With elections coming up, get to know your candidates for Mayor for both New England and Mott.
Posted June 6, 2014
By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
After spending the last four years as Mayor of New England, Marty Opdahl is running for re-election. Marty is married with two grown children who live outside the New England area.
After some encouragement from residents of New England, Opdahl decided to join the race for the first time four years ago and now faces his first re-election race for another term.
Moving to New England in 1968, Opdahl graduated from New England High School in 1972. Marrying his high school sweetheart, Opdahl went to one year of post-high school education before returning to the work force as a service technician for Tri-County Equipment.
Management flexibility allowed Opdahl to return to Dickinson State University to pursue a college degree, and at the age of 40 he went back to school.
Two weeks after graduating from DSU, Tri-County Equipment went out of business and Opdahl was hired by American Bank Center.
Serving American Bank Center for the last 16 years, Opdahl is now the Chief Credit Officer and presides over all branches of the company.
Looking back on his first term as Mayor of New England, Opdahl says two things stand out for him when talking about successes.
He cites under his first term the consolidation of leadership within the city is being a big win. With the help of the city council, there is more clarity on positions and duties that are associated with those positions with the city.
“We’ve got a tremendous, tremendous group over there at City Hall,” Opdahl said.
Opdahl also says that the financial stability is a great accomplishment under his first term as Mayor. The city, according to Opdahl, is positioned
to start building up some of the accounts that they hold.
They have also replaced a lot of city equipment and are in position to cover any other issues that may require a monetary commitment to fix or replace.
Though the city has made great strides, Opdahl knows the job isn’t done, and thinks that someone with his financial background is the best candidate to continue to lead this city into the future.
“It’s going to take someone with a really good background in financial programs, loan programs, grant programs, and somebody that’s willing to look outside for the extra piece that we need to move forward with these projects that we have coming,” Ophdal said.
Opdahl is committed to serving the city and more importantly the people of New England.
He tries to make all of his decisions on the best interest of the city and for the people. Sometimes those decisions may make, according to Opdahl, some people feel alienated.
But he is always thinking about what’s best for the city and the people as a whole when performing his duties as Mayor.
“It’s always about the people, it’s not about me, it’s not about anyone else, it’s about the people,” Opdahl said. “That’s how I try to do my leadership.”
Allen Schmidt had served over 30 years on the New England City Council. Now, after two years of being out of public service, Schmidt decided to run for Mayor of New England. Schmidt, married with two kids and nine grandkids, has lived in New England since 1967 and has operated his business in New England for the last 47 years.
As a member of the City Council, Schmidt oversaw the project that erected the public pool in New England. With the help of countless others, Schmidt led the way to complete the project, something he looks back as one of his biggest accomplishments as a City Councilman.
As Schmidt looks at the Mayoral position, he wants the community to know that he intends to be very accessible.
“If I get in, I would like to be a mayor that the residents of town, if you have got a problem you can feel like you can call me up and we’ll sit down over a cup of coffee and we’ll talk about it,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt is very community oriented and wants everyone to know that the people come first.
“Our residents, as far as I’m concerned, come first,” Schmidt said.
One issue he is particularly passionate about is safety.
“Safety is a big issue, in my book,” Schmidt said. As far as safety, Schmidt said he would do whatever he could to make the streets of New England safer, especially as the city continues to expand.
According to Schmidt, the city must be prepared for fast growth, even if it takes “10 years.” Schmidt knows that the city is going to grow, but that “we must be prepared for it.”
Schmidt tries to do what he can for New England, that includes giving local business owners his business.
“I buy everything I can in town, unless you can’t get it here, I’m a very loyal supporter of the businesses,” Schmidt said. “I’m a firm believer in that.”
As a council member, Schmidt said that conflicts did arise, as is with any public office, but he tried to make the best decisions for the sake of the city and its people.
“For 32 years I was on the council, and yes I made some enemies, but I usually made the choices that were for the betterment of the city, not just one individual,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt has lived in New England since he and his wife were married, almost 40 years now.
He hasn’t grown tired of serving his community, and wants to continue helping out servicing the community he loves.
“I love doing things for the city,” Schmidt said.
As an established member of the city of Mott for over 50 years, Troy Mosbrucker has served as Mayor for the last 11. The married, father to three kids, and grandfather to one is about as involved in his community as anyone can be.
Being a business owner in Mott for 25 years, Mosbrucker also volunteers on countless committees around the city and county.
He is also a 20 year volunteer firefighter and EMT for the community, and even earning the 2003 Volunteer of the Year for North Dakota in Long Term Healthcare.
Though he has held the position of Mayor for well over a decade, he still enjoys the job and all the responsibilities it entails, especially when it comes to working with the citizens of Mott.
“I enjoy the people, working with the people,” Mosbrucker said.
One issue that Mosbrucker and his city council have focused on, and will continue to focus on, is preparing for the growth of the city.
“The biggest thing is preparing your city for what can happen,” Mosbrucker said.
One part of growth is finding affordable housing. Already having started to find solutions for this issue, Mosbrucker will continue to work on that part as the oil boom continues to bring people to this part of the state.
Mosbrucker knows his city, and his involvement in so many different activities is proof that he cares about how the city is managed, and how it can get better as time goes on.
“I’ve enjoyed the last 11 years, and I hope they (Mott citizens) approve the job and that they re-elect me,” Mosbrucker said. “It’s a job I enjoy doing.”
Ted Hardmeyer hopes to follow in his Father’s footsteps. As a write in candidate, Hardmeyer hopes to become Mayor of the city of Mott, 60 years after his father first ran. Hardmeyer’s Father served the city of Mott as Mayor for 24 years, and Ted watched as the town went from dirt roads to paved streets and sidewalks.
“I feel I would like to get involved in Mott,” Hardmeyer said. “Just payback for the things that my Dad’s generation has done for this town.”
After graduating from Mott High School, Hardmeyer went to college at Moorhead State and settled in the Fargo-Moorhead area to begin his career.
A lifetime salesman Hardmeyer held post in a few different companies and even owned and operated his own, something he feels will help him with the duties of Mayor.
Managing some companies worth millions, Hardmeyer has extensive experience in multi tasking and has been doing that his entire career.
Hardmeyer also said that his various leadership roles as prepared him for the task of leading the city.
He does have some ideas already if he were elected.
“One of my big priorities is to get a snow gate on the snow plow,” Hardmeyer said. “So our seniors don’t have to go out there and break their backs shoveling out after the plow goes by.”
He also said that another goal is to utilize the Bakken to help housing sales, and also grow the community.
” I would like to add a goal of mine is to further become a bedroom community to the Bakken as there are a fair number of homes for sale in Mott and we have a safe and tidy town,” Hardmeyer said.
Though he didn’t live in Mott for much of his life after graduating high school, Hardmeyer always knew he was going to come back.
“Toward the end of my career, I knew I was going to move back here,” Hardmeyer said. “It’s where my heart lies.”
Hardmeyer already has volunteered his time since returning to Mott over eight years ago.
“I set up the Adopt-a-Highway [program] in the area,” Hardmeyer said.
If elected Mayor, Hardmeyer would serve with “absolute transparency” and “follow the will of the people.”
Hardmeyer knows that he has a lot to offer the city, and his intentions are to only “serve and give back.”