Incoming Devils Lake mayor says business, health care are top priorities

Devils Lake Mayor-elect Jim Moe takes office on June 28, following Mayor Dick Johnson, who has been mayor since 2010.

Jim Moe.jpg
Devils Lake Mayor-elect Jim Moe takes office on June 28.
Contributed / Jim Moe
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DEVILS LAKE – Devils Lake Mayor-elect Jim Moe says he is excited to work with other fresh faces in the government of Devils Lake. He takes office on June 28, succeeding Mayor Dick Johnson, who has been mayor since 2010.
Earlier this year, the city hired a new city administrator, and a newly-elected city commissioner is starting at the same time as Moe.

“I’m looking forward to sitting down and listening to what their ideas are and pursuing them,” said Moe. “My goal is to work for the people.”

In the June 14 election, Moe had 56% of the vote, Joe Mertens had 25% of the vote and Shane Hamre got 19%. In total, 1,507 votes were cast.

Moe says his history in Devils Lake made him the popular choice. He served 45 years on the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department, 18 as the fire chief. Moe enlisted in the North Dakota National Guard in 1976 and served 28 years, achieving the rank of first sergeant, before retiring. He was supervisor of the city’s utilities department for 21 years, and helped establish the Devils Lake ice fishing tournament.

“I think the people trust me. I’ve proven myself and they just felt that I would be the right candidate for the job,” said Moe.


One of Moe’s priorities going into his four-year term is to bring business to downtown Devils Lake. He says he is researching grant opportunities for business owners and hopes to bring unique businesses to the city that will complement its tourism industry.

“We have some vacant stores in town and I’d like to see if we can come up with some creative ideas to fill those places and maybe give some people opportunities to be a business owner,” he said.

From where the lake was before freeze-up last fall at elevation 1,447.1, Devils Lake has risen about 3.5 feet so far this year to an elevation of 1450.6 feet.

For outgoing Mayor Johnson, health care has been a focus in his final months as mayor; he has publicly called for a unified health care model in Devils Lake . The community’s health care needs are a priority for Moe, but he says it’s too early to declare a solution.

“There’s a concerned group of citizens that are coming up with some ideas, and I want to work with them and see what they come up with and go from there,” he said. “But we do need to fix our health care so that people are confident when they go to wherever they go that they’re going to get the best health care possible.”

Moe said he has not yet had a chance to get involved with Johnson’s efforts to address health care needs in Devils Lake. In March, the offices of Sen. John Hoeven and Sen. Kevin Cramer confirmed the senators had been in communication with Johnson about health care in Devils Lake.

In the issue of health care and other priorities, Moe plans to work with other community leaders to make change in the community.

“Everything is going to be done as a team effort,” he said. “It’s going to require the backing of the community, backing of the commission and work with the other agencies — the school board, county commission and the park board — to do the things we need to do for our community.”

Related Topics: DEVILS LAKE
Ingrid Harbo joined the Grand Forks Herald in September 2021.

Harbo covers Grand Forks region news, and also writes about business in Grand Forks and the surrounding area.

Readers can reach Harbo at 701-780-1124 or Follow her on Twitter @ingridaharbo.
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