Dear Minot cropped

Dear Minot

Dear Minot


A message from your government about the most topical and relevant information currently circulating throughout the community. 

Nov 16

During the holidays, let's not forget those in need

Posted on November 16, 2022 at 1:55 PM by Bryan Obenchain

Dear Minot:

As we draw closer to the holiday season, most of us probably have visions of family gatherings, generational traditions, and meals with relatives around the big dining room table.

But we should also be well aware that the holidays are often an extra-stressful time for many in our community who struggle to make ends meet for themselves or their families.

This holiday season, we must come together as a community to make sure everyone receives the support they deserve. Sometimes, people just need a hand up in times of need. We can all help in our own ways, and I’m fully confident that Minot will respond this year, as we have done every year. I’m thankful to live in a community that prides itself in taking care of each other; it’s one of Minot’s truly endearing qualities and one of the traits that sets our community apart.

It’s heartbreaking when you realize some of our friends, neighbors, and co-workers find themselves in need of help, not only during the holidays, but year-round. How can you help? Well, there are endless organizations and agencies in Minot that welcome our assistance. These agencies help with the essentials of life that most of us take for granted – food, shelter, baby supplies, etc., and their importance is magnified when the holiday season approaches.

If you’re fortunate enough that your family has never truly struggled to make ends meet, that’s great. But I guarantee you we all know someone who has lived through trying times in their life, either now or when they were growing up. Perhaps that someone is you; if that’s true, then you already know what I’m talking about, and you have witnessed firsthand the challenges many residents face every day.

All of us can help, and while I recognize not everyone is able to provide financial assistance to the agencies whose mission it is to help those in need, there are other ways you can benefit your community. It could be volunteering with the Salvation Army or one of our local food pantries. It could be helping an organization that assembles and delivers holiday meals to needy families in Minot. It could be as simple as donating an item to Backpack Buddies or another cause the next time you’re grocery shopping. Or it could be simply visiting your elderly neighbor who doesn’t get out much during the winter months, or shovel their driveway if it’s necessary.

I’m proud that Minot is friendly and supportive, with a spirit more like a small town than a city of 50,000 people. I like it that way. Actually, I prefer it that way, because it means we know our neighbors, but we’re also not afraid to engage perfect strangers in conversation about the weather while waiting in line to order lunch or as we’re leaving church.

As we prepare for the holiday season, there are family friendly community events that help usher in the festivities. That includes a Christmas open house downtown on Nov. 25 that provides an opportunity to visit local establishments from 3 p.m.-8 p.m., including the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. on Main Street near the Taube Museum. Also on that day, the Minot Sertoma Club’s annual Christmas in the Park light event begins at 5:30 p.m. and runs every night until Jan. 1.

There are countless more events that showcase the spirit of Minot, and an endless list of agencies that make Minot a better place to live every day. Let’s enjoy the holiday season, but let’s also be mindful that our neighbor might need a little help during this part of the year. As Minot residents, we can accomplish both of these goals if we simply put our mind to it.

You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at minotnd.org, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.

Nov 03

Let’s celebrate election day, and our veterans

Posted on November 3, 2022 at 9:23 AM by Bryan Obenchain

Dear Minot:

The week of Nov. 7 offers us two important opportunities in Minot, giving us both Election Day and Veterans Day.

It’s our duty and privilege to participate in both of these special days that represent two of the best elements that make up our community and our country.

Election Day is Nov. 8. Voting in Minot will be held at Maysa Arena (2501 Burdick Expressway West) and the State Fair Center (2005 Burdick Expressway East) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There are important choices to make, as the election will decide who occupies a seat on the City Council, spots on Ward County Commission, and two North Central District judge races. There is also a host of state office races and statewide measures on the ballot, in addition to the contests for U.S. senator and U.S. House of Representatives.

Our right to vote is as fundamental as it gets; it should never be taken lightly. We only have to look around the world at other countries where citizens aren’t afforded this freedom to realize the importance of this basic building block of our form of government.

It doesn’t matter which side of the political aisle you sit on – what’s important is that you exercise your right to vote. The system only works when citizens use their power at the ballot box. Don’t let anyone tell you that your vote doesn’t matter; it’s simply not true. Every vote matters.

I have two challenges for you: 

  • Educate yourself on the candidates and the issues on the ballot. Read information about candidates. Review their voting records. Listen to their positions on issues that are important to you. If you see them at events around Minot, ask them questions. Be an informed voter.
  • Vote. The polls in Minot are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., so hopefully that gives everyone time to get to one of the two polling locations. It’s vital to the future of our community, our state, and our nation that our citizens make their voices heard through their votes.

You can’t think about the free election we’ll hold on Nov. 8 without recognizing the past and ongoing contributions of our military members. Would we be having these elections if not for the sacrifices of our veterans and their families? Perhaps not, and that should be reason enough to take a moment out of our day to thank a veteran when the opportunity arises.

That leads me to the third challenge I have for everyone in our community: Let’s make it a priority this year to recognize, thank, and appreciate every veteran we meet. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant gesture that draws attention. On the contrary. Maybe buy someone’s coffee or meal. Or, a simple “thank you,” a handshake, or a “thank you for your service” will do quite nicely.

Veterans Day is Nov. 11, and I hope everyone has the opportunity to attend a Veterans Day ceremony. Let’s remind ourselves that it’s more than a day off work for some people. We must not forget the real reason Veterans Day exists: To honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. 

Minot is a military town, and we’re proud of our relationship with the men and women of Minot Air Force Base. It’s made us a better community. It’s changed the very fabric of our city by bringing new traditions, new ways of thinking, and outside perspectives to our community. We embrace our military friends, and we welcome them here as a place to raise their families and further their careers. We are glad they are here.

During the week of Nov. 7, let’s celebrate our freedom by exercising our right to vote in free elections, and by thanking a veteran who through their sacrifice has helped protect that very right.

You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at minotnd.org, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.

Oct 20

Be part of the positive changes happening in Minot

Posted on October 20, 2022 at 10:23 AM by Bryan Obenchain

Dear Minot:

If you’re like me, you treasure the time off from work that comes with the weekend. I recognize that not everybody works Monday through Friday, but whether you have time off in the middle of the week or the weekend, my point is the same: Time off was meant to be enjoyed.

For me, since being elected mayor, my days off from work often include official and unofficial mayoral duties. Sometimes, it’s a simple welcome at an event. Other times, it’s a meeting of local, state, or national political leaders on a topic of great importance to our community.

I’m still adjusting to the constant blending of personal time and mayoral time. It’s a work in progress, to say the least. Take, for instance, a recent weekend where I tried to attend as many events as I could – both as your mayor and as a resident of this great community.

On Friday, I attended the Minot State University Board of Regents meeting, then welcomed 150 of my Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity brothers back to Minot for a reunion. I was honored to be part of a Disabled American Veterans Battlefield Cross Ceremony, and then I welcomed educators from across North Dakota for the N.D. Literacy Association Conference.

On Saturday, I took in the Kegs & Eggs event for the first time in my life, then cheered on the Beavers at the Minot State University football game. From there, it was back to the Sigma Tau Gamma reunion, with a side trip downtown to attend a breast cancer fundraiser.

It was busy, for sure, but it was also a vivid reminder of the great things that are happening in our community. 

While I attended several events in one weekend, think of the events that were happening in Minot that same weekend that I didn’t have time to attend. There are so many things on the schedule, there’s no way someone could take in all of them. And that’s my point.

Our community continues to grow and evolve, and that includes recreational and educational opportunities. New events and organizations are constantly being created for youth and adults alike. Look at the changes made to Roosevelt Park Zoo in the past couple of years. Think of the local sports scene, from high school to college to summer league baseball. Imagine the impact the new Magic City Discovery Center will have on our entire region when it opens in 2023.

The list goes on and on.

I know, we’ve all heard the age old complaint “There’s nothing to do in Minot.” Perhaps that was the case at some point in Minot’s history, but I do not accept that anymore. It’s simply not true. You just have to know where to look, and there are many outstanding organizations in our region that can help.

Here are a few places to start:

  • Visit Minot - visitminot.org
  • Minot Area Chamber EDC - minotchamberedc.com
  • Minot Public Library - minotlibrary.com
  • Minot Park District – minotparks.com
  • Full Steam Ahead – steamnd.org
  • Magic City Discovery Center – magiccitydiscoverycenter.com

Minot is on the move. Our community is growing and thriving, and our residents, businesses, and organizations have aspirations to make Minot even better. I encourage everyone to look around, find something that interests you and your family, and be part of the positive changes that are taking place. 

You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at minotnd.org, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.