want to give back to the community that gave me so much,” Bergseth said. “I believe I can help give a different view on some things the park board has been doing.”

Both Bergseth and Dumas did not answer a question about the proposed Courts Plus expansion, saying they were not well-informed on the issue.

Earlier this year, Park Board members approved a major renovation to the Courts Plus Fitness Center, 3491 S. University Drive.

The nearly $3 million expansion will result in a large indoor play area for children and additional activity rooms for the community.

Vettel and Johnson were both elected in 2000 and are seeking their third terms on the board.

Fargo Park Board members serve four-year terms and receive an annual salary of $5,256.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541

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