You will rarely ever see a letter like this from me as I understand the challenges of public service more than most, but I feel it important to address.
Monday night, Minot City Council as a whole really disappointed me and many others. Specifically, the leadership.
Last month they called for interested parties to submit a letter of interest to fill the open seat on council until the upcoming November election. No one (including me) ever expected 13 letters from citizens interested in service to our community. What a great opportunity it is to engage this many new citizens right?
More than anything, I was looking forward to hearing the excitement and passion from the 12 other individuals at the meeting as we were all invited to be present to address the council. Instead, the Mayor only called for discussion between the council. He never invited the 13 people to step forward and address the council, never engaged the people who have shown an interest in public service (certainly not enough people consider it) and never called for comment for the public. Only one candidate was even discussed.
It was clear this had been decided long before the public meeting. A motion was made and seconded, some comments were shared by council members and a person was appointed by a 4-2 vote. I have full faith in the appointed party, but I have lost a considerable amount of respect for several members of our city leadership.
It’s true….it really is “who you know” as indicated by our Mayor as he voiced his support for the appointed party prior to the vote. I looked around the room at the people who stepped out of their comfort zone and saw the disappointment and confusion on their faces. Many of these faces have never even been to a council meeting, some have never been in City Hall and I wonder if they will ever re-engage.
This was certainly a very sadly missed opportunity to build up the base of leaders in our community. Transparency and empowerment are not strong suits of our current leadership based on the events of Monday night’s meeting. Do better, people are watching.
Minot, ND 58701