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Wendy Reuer, Published February 18 2014

Two seats open on Cass County Commission

FARGO – Two Cass County Commission seats will be vacated this summer by longtime commissioners who have reached their term limits.

County Auditor Mike Montplaisir said prospective commissioners must file for candidacy by April 7.

Second District Commissioner Vern Bennett and 4th District Commissioner Darrell Vanyo will not seek re-election after both served three terms in office, the limit for a Cass County commissioner.

Both men were first elected in 2002. Bennett was superintendent of Fargo schools for 28 years before becoming a commissioner, and Vanyo was a West Fargo city commissioner, and is a board member of the Fargo Dome Authority.

The election will be on June 10.

Sheriff Paul Laney, State’s Attorney Birch Burdick, Treasurer Charlotte Sandvik and Auditor Mike Montplaisir are up for re-election this year.

Laney has already announced he will seek another term as sheriff. Montplaisir said Tuesday he believes all others will seek re-election.

Montplaisir said Laney is working with the cities of Fargo and West Fargo to consider placing a measure on the June ballot that would collect a single 911 fee. Currently, the county and two cities each collect a fee, but not enough funds are being collected to keep up with costs, he said.

A proposal could be drafted within the next few weeks.

County commissioners serve four-year terms and are paid an annual salary of $20,877 plus benefits.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530