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Posted on August 7, 2020 at 3:43 PM by Bryan Obenchain
Minot has a treasured relationship with the men and women of Minot Air Force Base, who continue to have a real and dramatic influence on our community’s culture and personality.
Each year, members of the Air Force arrive here from all walks of life and all regions of the country. We are truly grateful for their commitment and sacrifice to protect our community, our country, our freedom, and our way of life. We also welcome their influence on our community’s overall spirit and diversity.
Recently, two more members of the Air Force arrived in our community as we welcomed two new commanders at Minot Air Force Base.
Col. Michael Walters assumed command of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base. Col. Walters comes to Minot after being commander of the 379th Expeditionary Operations Group at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. He is a command pilot with more than 2,680 hours, and he’s flown multiple aircraft, including T-33A, B-52H, B-2A, and B1B.
More recently, Col. Christopher Meguey assumed command of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base.
As the two new commanders arrive we also bid fond farewell to Col. Bradley Cochran, who was commander of the 5th Bomb Wing for the past two years, and Col. Glenn Harris, who was commander of the 91st Missile Wing. We are thankful for their commitment to overseeing a facility that is vital to the defense of our country and for working with various community organizations to nurture the relationship between Minot AFB and the city of Minot. They have both been tremendous assets to our community, and we wish them well as they move to the next phases of their respective careers.
In addition to the cultural enrichment, every year the base and its personnel have a financial impact on the regional economy measuring in the hundreds of millions of dollars; the impact in 2019 was $559 million. Much of that impact is felt right here in Minot, but it also spreads out to other communities in the region. Our economy would not be the same without the influx of spending from the base itself and its personnel. Of course, there is much more to this relationship than the financial aspect. As a community, we continue to grow and cultivate a supportive and positive relationship with Minot AFB. In late 2019, Team Minot was honored for that effort.
Every two years, the Barksdale Trophy is awarded to the community that has provided the highest level of support to an Air Force base in the Air Force Global Strike Command. As a community, we are proud to have won the Barksdale Trophy earlier this year, because it represents the embodiment of the partnership between our community and Minot AFB. We are proud of the hospitality, kindness, and acceptance of Air Force personnel and their families.
Winning the Barksdale Trophy is the result of our community’s long-standing efforts to continually support a growing and positive partnership between Minot AFB and Minot. The men and women of the Air Force have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our community through the years, including their volunteer work at Norsk Hostfest, the North Dakota State Fair, the Roosevelt Park Zoo, and a long list of other activities. We certainly will never forget the hard work by Air Force personnel as we battled to save our community from the flood of 2011.
The contributions by Minot Air Force Base personnel simply cannot be overlooked or under-appreciated. Our neighbors to the north play a vital and necessary role in our community. It’s been that way since the base opened in 1957, and it continues to this day. Minot Air Force Base personnel make Minot a better place to live, work, and play, and for that we salute them.
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 July 27, 2020 at 8:15 AM by Bryan Obenchain
Nearly two years of collaboration by a host of community partners culminated with the recent unveiling of the It’s Magic in Minot branding campaign.
It’s Magic in Minot was born through a citywide collaboration between the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Minot, Minot Area Development Corp., Visit Minot, Downtown Minot, the Minot Park District, Minot State University, Trinity Health, and many other partners.
Two years ago, supporters from these entities and others from the community formed an initiative dedicated to creating new ways to enhance Minot’s sense of community pride, improve investments, encourage entrepreneurs, market the city, and improve quality of life. Technical teams, including one known as One Brand, met countless times, with members focusing on how to accomplish goals in support of the initiative’s overall mission.
A survey of residents provided a wealth of information, with perhaps the most important piece of data reinforcing what we already knew: Most of us already love our community. Information from the survey helped guide the creation of a marketing plan for the city as a whole, while also addressing specific topics and focused goals.
This community strategy includes a new logo and marketing plan, dedicated to reinforcing our community’s spirit and enthusiasm, while showcasing what we know is our best asset: Our people. The logo will become more visible through its usage on social media, the website MagicInMinot.com, and other opportunities around Minot. While the logo is the visual representation of the organizations and entities that make up Minot, it truly is the people represented by the logo who continue to make our community a success.
I invite you to share in the growing enthusiasm of It’s Magic in Minot. Many of you are already actively involved in making Minot a better place to live, work, and raise a family. We all play an important role in Minot’s future simply by choosing to call this our home. But we know there is more work to be done as we continue to grow and evolve as a community.
Think of It’s Magic in Minot as our new collective rallying cry, our new message to those who live here, those we welcome as visitors, those we encourage to make Minot their home, and those to whom we can provide opportunities to open new businesses and other cultural and economic endeavors. It’s Magic in Minot is our new united voice, a powerful tool in sharing everything great about our community. Our message must resonate with individuals and businesses alike, as we continue to forge an increasingly resilient future.
My request of everyone is simple: Be involved.
Share the news about It’s Magic in Minot with family and friends, especially those who don’t live here. Check out the MagicInMinot.com website for ideas on things to do in Minot, and then go do them. Try a restaurant you haven’t been at before, or visit our locally owned shops and stores. Take your family for a walk on one of our nature trails. Visit the new large cat exhibits at Roosevelt Park Zoo. The possibilities are endless.
I realize I’m generally preaching to the choir here, but it’s always a perfect time to take a step back, look around, and realize everything that Minot has to offer, not only to visitors, but to all of us on a daily basis. Reconnect with your community, and don’t be afraid to share your uniquely Minot experiences with others. This is our community and our home. It’s Magic in Minot is another great way to share our story. Sometimes, it’s OK to brag a little bit.
Posted on July 10, 2020 at 10:55 AM by Bryan Obenchain
It’s a busy time for the Minot City Council, as we welcomed our two new council members with a three-hour meeting on July 6.
Along with Stephan Podrygula, who was re-elected as an incumbent, Carrie Evans and Tom Ross were elected to serve four-year terms on the council in June. The first few meetings can be a bit overwhelming for incoming members, learning how the meetings are conducted using Robert’s Rules of Order and wading through the constant flow of information that awaits all council members.
There’s always an adjustment period when you’re elected, a process compounded by one of the immediate issues the council must work on - next year’s budget. Yes, work on the 2021 budget is well under way, and the incoming council members will play key roles as the discussion continues until the final budget is officially approved on second reading in September. There is much work ahead for all of us.
There will be plenty of other issues, as well, as Tom and Carrie discovered at the July 6 meeting. Recycling. Landfill expansion. License issues. Zoning discussions. Construction projects. Capital improvements. The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of these, and many more, create a considerable workload for all council members as we move forward in making our community the best it can be.
One thing that hasn’t changed, no matter who is sitting in the council seats or the mayor’s chair, is that we remain committed to conducting City business in the most transparent and professional manner possible. We have reopened City of Minot buildings to the general public, and that includes public meetings. The Council Chambers are set up with proper social distancing in mind, but there are plenty of seats available for those who have business before the council or the Planning Commission.
Although City Council chambers are open, I would encourage residents to attend the meetings in person only when necessary, such as when they are involved with items discussed during the meetings. All of our meetings are broadcast live in three different ways: on Facebook, on the City’s YouTube page, and on local cable television channel 19. All meetings are archived on our YouTube page, so you can watch the meetings later if you were unable to watch live.
In addition, if you would like to submit comments directly to the City Council, there is a public comment portal on the City’s official website www.minotnd.org. It’s simple to use, and I’d encourage residents to use the portal as another way to make their opinions known.
The municipal form of government works best when members of the community are actively engaged in the process, and aren’t content to lob complaints from the sidelines without providing realistic alternatives or solutions. Ask any council member: A phone call or email directly to us will be much more effective than a complaint posted solely on social media. If there is an issue you feel strongly about and want your voice heard, we all encourage you to reach out to us.
As a council, we are seven individuals with varying opinions and philosophies who were elected to serve the members of our community with professionalism, transparency, integrity, compassion, and dedication. We’re going to disagree at times, and engage in sometimes difficult discussions on how to move forward with Minot’s best interests in mind. There’s no way we’re going to all agree on everything, and that’s good – disagreement and the accompanying debate can be healthy when it happens in an open forum, and when proper protocols are followed so the discussion doesn’t deteriorate into everyone talking, with nobody listening.
So, welcome back, Stephan, and welcome Carrie and Tom. Our community is looking to us for leadership, vision, and stability. Let’s go to work.