Brandon Bochenski sworn in as Mayor of Grand Forks

Bochenski says his first order of business will be finalizing the city budget

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Brandon Bochenski had never been involved in politics before 2020, but when he moved to Grand Forks permanently three years ago, his passion to better the city inspired him to take action.

“I saw a few things that really bothered me that were getting glossed over by the city government,” said Bochenski. “I did a lot of complaining and my wife said if you are going to keep complaining, you better do something about it.”

Bochenski was sworn in as the Mayor of Grand Forks at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

He takes the role after beating out incumbent Mayor Mike Brown.

“Those are big shoes to fill,” said Bochenski. “I got nothing but great things to say about Mayor Brown. He has done a great job as a civic leader for 20 years and it was time for a change but you still have to respect what he has done in the last 20 years.”

The former UND and professional hockey player and current real estate developer is wasting no time stepping into those shoes.

The first matter of business will be finalizing the city budget, which will be challenging in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are going to have some revenue shortfalls so we are going to have to figure out where we are going to make cuts and how we are going to make up that revenue,” revealed Bochenski. “The budget is going to be due to city council in the next five to six weeks, so we have to hit the ground running and get a good start on that.”

Long term, Bochenski hopes to address those issues that first inspired him to run for city government. He says some of those problems include a high poverty level, low home ownership rate and no population growth.

Bochenski’s campaign was highlighted by his economic plan, which he believes will address these concerns.

“Lowering property taxes so there is more confidence both as a homeowner and as a business in town,” explains Bochenski. “The second part is being more business friendly. Going out, searching for business, doing whatever we can to bring business into town. That will help grow the population, grow the economic base and hopefully snowball.”

Bochenski signed an executive order reopening city hall and other facilities beginning Wednesday morning.

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