Someone you should know: Bismarck Mayor Mike Schmitz
BISMARCK, ND (KXNET)— “There will be times when you feel like you made the wrong choice. But once you’ve made your choice, dedicate yourself to it and get through those tough times,” said said Bismarck Mayor Mike Schmitz.
Schmitz said he knows how to make choices and stay dedicated. When he was 10, his family moved from Fargo to Bismarck. He spent a lot of time building relationships with neighborhood kids.
“We always got together and played baseball. There was kind of a little primitive baseball diamond and then obviously we got together with the neighbors and played a lot of board games,” Schmitz said.
Schmitz wouldn’t go to the baseball or board game pros, and while he worked at a grocery store until his freshman year at the University of Mary, that wouldn’t prove to be his path either. careers. “I knew when I got into middle school I was going to use accounting, because I got a taste of it in high school, a little optional high school accounting course. That was 38 years ago and I’m still here,” Schmitz said.
Since then, he has married, raised children and continues to enjoy a successful career as an accountant. After years of volunteering for numerous organizations, Schmitz decided to run for the mayor of Bismarck’s office.
When Schmitz found out he won against incumbent Mayor Steve Bakken in June 2022, he said he was surprised. “I had no name recognition. His name was better known than me and he had been in office for years. You know, starting isn’t always easy,” Schmitz said.
Regarding his plans as mayor, Schmitz said he wants to focus on transparency — helping citizens better understand how and what their tax dollars are being spent on. “What does the city actually charge you? What do we provide? What is our part of that? What is the part of the school in this? And try to build cooperation between all these entities; hopefully we can get some of those messages across that way,” Schmitz said.
Schmitz said another key to his success is being around people you can lean on. He says that with them he is able to get through the tough times. And for that, he is grateful.