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City of Kenmare brings new auditor on board...

Maybe it’s a good omen that Grant Johnson’s first day working for the city of Kenmare is the same day as a city council meeting.

8/14/18 (Tue)

Maybe it’s a good omen that Grant Johnson’s first day working for the city of Kenmare is the same day as a city council meeting.

Johnson became the new auditor Monday, after he was offered the position on Friday. On Monday, he was preparing for the 7 p.m., council meeting.

He replaces Marki Ellis who turned in her resignation several weeks ago and left the office on Saturday.

“The biggest thing here is figuring out what resources are available,” Johnson said. “Marki, the council, the North Dakota League of Cities and Jan Kostad have all been good resources.”

Johnson has no intention of making any big changes in the office, and he confessed, he probably couldn’t even if he wanted to do so. A job such as auditor is bound by a lot of rules and ordinances, so at this point, he really isn’t sure what or if he can change.

“The main thing is, I have to learn ordinances and laws,” he said. “I have to understand the North Dakota Century Code and what my limitations are.”

Johnson, who grew up on a Glenburn farm and is the son of Rep. Craig Johnson, R-Maxbass, is no stranger to Kenmare. He spent three years in the Town & Country Credit Union as a member services representative. He also was an assistant Honkers football coach under Matt Hove in 2016 and Jim Carlisle in 2017.

Through his two endeavors in Kenmare, he has come to know a lot of people in the Ward County community.

However, as of Monday, he hadn’t met city council members Todd Ankenbauer and Tami Ware. He said he would get to know them before the meeting started Monday night.

He did know Kinzie Jensen who also works in city hall prior to getting on board. But, he added, he only knew her through short conversations.

Council member Glen Froseth, the chairman of the personnel committee, gave the recommendation to the council to offer Johnson the position.

Froseth said Johnson rose to the top of the six candidates that were interviewed because he “has an impressive resume,” Froseth said.

Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in May 2013 in theater arts from Minot State University. In December 2016, he was granted a master’s degree in financial management from Northcentral University in San Diego.

“We got to Kenmare and I started at the credit union for about three years,” he said. “I was working on my master’s and finished it about two months after leaving the credit union.”

That allowed him to seek out positions in finance such as being a financial representative at Northwest Mutual Financial in Minot and Cognizant, where he dealt with 401(k) plans.

In August 2013, Johnson married his wife Jenna and she became the elementary music teacher in Kenmare.

He hasn’t been affiliated with other political subdivisions, however, was involved in Boys State in Wahpeton and was treasurer of other organizations.

“So, I’m used to that type of meeting,” he said.

Right now, he just wants to dig in and look at the numbers in front of him so he has an idea of just how and where to proceed. Ellis left a list of items for Johnson so she certainly has steered him in the right direction.

Ironically, they worked together for a time at the credit union, so he knows her from there, but hasn’t yet met with her in his new capacity.

Outside of work, Johnson enjoys spending his time with family and is fond of taking vacations in North Dakota’s state parks. He also likes to spend time with his friends.

“That math appreciation I have,” he said? “It’s part of the geek culture.” ... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!