Incumbent Andy Zachmeier and challenger Jackie Buckley have been elected to the Morton County Commission, according to unofficial results of Tuesday’s election.
Zachmeier was the top vote-getter with 8,190 votes. Buckley defeated four-term incumbent Jim Boehm with 7,738 and 6,328 votes, respectively.
First elected to the commission in 2006, Zachmeier lives north of Mandan and works as a law enforcement officer for the Bismarck Police Department.
“I thoroughly enjoy public service, and I enjoy the work,” he said. “I enjoy being involved in finding solutions to the various issues that the county may face, or will be facing.”
The commissioner said he will continue to cheerlead for controlled property taxes and competitive wages for county employees.
“Morton County realizes that salaries for county employees must be competitive with the surrounding jurisdictions, or quality employees will leave and the county will be a training ground for others,” he said.
Foster care recruitment and rural water for county residents are other causes Zachmeier says he supports, as well as the Heart River levee system improvement project.
Buckley, who lives in rural Mandan, is a retired Morton County NDSU Extension agent. She said her goal is to become the county employees' voice on the commission.
“As a past employee, I feel that employee morale is important to keep a happy and sustained workforce,” she said.
Buckley serves as the chairman of the county’s planning and zoning commission, and said dedicating roads, easements and development in an "orderly fashion" is "very important" as Morton County continues to grow.
The newly elected commissioner said she feels property taxes will be one of the biggest challenges the county faces in the next five years.
"The commission will need to determine how they will be able to meet the needs and services of their constituents and, in turn, have a balanced county budget. Maintaining our rural roads is also a concern to all," she said.