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Mahoney’s budget includes money for a full-time Fargo mayor job



Fargo, North Dakota – Mayor Tim Mahoney gave the City Commission a draft of his budget for 2024 earlier this week. The discussion was dominated by two issues: increasing franchise fees for public utilities to help close budget gaps and a two-mill property tax hike to help finance more police and fire personnel and equipment to increase public safety.

Making the mayor’s post-full-time is another suggestion in Mahoney’s tentative budget that has been considered for at least ten years. In addition to approving the budget hike, the City Commission would also need to approve a change in governance before it could take effect.

“I’ve heard enough from people who want this, and quite frankly this job is not a part-time one,” Mahoney said.

According to Mahoney, the city’s 20% growth over the last ten years justifies a full-time mayor. Fargo has little over 126,000 residents. Mahoney claimed that as mayor, he puts about 50–60 hours each week.

“I’m not doing this for personal gain, it’s just that we have to pull the band-aid off. It won’t change the hourly rate of what the mayor is getting paid, it will just be paid as full-time. In preparation for the next race for mayor, this is needed,” Mahoney said.

Mahoney is not eligible to seek re-election because of term limits. During the 2022 campaign, he previously expressed support for making the mayor’s post a full-time position.

“The mayor needs to figure out where we’re headed, what our growth is going to do, where are we going to be ten years from now, and that means lots of meetings different people and groups. I’m always forward thinking about what can I do to get stability and sustainability for our community and that takes time and effort,” he said.

Mahoney said that the annual mayoral compensation would increase from $50,000 to $100,000.

“What I think will happen is that we’ll have more diversity of candidates for mayor. It’ll offer a position for people from all walks of life to look at running for,” Mahoney said.

Fargo will have its next mayoral election in the spring of 2026.