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This profile was last updated on 10/19/12  and contains information from public web pages.


Local Address:  Detroit Lakes , North Dakota , United States
Trinity Lutheran Church

Employment History

  • Becker County Highway Department
  • Highway Department Supervisor

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member
Web References
John ..., 19 Oct 2012 [cached]
John Okeson
John Okeson
Talk about it
Two sitting county commissioners will face off in the Nov. 6 general election - a showdown that came about because redistricting put them both in the same new district.
The new District 3 encompasses the townships of Lakeview, Burlington, Erie and Holmesville.
Gerry Schram has been on the board for four years and John Okeson has been a commissioner for two years.
Okeson, 64, worked at the Becker County Highway Department for more than 40 years, retiring as maintenance supervisor. He now has his own consultant business.
Okeson pointed to the board's efforts to keep tax hikes down.
"Supporting and promoting a needs-based budget," he said. "Last year we held the levy to a zero percent increase."
The county budget is vulnerable to cuts in state aid, he said. "A lot depends on what the state does to us - eventually we may have to look strongly at what services we could possibly do without, which we don't want to do, but it may come to that."
The Human Services budget probably has the most flexibility as far as cutting programs, he said.
"It's not county money, it's taxpayer money, and we have to spend it as wisely as we can," Okeson said.
Okeson said county spending is his top priority.
"The needs and the spending," he said.
Roads are a priority for Okeson.
"We need to be more proactive on our roads," he said.
Okeson, who sits on the County Housing and Economic Development Board, would also like to see a stronger role for economic development.
That means the change won't damage highways, Okeson said.
The change would allow a manufacturer of say, landscaping blocks, to locate in Becker County, taking advantage of the county's sand and gravel deposits.
Without the change, that manufacturer might still use Becker County sand and gravel, but after it has been moved by rail to North Dakota, where the plant would be built to take advantage of that state's greater truck hauling ability.
As long as axle weight restrictions remain, a semi pulling a trailer won't cause any more damage than two semis following each other - and the change will save fuel, Okeson said.
Okeson is single with a grown daughter and grown son. He is a member of the Eagles, the Patriot Guard motorcycle group and Trinity Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes.
"I want to treat everyone fairly," Okeson said.
John Okeson, Highway ..., 31 Dec 2010 [cached]
John Okeson, Highway Department supervisor, Retired this year after 40-plus years with the county.
But only for a short time. He will be back on Jan. 4 for at least four more years as a commissioner.
Smith said John Okeson of ..., 30 July 2009 [cached]
Smith said John Okeson of the Becker County Highway Department commented that "the seal coat isn't even scuffed" on Eagle Lake Road.
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