Not quite busy enough: School Board member running for City Council seat
Four children, a full-time job, the pursuit of a master's degree and membership on the local school board keep Scott Walch busy, but not busy enough to keep him from running for, and possibly taking on, an additional elected position, he said.
Walch, who works full-time for the North Dakota Highway Patrol and is the father to four children ages 2-13, is running for Jamestown City Council this year. He's also a member of the Jamestown Public School Board as well as the Shriners and Masons, and is involved in gymnastics and wrestling clubs.
He's running for the seat left open by City Council member Kelani Parisien, who is not seeking re-election. Ramone Gumke and Francis Silbernagel are also running for the position.
The election is June 8. Early voting begins May 24.
To the best of their knowledge, one person serving on two elected boards hasn't occurred in Jamestown, agreed JPS Superintendent Bob Toso and City Administrator Jeff Fuchs. However, it has occurred in other parts of the state, they said.
Walch said, if elected, his other commitments won't interfere with serving on the City Council. The Hettinger, N.D., native said he's used to multi-tasking and scheduling his time.
"I'm from a small Class B town so I was involved in everything," he said.
Jamestown has the potential to become a regional hub, Walch said. He wants to get involved with City Council so he can take advantage of those opportunities and better the community for young people. One of his goals is making the city attractive enough to keep his children here, even if they leave the city for college or vocational school.
"Things are going on that are going to affect our kids," he said.
And even though Walch's plate is full of obligations, his wife, Shiloh, says he still has time for dishes.
"He changes diapers and everything," she said.
Shiloh Walch said she is not only is OK with Scott's decision to run, she encourages it. He's done well with managing his time thus far, and she doesn't anticipate major problems if he's elected to City Council. Scott loves the town, she said, and would be a good asset to its leadership.
"If I felt he didn't have enough time, trust me, he wouldn't do it," she said.
One conflict, if he's elected, is meeting times. The Jamestown Public School Board meets every first and third Monday and City Council meets on the first Monday as well as committee meetings later in the month. If Walch were to serve on both boards, one of the meeting times would have to change.
Walch presented the potential issue to the School Board at a previous meeting. He didn't want to "put the cart before the horse," he had said, he just wanted the board to be aware.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org