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Posted on July 30, 2021 at 11:19 AM by Bryan Obenchain
Tomorrow, the calendar flips to August, and suddenly Minot’s 2022 city election doesn’t quite seem so far away.
The 2022 city election will be held June 14; the deadline to file petitions for office is April 11. There are several positions that will be on the ballot, including mayor, and the City Council seats currently held by members Lisa Olson, Mark Jantzer, and Paul Pitner.
I know June seems like a long ways away, but it really isn’t far off in the world of political office. If you’re seriously considering running for Minot city council, mayor, or other local office, now is the time to start preparing and formulating ideas of what you would like to accomplish should you be elected. It’s also important to create plans for how you would accomplish your goals or ideas so you are prepared to answer questions from voters.
Local elections are vital to the long-term sustainability and success of communities like Minot. Decisions made by local elected officials have serious every-day impacts on our community, our school system, and our county. It’s imperative that we encourage qualified residents to consider committing their time to make their community an even better place to live, work, and play.
When the Make Minot movement was created a few years ago to reshape Minot’s form of government, one of the founding principles was to encourage residents to become more actively engaged in their community government. Local government works best when there are multiple candidates for each open position, giving voters choices between not only personalities, but between political philosophies. Choice is a good thing.
Apathy is the enemy of good local government. If residents don’t care what their elected officials are doing, those leaders have little or no incentive to properly represent those who elected them. That can lead to abuse, mistrust, and mismanagement of resources and public funds. And that is simply unacceptable at any level of government.
It is true that being a member of the city council, school board, or Ward County Commission is a serious time commitment. There are numerous meetings to attend, and you’ll spend considerable time answering questions and listening to concerns from constituents. In the case of the city council, you’ll also spend time working with City of Minot department heads and others on creating annual budgets and discussing current and future projects. There will be personal sacrifices, and you might miss the occasional family gathering. The elected position can and will take away from your professional career or job.
As a council member, you’ll be responsible for making fiscal decisions that affect the more than 400 City employees and the community as a whole. You’ll be asked to balance the needs of the City as an organization against the needs of the overall community as you work in conjunction with entities like Ward County, Minot Public Schools, and the Minot Park District. You’ll be criticized for decisions made by the entire council, and for your personal vote. Sometimes you’ll be criticized for decisions that were made by other local taxing entities, even though you had nothing to do with those decisions. It’s all part of the job.
Yet the good things easily outweigh the negatives. The sense of community pride is real when you play a role in a successful project, or help create a program to assist others. It’s personally rewarding when you help create a long-term vision for not only the City of Minot as an organization but for the entire community.
As an elected official, part of your responsibility is to help move the community forward in achieving goals for the overall benefit of Minot. When you’re elected, you’re reminded very quickly that you’re part of something bigger than yourself, and that you’ve taken an oath to be responsible to those who elected you. True leadership is built on the foundation of focusing on wide-ranging community goals instead of personal agendas.
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.