It's been known for months that Nick Nicholas' time on the Crookston School Board would be coming to an end at the conclusion of 2012. He had intended on not seeking another term two years ago, but when board member Deb Kiel was elected to the state legislature and vacated her board seat as a result, Nicholas agreed to stay on and was appointed to finish her term. He didn't file for re-election however.
At least to the school board. Nicholas, co-owner and CFO at DEE, Inc. in Crookston, filed for the District 3 seat on the Polk County Board of Commissioners being vacated by Crookston's Bill Montague. Nicholas and Crookston Township resident Dean Adams survived a primary that included five candidates, and on Election Day voters chose Nicholas over Adams by a comfortable margin. Nicholas garnered 1,439 votes to Adams' 984 votes. Percentage-wise, Nicholas got 59 percent of the vote, to Adams' 41 percent.
Priority number one for Nicholas now, he told the Times in a phone interview Wednesday, is to get up to speed on how the Polk County commissioners go about their business. While he has a month and a half of school board meetings still to attend, he said he will very soon start attending county board meetings to "get familiar, get up to speed and get into the flow of things."
While Nicholas said the December deadline for the county board to finalize its 2013 budget means he won't be involved that process, he's anticipating that negotiations with staff bargaining units won't be resolved in December. "That's something that will probably be waiting when I attend my first meeting as a board member in January," he said.
Nicholas said he's feeling "pretty fortunate" to be elected. "I want the voters to know that I certainly do appreciate their support," he added.
In Polk County's District 5, incumbent Don Diedrich ran unopposed, sort of, on Tuesday and was re-elected.
In the primary, Diedrich came in second to retired East Grand Forks Fire Chief Randy Gust, but then Gust withdrew from the race because he'd taken a part-time job as a building inspector with Widseth Smith Nolting & Associates. His withdrawal came too late to remove his name from the ballot, however, and on Tuesday he received 1,082 votes to Diedrich's 1,434 even though he asked voters not to cast ballots for him.