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City Commission member Decker talks military background, fiscal conservatism

City Commision member Scott Decker has a simple idea helping to guide his campaign to be Dickinson's mayor. "It's great to do studies and analysis, but in the end, the taxpayer wants a product, be it a service or goods," he said. "That's what the...

Dickinson City Commissioner Scott Decker, a 49-year-old retired military officer, is one of three men running for city commission president, the position that functions as mayor of Dickinson. (Press Photo by Dustin Monke)
Dickinson City Commissioner Scott Decker, a 49-year-old retired military officer, is one of three men running for city commission president, the position that functions as mayor of Dickinson. (Press Photo by Dustin Monke)

City Commision member Scott Decker has a simple idea helping to guide his campaign to be Dickinson's mayor.

"It's great to do studies and analysis, but in the end, the taxpayer wants a product, be it a service or goods," he said. "That's what they want to know where their dollar went."

Decker, a 20-year veteran who served in the United States Army before retiring in 2010 with the North Dakota Army National Guard, describes his professional and military background as "diverse" and as an extended course in both infantry leadership, and the workings of government and the industries that interact with it.

After finishing his military service, Decker, 49, turned to the Dickinson City Commission in 2014 and has held his seat since then.

As a commissioner, he says he differentiates himself by being "the guy who questions the most," especially when public funds are at hand.

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Right now, and much like his opponents Rod Landblom and Klayton Oltmanns, who is a fellow City Commission member, Decker sees funding for the city's budget as the most pressing issue of the day.

While Decker believes the city was doing a "pretty good job" addressing its challenges, he said there was plenty of work to be done by the end of the next mayor's term in 2020.

"Overall, I think we're going to need to work with the state in crafting a bypass system for highway traffic around the city completely, especially if oil is going to come back," Decker said.

Such a move, he added, could alleviate traffic concerns and reduce wear-and-tear on city roadways caused by heavy vehicle usage.

Decker also spoke to the importance of shoring up gaps in city development, which trended outwards behind an expanding set of city limits during the oil boom while leaving a relatively loose density in many parts of the city proper.

"We really need to look at that and fill those areas in, because we have spots in town that are just sitting there in open grass," he said. "It should have been filled in during this one, but we annexed new stuff and now we're flagpoled out here, or flagpoled out there."

Finally, he said the city should look at the long-term effects of diversifying its economy to shore up business offerings beyond the oilfield.

In terms of oil-related activity, Decker said the proposed Davis Refinery, which would be built outside of Belfield and would produce a range of petroleum products, could be an aid in spurring additional industry looking to make use of a ready source of such materials.

Related Topics: DICKINSON
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