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Fire chief will challenge Killdeer mayor

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Fire chief will challenge Killdeer mayor
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

KILLDEER — Killdeer’s fire chief is challenging Dan Dolechek, who’s been mayor of the city for eight years.

Chuck Muscha, though, isn’t new to city politics — he was on the City Commission for 14 years. Muscha said he thought about running for mayor in the past, and now, with the changes town is seeing, thinks it might be the right time.

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Dolechek said he should share credit for Killdeer’s controlled growth with Muscha and other commissioners.

“It’s been a team effort, and I think we’ve done a good job,” he said. “We’ve controlled things that have been going on and not letting things get out of hand like some other communities that are experiencing the same thing. So I’m proud of what we’ve done.”

Muscha said he doesn’t disagree with the way Dolechek is running things — if he did, he would’ve brought it up with the commission.

Dolechek has been a mechanic for Petro-Hunt, based west of Killdeer, for nine years. He’s originally from Dickinson but has called Killdeer home since 1980.

Harvey-native Muscha has been fire chief the past five years of the 14 he’s worked on the Killdeer Fire Department.

His job now entails overseeing 40 members of the department.

Asked what changes he would make, Muscha said he isn’t going to make promises.

“I’m just gonna go with the flow because it all comes down to your commissioners,” he said. “… It’s best not to make any promises.”

Dolechek said his leadership style is about getting input from everybody — even though that can be tough.

“I don’t sit there and rule with an iron fist per se,” he said. “… I listen to everybody’s ideas and try to go with what I feel is best for the entire community. I mean, that’s hard to do at times. You do one thing to please the citizen, and you’re going to do something to aggravate his neighbor, so there’s times when it’s a tough decision but you try to do the best you can.”

Developing single-family affordable housing in Killdeer is the city’s biggest challenge, Dolechek said, a problem that oozes and also affects finding employees. He said Nana Lil’s Cafe in Killdeer closes earlier than it used to because they need more employees.

“I wish I knew the magic solution for affordable housing,” he said, “but … that’s something we’re trying to work on here.”

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Katherine Lymn
(701) 456-1211
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