At the Jan. 22 meeting of the Devils Lake City Commission they voted to hold a special election on March 13 for the electors of the City of Devils Lake to elect a commissioner to fill the vacant seat, to vote on whether to empower the city commission to approve an additional .25 percent sales tax to be used to pay for infrastructure improvement needs and to vote on whether to empower the city commission to approve an additional .50 percent sales tax to be dedicated to the construction of an activity center by the Devils Lake Park Board not to exceed 30 years.
DLJ Staff Report At the Jan. 22 meeting of the Devils Lake City Commission they voted to hold a special election on March 13 for the electors of the City of Devils Lake to elect a commissioner to fill the vacant seat, to vote on whether to empower the city commission to approve an additional .25 percent sales tax to be used to pay for infrastructure improvement needs and to vote on whether to empower the city commission to approve an additional .50 percent sales tax to be dedicated to the construction of an activity center by the Devils Lake Park Board not to exceed 30 years.
When the city first heard that Devils Lake City Commissioner Ben Sanders had informed the commission he would be leaving Devils Lake, it was Shane Hamre who set to work and obtained the signatures needed to throw his hat into the race for the open position. “I talked to people and believe that is so important that I want everyone to know I am available to visit with them, anytime, no matter what they are concerned about,” Hamre said. In fact, he wants that to be a key component to his candidacy and, if elected, how he serves on the commission. “I want to be an open book,” he said. He would advocate for a “town hall” atmosphere for residents to learn about what is happening in the city and to express their opinions. “How can you expect people to vote for (or against) something if they aren’t informed?” he added.
He said he has always had an interest in government and thought this opportunity to run would be ideal because he wouldn’t have to run “against” a sitting commissioner. He thinks the community is fortunate because all three of the people who are running for the city commission are “great” candidates. One of the things that Hamre hopes to accomplish, if he is elected, is to bring the Fourth of July fireworks display back to the community. Last year’s was cancelled for several reasons, he pointed out, and it is doubtful if this year’s will happen, at this date, but Hamre hopes to see it come back and once again become part of the community’s Independence Day Celebration.
He is a 2000 graduate from high school after growing up in Hampden, ND. He attended two years at Lake Region State College, two years at East Grand Forks Technical School and Bismarck State College obtaining a two year associate degree in Fire Science. He has served on the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department for 15 years. He also serves on the board for the Fishing Has No Boundaries organization. Since 2008 he has had his own ag-related business, Hamre Seed Cleaning where he gets to travel from farmyard to farmyard all around the state. Hamre describes himself as a man who’s dedicated, committed, who stands behind what he says and likes to talk. He says three important issues facing the community are the proposed event center and the infrastructure tax votes coming up, as well as the downtown initiative. He is in favor of televising the city’s meetings, like on YouTube, for all who wish to attend, but can’t for whatever reason.
He says he brings with him new ideas, pro-active ideas and his passion for the community. “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” Hamre says, “but I am willing to listen and help in whatever way I can, even if it’s baby steps going forward.” He is married to Jackie and has been for 11 years. They have an eight-year-old daughter. His folks are Leland “Buck” and Dawn Hamre of Starkweather, ND.
Few people know the Devils Lake community better than Rob Hach. He is a Wilmar, Minn., native who moved here in Nov. 1989 to work for the Devils Lake Police Department as the city’s first canine handler.
In that role he did numerous presentations throughout the community for 12 years enjoying his work and the community he now says is “home.” Hach served his country in the military which is where his life of serving began. At heart a public servant, Hach rose in the ranks to Detective at the Devils Lake PD serving in that capacity another 11 years for a total of 23 years on the force. He says one thing about him that the people of Devils Lake should know is that he’s never just had the “9 to 5” mentality, that no matter what he’s doing he will give more than expected, spend more time than needed to understand the issues and will always go that extra mile. He sees being a city commissioner as a “part time position with full-time responsibilities.”
“My experience in Devils Lake has been a positive one. I think the city has come a long way. They’ve worked hard on a fair and just pay schedule for city employees. I know they want to establish standards for sanding streets and snow removal and there’s a lot to do, a lot to stay on top of for each department,” Hach stated. He’d like to see more businesses come to Devils Lake and is glad to see the downtown area becoming revived. “That’s huge for the town,” he said. He’d also like to see an emphasis on health and wellness for the city’s employees, a role he knows well, since he entered the private sector and has been the Safety and Health Coordinator at Summers Manufacturing for the past five years. “I’ve learned a lot through the years and will bring all that experience with me into the city commission, if the voters select me to serve,” Hach said.
“If I am elected, know that I will give at least 110 percent and always do my due diligence, that’s just the way I am,” he added. He’s worked for the government and the private sector, so he has unique insights into both points of view. Hach loves the Devils Lake community and spends his summers fishing, as part of the pit crew for a friend who is a racer and spending time with his grandchildren.
He’s been married to Rachel for 21 years and they have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. Through the years Hach has been a member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church and the Devils Lake Kiwanis Club. “This community has a lot going for it and I’m running for city commission because I enjoy working with the public and helping people, that’s my bottom line,” Hach concluded.
Eric Kaeding has also thrown his hat into the ring to run for Devils Lake City Commission. He said he was impressed with Commissioner Ben Sanders and sorry to see him leave the city and the commission. “I feel that the city is headed in the right direction and thought I could help with that,” Kaeding said. When asked to elaborate on what he meant by “headed in the right direction” Kaeding explained that he saw recent changes made in the city’s street department and Forward Devils Lake, for example, were helping to “fix problems” that had existed. He says he will bring to the city commission, if elected, a younger perspective, maybe what could be called “new blood.”
“I want this to be a good place for my son to grow up in,” he added. Kaeding is a 2001 graduate of Minnewaukan High School who grew up in Penn, ND. After high school he attended both Lake Region State College and MSU - Boseman. He served his country for nine years in the U.S. Army National Guard working as a mechanic. Now he has his own small construction company, EK Construction which employs one other worker besides himself. Kaeding and his son, who is a second grader, enjoy attending Bison games - three or four times each year. Most of their time, however, is spent on the ice playing and watching hockey, since Elijah is in Mites. They also spend a lot of time at the race track because the younger Kaeding is a junior dragster. Add to that equasion a new RV for father and son and that’s how their time will be spent when it warms up, camping and going from track to track competing.
Kaeding says he is a member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church, has participated in the Devils Run in past years and, for the most part, he’s a “hockey dad,” supporting his son in his recreational activities.
Kaeding's parents are Myron Kaeding, a motel owner and entrepreneur, who lives in Minneapolis and Rita Kaeding, who lives in Devils Lake and teaches in Warwick.