Published March 14, 2022

Commissioner John Fjeldahl Seeking Re-election

Written by
Jasahd Stewart
| The Dakotan
Commissioner John Fjeldahl [far left] and the board of Ward County Commissioners on December 21, 2021. [Photo: Jasahd Stewart/The Dakotan]
Commissioner John Fjeldahl [far left] and the board of Ward County Commissioners on December 21, 2021. [Photo: Jasahd Stewart/The Dakotan]

MINOT — Ward County Commissioner John Fjeldahl has decided to run for his fifth four-year term.

“I originally got involved to represent the rural people,” explained Fjeldahl. Born and raised in North Dakota, Fjeldahl graduated from Berthold, spent a year at NDSU, worked construction, got into farming, and eventually started his own construction business on the side.

Since he first joined the board of commissioners, Fjeldahl says he noticed a dramatic shift in the issues they currently deal with juxtaposed to when he first started.

“So many of the issues facing us socially, from the pandemic all the way up to issues in how our government is changing and how we provide services to people, I never in the beginning thought these issues would be at the forefront of being a commissioner." Fjeldahl continued, "We’ve had oil boom, floods, and all that stuff during these periods of time that have required change and addressing certain things, but then we’ve had the social issues that are having us to pay a little more attention to how we handle those services for our people too.”

When asked what he felt about public involvement in politics over the years, he said, “When I first started, the public mostly got involved regarding infrastructure issues, and now it’s, for lack of a better word, constitutional issues that we’ve been involved in more.”

When asked why he felt the need to table issues like the mask and vaccine mandates when constituents expressed concerns multiple times in 2020, speaking for himself, he said there were strategic reasons for why he handled it the way that he did. Ultimately, the county did not enforce masks.

“I went to some of the debates of mandating masking… had those weekly conversations with the governor, because I was chairman at the time… and mostly the cities adopted those mask policies, but we did not as a county. We allowed it to be volunteer, and I’m glad we did," he said. “And those things are still kind of hanging out there. Where did that authority come from, and why did those things come to us? Those are the things that rang my bell.”

Commissioner Jim Rostad recently became chairman this past year.

“I look forward to finishing up this right-of-way thing, and I hope we are just about there… And I know this has been controversial to say the least, but I think we’re headed in the right direction,” said Fjeldahl.

Establishing an in-house database and application process for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and resolving the emergency, short-term child foster care situation is also on the table for this year.

If re-elected, Fjeldahl said, “Being a commonsense voice for the public we represent is my goal, whatever comes my way, and listening to the people on those things.”

He also says paying off the administration building over the next few years, freeing up more funds for the Highway Department, predicting and responding to some of the “important and controversial” matters that spring up are on his radar and that he hopes to “improve our life and opportunities in Ward County.”

With Commissioner John Pietsch stepping down, we asked Fjeldahl what he would like to see in the next candidate. “It is imperative to look at the county as a whole,” he said.

Primary elections take place this year on June 14. For more information on election dates and locations, click here.

Stay connected to the latest news
Subscription Form (#3)

About the Author

Trending Now
The Dakotan Newsletter
Subscribe to get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox
Newsletter Form (#4)
© AndMuse, LLC 2024 Login Email
LIVE: 2022 Minot Mayoral Forum
Click to Watch Live
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram