Q&A with Jim Moe who is running for mayor of Devils Lake

K. William Boyer and John B. Crane
Devils Lake Daily Journal

DEVILS LAKE — Jim Moe is the retired Fire Chief for the City of Devils Lake Fire Department and a 45 year member of the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department. He is a well-known, respected face in the community and he would like your vote to be the next mayor of Devils Lake.  

In addition to being fire chief, Moe is the Past President of the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Dept., Past President of the North Dakota Fire Chiefs Association, Past President of the North Dakota Firefighters Association, current Director of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and past member of ND Department of Homeland Security Policy Network Committee, appointed by the Office of the ND Adjutant General.

Moe worked with wastewater and water systems for over 20 years, becoming supervisor of that department. While serving as supervisor, he received the Operator of the Year Award for Outstanding Water Systems Operations.

Mayor candidate Jim Moe.

In 2004, he became Chief of the DL Fire Department until his retirement in 2021.

According to Moe, he has a great working relationship with  State and US Legislators. 

He enlisted in the ND Army National Guard in February of 1976, retired after serving 28½ years at the rank of 1st Sgt.

Elections for this office will be on June 14.

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Why did you decide to run for office?

Basically, I have lived in the area all my life. I only heard of one person running at the time that was expressing interest in it, so I decided that…I asked a couple people…a couple people expressed that, with my experience and longevity with the city of Devils Lake, my knowledge and experience, that they thought I’d be a good candidate for it, so with that and after discussing with my wife, I made the decision that, because I have a big desire to see our community be strong and have a lot of reason to move here, I decided to give it a shot.

What will be your main goal you wish to accomplish as mayor?

I have several. I want to see small manufacturing, maybe try to get more people to move here. We have a lot of empty buildings in this community. I’d like to work hard at trying to fill them with small businesses as much as possible. I think we have a lot to offer, and our downtown, I have some ideas that I’d like to see occur and get some people to try and invest in our community.

What changes do you believe could be made in Devils Lake to make it better economically, and how as mayor would you work toward accomplishing those changes?

What changes are, is I think it’s very imperative the county, the city, the school board and the park board, we all work together to prioritize our definite needs and work toward having a better relationship there. Not saying that we have a bad one now, it is just that we can work to improve and prioritize our needs, and I think those are huge.

Also, we have the benefit of the lake. We have huge tourism, huge farming. I mean, we have a lot to offer with people to move here, and we just need to start establishing maybe some small businesses, and hopefully they grow into more or bigger.

How will your experience working/living in the community prepare you for a potential mayoral role?

Well, I have had the experience of strong leadership. I have retired from the military 28-and-a-half years. I worked my way up the ladder. I have been a working person and I also have been the leader. So, I believe in strong leadership is going to be huge. Our common sense approach…strong common sense has helped me be successful now, not only as a military leader but also the fire chief here in Devils Lake for almost 20 years.

What is your overall campaign message to voters?

Basically, as you elect a strong leader, one with common sense and experience. Platform is pretty much…that is what I’d call mine. I don’t have anything specific. I want to work to grow Devils Lake, and to have to work together with other agencies to do that…no single person can make this happen. It’s going to take leadership to bring these agencies together to come up with common ground. We have some needs. The law enforcement center needs to be addressed, and we can’t just do that with one agency. It needs to be done…taxpayers are paying a lot of money to have that, and we have needs for a new school and things of that nature. So, we have a lot of places to put our money, and we just have to be smart about how we do it.

If there was one word that describes you, what would that one word be?

I just hate to brag about anything, to be honest with you, because what I am is because what I’ve done to help others, too. I guess I would like to call myself humble. I don’t want to be...this bragging and stuff, you don’t want…I started the very first fishing tournament, and we have expanded it into what it is today, so I’ve had some great ideas, but it all takes more than one person. It expands into, basically the fishing tournament is a community event now. I don’t know what that one word would be.

John Crane is a sports/general assignment reporter for the Devils Lake Daily Journal. Feel free to contact John at jcrane@gannett.com or Twitter (@johncranesports) with any story ideas. K. William Boyer is Managing Editor of the Devils Lake Daily Journal, you may reach him at kboyer@gannett.com or at 701-662-2127 or 850-261-7476 with questions or concerns.