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Published June 04 2012

Forum editorial: Excellent candidates in W. Fargo


A “city on the grow” needs steady, visionary leadership. West Fargo has it in city commissioners Mark Simmons and Mike Thorstad. They have worked hard to keep their city on course during a time of unprecedented growth and change. Both have earned re-election – Simmons to a third term, Thorstad to a second term.

Simmons displays an excellent grasp of challenges facing his city. He is informed by a good historical perspective and an embrace of a bright future.

Thorstad knows the city has evolved from a small town to a larger city. He understands the way the city manages growth must change, also.

Challenger Peter Karl has not made a convincing case that either incumbent should be replaced.

School board

Incumbents Patti Stedman and Kay Kiefer have made the school board stronger and more responsive. They have been part of a board/administration team that has brought the district through some difficult times, caused in part by growth and in part by personnel mistakes, which were corrected quickly.

Stedman brings a balanced, involved approach to her public service. Kiefer’s emphasis on academic achievement and classroom results has earned her a second term.

Newcomer Gail Flom can bring a new voice to the board with her attention to the nuts and bolts of education. She knows the importance of the macro issues, but believes the micro issues – what affects kids and families day to day – are vital to a successful education experience. She’s right, and her ideas will be valuable for the schools.

Park board

Incumbents Kathy Scully and Todd Rheault are key members of a park board team that is working successfully to keep up with demands of a growing population. Both have earned re-election.

Scully’s 15 years on the board provide West Fargo with a reservoir of historical knowledge that began before growth took off. She knows what was and what needs to be done to keep up. Her mature perspective and steady leadership serve the district very well.

Rheault has earned a second term by virtue of his advocacy for collaboration and cooperation with non-public organizations. His philosophy of “knowing the district from top to bottom” demonstrates his commitment.

Challenger Ken Zetocha, a previous board member, knows the district and its needs, but there are no compelling reasons to replace incumbents.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum

management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.