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Sincerely, City Hall

Sincerely, City Hall

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

Nov 30

Even in 2020, there's a lot to be thankful for

Posted on November 30, 2020 at 8:35 AM by Bryan Obenchain

I hope everyone enjoyed a safe and happy Thanksgiving this year, despite the seemingly endless stream of bad news 2020 has thrown at us all. While we reflect on the challenges that continue to be placed in front of us, we must also take a moment to remember the blessings in our community and our personal lives.

I’m thankful for the progress Minot is making on protecting our community from future flood events. Building the largest infrastructure project in our history can be a slow, frustrating process. Permits and approvals simply don’t happen overnight, funding doesn’t just magically appear, and construction work takes time to complete. It has taken vision, planning, hard work, and patience by an endless list of people to make this project a reality. As a community, we’ve made tremendous strides since the 2011 flood, but we know we have a ton of work ahead of us. We accept that challenge, and look forward to when flood walls, levees, and other parts of the project are visible throughout the entire Souris River basin.

I’m thankful to be part of a community that is working to ensure every resident feels welcome, wanted, safe, and included. There are endless opportunities ahead for Minot, and they exist because of our residents. It is who we are as a community, and that will not change. We watch out for each other. We help each other. We are proud to call Minot our home. I’m thankful for the sense of community spirit that makes Minot the great city that it is.

I’m thankful for a growing sense of entrepreneurship that is helping to reshape and revitalize our city. Certainly there are challenges to face as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on many businesses, large and small. But there is also a sense of optimism that is visible across Minot, including downtown where several new businesses are embracing Minot’s history and working toward securing a future after the pandemic.

I’m thankful for our community’s efforts to become a more resilient community through projects to assist our most vulnerable populations. Public/private partnerships have helped create new and improved housing for low/moderate income members of our community, and other programs have assisted qualified homeowners to relocate to neighborhoods out of the flood zone. A project to build our first family homeless shelter is under way, which will accomplish a longtime goal and fulfill a need for our community. Multiple agencies and private investors have partnered to make these projects reality, and our community is a better place because of those collaborations.

I’m thankful to live in a state that boasts some of the best outdoor recreation opportunities in the world. Whether it’s hunting, fishing, birding, rock-hunting, or hiking, North Dakota is flush with beautiful locations to enjoy your passions. In these days of dealing with COVID-19, there’s nothing like walking a field with your son or daughter during deer hunting season, sharing timeless family traditions. Lose yourself in nature; you’ll never regret it.

I’m thankful for friends and family. This year has been especially difficult for many families that have lost loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. There were no doubt some empty chairs around family dinner tables this week, and those losses affect our entire community. We mourn with those families, and we cherish the memories created by those who passed away this year. We also must recognize the important role our family and friends play in our lives, especially during the difficult times. It is because of our family and friends that we know there are better things ahead for us as individuals and as a community.

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.

Nov 13

Campaign is over - now the real work begins

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.

Oct 30

Be part of the city manager hiring process

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:

  • Shawn W. Henessee, former county manager in Clark County, Wash.
  • Harold L. Stewart II, current city manager in Warrensburg, Mo.
  • Ray O. Agbabiaka, former director of community development in Matteson, Ill.

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. 

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.