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Park board gains a new member, greets incumbent

Chelsea Kirkhammer

Chelsea Kirkhammer, a newcomer to politics, took the lead for the Minot Park Board with 3,671 votes, holding 39.19% of the total in Tuesday’s election.

These are unofficial results.

Kirkhammer claimed the lead above the incumbent Cliff Hovda, and she will now sit on the Minot Park Board for four years. When asked how she felt with election results nearing a close, she said, “I feel great. I think I’m happy with where things are right now and I’m confident we’ll push through and take the win.”

Kirkhammer is a Ward county native, growing up in Mohall and moving to Minot for college. When talking about what her goals are for the next four years, she stated, “I’ve always said that my main goal is to ensure financial responsibility, and I would like to maintain and grow the facilities managed by the park board, while staying within the budget.”

Kirkhammer said that she wants to start out her term by getting her “feet wet” and getting to know where the park board is currently at with projects and moving forward from there.

Cliff Hovda

When asked what she is looking forward to the most “being an asset to the park board and being a voice for the people.”

Hovda, took the second place slot with 3,394 votes, holding 36.2% of the total.

When asked about the results of the election, Hovda said it “feels great. The next four years will be interesting. We’ll regroup a bit with our new person, reorder the five-year plan and look at what we got. We’ll be careful and conservative and carry on how we’ve been. It’ll go well.”

Hovda has been on the park board for 12 years and this will be his fourth term. He puts a focus on careful scrutiny of the budget and planning. He also says he is excited to get the new board member oriented.

He feels his experience will make a difference, and help him diligently plan projects.

“I feel it is our responsibility as a governing body to not place additional burdens on the citizens of Minot,” he said, stating the park board has been very responsible with taxpayers’ money.

Hovda had a hand in the Park District’s purchase of land from the state to build a family recreation area in northwest Minot, and he is hopeful that the project can be completed in the next four years.

When asked what he is most proud of during his time on the park board so far, he brings up the improvements that have been made at the zoo saying, “That is the most outstanding thing.” Hovda also mentioned the improvements to the ballparks in Minot, explaining the turf has held up well and the parks work nicely in North Dakota, extending the season and holding up to the weather. In his words, “The ballparks have been a beautiful project.”

“I’m glad to see that the young lady is interested and has been involved,” Hovda said of Kirkhammer, “and I’m particularly pleased that we currently have a good staff and good leadership, and we have a good board, that’s part of the reason I decided to run again.”

The other candidate in this race was Deven Mantz, who received 2,240 votes.

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