Koeser on 20 Years as Mayor - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Koeser on 20 Years as Mayor

Koeser on 20 Years as Mayor

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When Williston voters go to the polls this summer, they won't see Ward Koeser's name on the ballot - for the first time in 20 years.

The man who has guided the city through an unprecedented expansion has decided to retire.

Jim Olson sat down with the long-time mayor to get his thoughts on leadership, growth, and passing the torch.

Four years ago, Williston Mayor Ward Koeser had decided he was done - he wouldn't seek reelection to a 5th, 4-year term. But friends talked him into running. And he's happy they did.

A most exciting time when the city of Williston exploded with oil activity - from housing to transportation to zoning to building for the future - it all hit high gear in the past four years.

But it was not so when he took office back in 1994. Back then, it was a struggle to maintain the city's 12-thousand population.

That hope took the shape of a blip on the radar screen - as there were new people moving in to work for oil companies that were slowly probing the region for oil

Koeser says he disagrees with people who say the region didn't properly plan for the oil boom.

But leaders knew they could play a big role in helping Williston deal with the boom - and Koeser says he's gotten great inspiration from two people in particular.

Koeser says the goals he set 20 years ago are coming to fruition right now - from better transportation options to new community facilities and better housing choices.

Where else but Williston, North Dakota. Jim Olson, KX News.

Koeser was first elected as mayor in 1994.

So far one person - Marcus Jundt - says he intends to run for mayor in the June election.

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