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Posted on November 13, 2020 at 11:29 AM by Bryan Obenchain
It’s something of a relief when the political season comes to an end, locally, statewide, and nationally. The campaigns last for months, and it’s easy to let yourself be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information that is disseminated leading up election day. But the election results will soon be certified, which means the real work begins for those elected.
I want to congratulate everyone who was elected to office. You have chosen to be a public servant, a commendable decision that carries with it both great responsibility and sizable sacrifice. Soon your personal time will quickly be filled with the daily details of the position you’ve been elected to, from county commissioner to state legislator to state office holder to representing North Dakota at the federal level. But there is also much personal satisfaction that comes with a public service position, and with being part of a collaborative effort to serve our communities and our state.
The races for president, U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives often get most of the recognition and national press coverage for months, and in some cases longer. It’s understandable, given the responsibility those positions carry, but we must never disregard the impact that state and local politicians have on our daily lives.
Our representatives in the North Dakota Legislature and those who hold state positions like insurance commissioner or superintendent of public instruction make decisions that often have direct implications for our families, our businesses, and our communities. And that’s as it should be – those closest to the issues should be the ones with the most influence. As often as possible, local issues should be decided locally.
In North Dakota, we’re fortunate to have relatively easy access to our elected officials, even at the state level or the federal level. Our residents expect lawmakers and other elected officials to respond to our concerns and questions; whether we agree with their responses is another discussion, but residents have every right to expect a thoughtful, timely answer to questions that are posed with respect.
As voters, we support the candidates we feel will best represent. We also have a duty and a responsibility to hold candidates responsible for their performance when they’re in office, and it’s up to us to share our thoughts with them when we approve of their decisions and when we disagree. If voters aren’t engaged before, during, and after the election, the system does not work to its fullest possibilities.
While the responsibilities and duties of elected officials vary greatly – the job of a city council members differs greatly from a state representative or the state treasurer – all elected officials share one common thread; we ultimately answer to the voters. We’d all be wise to remember that as we perform our duties, and as we consider decisions that could potentially impact the lives of those we serve.
Again, congratulations to everyone elected on Nov. 3. There has been much hard work throughout the campaign to reach this point. Now, the real work you signed up for begins. Let’s get busy. Our communities are counting on us.
Sincerely, City Hall.
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.
Posted on October 30, 2020 at 1:46 PM by Bryan Obenchain
The search for a new city manager will take a key step next week, with the three finalists in town for in-person interviews.
The months-long search produced 50 applicants, and that list was reduced to semi-finalists by GovHR USA, the recruiting firm hired by the City. The City Council met last week to establish this list of finalists:
All three candidates will be in Minot next week to participate in a pair of final interviews and take a tour of our community.
First, meet-the-candidate videos are available on the city’s website and Youtube channel. The videos will give viewers a chance to learn about the candidates’ backgrounds, and to hear them answer a few questions about their desire to be part of Minot’s future.
Second, a virtual open house will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 4 on the City’s Facebook page. The key to the virtual open house is providing residents with the ability to submit questions directly to the candidates through Facebook. Prior to the open house, residents can also submit questions or comments to members of the council through the public comment portal on the City’s website at www.minotnd.org.
On Thursday, Nov. 5, the three finalists will take part in two interviews and a tour of Minot. Interviews will be conducted with the City Council and with a separate panel of community stakeholders. Because of COVID-19 gathering restrictions, the Council interviews will be streamed live through the City’s social media platforms.
While the City Council will ultimately decide on who, if anyone, from this list of finalists is hired, there is an opportunity for members of the community to share their thoughts and offer questions to the candidates. Community engagement is vital to municipal government, and we hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity to pose questions to these candidates. This is an opportunity to ask your questions directly to the candidates, and hear their answers. After that, you can provide feedback to the members of the council on the candidates.
The next city manager will help guide Minot through some crucial upcoming years, as we continue to design, fund, and construct flood control measures to help protect our community from nature’s wrath. The city manager plays a key role in Minot’s relationships with a wide variety of local entities and partners, and helps lead our collaborative efforts with local elected officials who will carry Minot’s message to the 2021 Legislature and beyond.
It’s important to have informed, open, and thoughtful dialogue with members of our community as part of this hiring process. Join us in this important process by letting us know your thoughts and opinions. Our community will be better because of your input.
Mask up, vote on Tuesday in the general election, and then logon Wednesday and Thursday to join us for the city manager candidate virtual open house and interviews.
Posted on October 20, 2020 at 10:45 AM by Bryan Obenchain
We need your help.
Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized as our community’s Citizen of the Year? We bet you do, and we’d love to have you share their story with us.
As part of the 2021 State of the City event, we’re seeking nominations for Minot’s Citizen of the Year. All you have to do is make a short (1 minute to 5 minute) video telling us why this person should be recognized and submit it to the City. We’ll take it from there.
The winning video will be included in the annual State of the City event on Feb. 2. The subject of the winning video will have a $1,000 donation made in their name to their favorite Minot charity, courtesy of First International Bank & Trust. The creator of the top video will win $100 in Minot Chamber of Commerce bucks, courtesy of Farmers Union Insurance.
Submissions are due by Dec. 23, and can be submitted to the City of Minot via a link on the City’s website at www.minotnd.org/mayorschallenge.
What does citizen of the year mean? Well, that depends on who you ask.
As we all know, 2020 has been a very trying year, to say the least. Despite COVID-19 disrupting our lives, there are countless stories of good deeds – and the people responsible for them - that too often go unnoticed. We’d like to change that. This contest is an opportunity to share a positive, uplifting message with your fellow community residents.
It could be someone who has had a significant impact on your personal life, like a teacher, a coach, your best friend, or a relative who makes a positive difference on your life. Maybe it’s a neighbor who takes care of little things to make your neighborhood a better place to live, or a veteran who shares their life experiences to help educate younger generations. It could be a longtime volunteer with a local charity, or an elected official or a board member who has made an impact on the entire community.
The simple truth: It could be anybody.
Everyone has a story to tell, and that’s the point of this contest. Our people have always provided the real magic in Minot. Our sense of community spirit and pride is visible and palpable; sometimes we take that pride for granted, and we fail to see the goodness that is right in front of us. Take a good look at our community, and you’ll see our real identity. You’ll see it in the little things people do for each other every day, and you’ll see it in the large community-wide projects that help shape and define our city.
Minot is a great place to live, work, and play; our people make that true. This contest is an opportunity to showcase some of our best people, both in front of the lens and behind the camera.
We appreciate the sponsors who helped make this contest possible. Community partners play a vital role in the continued success of our city. Thank you for contributing to this project that aims to recognize the best of our community.
We’re looking forward to the seeing your videos, and to learning about someone who has touched your life or the lives of other Minot residents. Our community is full of extraordinary people, and we can’t wait to discover some of their stories.