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4 seek to fill Dickinson City Commission seats

With today left to turn in petitions to run for office, three incumbents and one former Dickinson City commissioner are eying four commission spots, officials said Thursday.

Mayor Dennis Johnson, commissioners Gene Jackson and Carson Steiner and former Commissioner Shirley Dukart have turned in petitions, said Rita Binstock, assistant to the city administrator.

Johnson is seeking his fourth term as mayor and commission president. Steiner will also run for his fourth term. Jackson has served one four-year term and is the vice president.

Commissioner Joe Frenzel's term also expires this year, but he will not seek election, he said Wednesday.

"I made a commitment not to run the next time," he said. "I got reappointed to take the vacant position and I would take it until the next election."

Frenzel was appointed and sworn in to the commission May 2 after another commissioner resigned.

If elected, Dukart will take Frenzel's place.

"My personal philosophy is giving back to the community," she said, adding growth management is important.

Dickinson has seen large impacts from an oil boom, including population growth. Johnson said his 12 years as mayor gives him an edge.

"We're very deep into managing the oil impact now," he said. "It might be a difficult time to really change leadership when you are in the middle of this."

The duties that commissioners perform have become more demanding than they were four years ago, Jackson said.

"There is a lot of unfinished business with our growth and the management of that growth," Jackson said. "I think we have a really quality community and I'd like to help keep it that way."

The commission serves more people, Steiner said, adding citizens are paying attention to the decisions it makes.

"They like being updated, they like being involved and they want to know what's going on," he said. "There are a lot of challenges out there."

Jackson said even if there are only four candidates running for office, it is important for the people to vote.

Petitions for city, county and legislative elections must be turned into their respected offices by 4 p.m. today.

Election day is June 12.