VALLEY CITY, N.D. - Jamestown Mayor Dwaine Heinrich was happy to give a denim blue cap to Valley City Mayor Dave Carlsrud Tuesday. He said he purposely wanted to get the “dorkiest-looking” baseball cap with a really high brim.
The cap needed to be a little “dorky” in part because Heinrich said there needed to be enough room for all of the yellow lettering on the cap, which read: “Jamestown is the best!”
Heinrich gave the cap to Carlsrud at City Hall in Valley City, the culmination of a good-natured challenge between the two mayors to get the most people from Jamestown and Valley City to voluntarily self-respond to the 2020 U.S. Census.
The Jamestown Complete Count Committee, a volunteer committee, created the challenge.
“This was an effort between both the Jamestown Complete Count Committee and the Valley City Complete Count Committee,” said Warren Abrahamson, media chair for the Jamestown committee. “We came up with a fun idea to help raise awareness of the 2020 census and found a fun way to do it by having the mayors compete and the cities compete for the self-response …”
Carlsrud challenged Heinrich to the friendly response rate competition in January. The mayor of the city with the higher self-response rate/percentage would present a baseball cap promoting the winning city to the other mayor, who would be required to wear it at the next televised city council or city commission meeting.
The final result was Jamestown with 73.5%, narrowly winning over Valley City’s 72%.
Carlsrud took the Jamestown win in stride and said he will wear the cap at the next Valley City Commission meeting, which is Tuesday, Nov. 3. Although there was no required time to wear it, he said he would wear it for the entire meeting and “going forward” as well.
“Certainly, I am competitive and I would have preferred winning,” Carlsrud said. “But the purpose of driving this was to increase awareness for the census and I believe we did that.“
He noted the state’s average response was 65.2% so Jamestown and Valley City’s self-response was much higher.
“That makes a win-win for everybody,” Carlsrud said. “And so I’m very happy to have been a part of this.”
Both men praised the committees for their work with the event.
Heinrich said he hoped when the final census numbers are tallied for the communities that they show an increase in population or at least that there weren’t people left uncounted or very few left uncounted.
In a previous news release announcing the challenge, Kevin Iverson, manager of the Census Office at the North Dakota Department of Commerce, said that every person in the state that is not counted will cost the state $19,000 over the next 10 years.