Katie Dachtler wins Grand Forks City Council seat
Katie Dachtler won the Grand Forks City Council election in Ward 2, beating her opponent Mark Rustad with 59.16 percent of the vote Tuesday, according to unofficial, preliminary results.
Dachtler will be the newest addition to the Council, joining the re-elected ― and unopposed ― Dana Sande in Ward 6 and Jeannie Mock in Ward 4.
Dachtler is an eligibility worker for the Grand Forks County Department of Social Services, where she determines who qualifies for which government assistance programs based on need. She's also a Grand Forks School Board member.
Both she and her opponent Rustad, a property manager in Grand Forks, identified affordable housing as an issue in the ward. Dachtler also said she will improve on equity efforts in her ward.
"I think we have an extremely diverse ward," she said. "We have students, people who have just moved here and people who have been her 60, 70 years. ... I don't think that necessarily happens in all wards."
In Ward 6, voters re-elected council member and president Sande to his third term, which he anticipated will be his last in February. Although he mentioned earlier in his campaign wanting to focus more on the local opioid crisis, Sande has since added the council has a responsibility to be efficient with the services it provides on an increasingly tight budget.
In Ward 4, Mock will serve her second term on the council. Mock told the Herald she spent her first term learning the process of listening to and serving her neighbors. Now that she's more familiar with the council work herself, Mock wants to increase public interest and engagement with local government.
Dachtler will start July 2, during the new Council's first meeting. She is replacing Crystal Schneider, who did not run for re-election.