Published February 3, 2024

Letter from City Council Candidate Mike Blessum

Written by
The Dakotan
| The Dakotan

Why am I running for the city council?
I have always been interested in politics. My paternal grandmother, Maxine Dinnetz, was the first female city council member in Minot in the late 60s. My maternal grandmother, Arlene Sauceda, was a precinct committeewoman in the Democrat Party while I was growing up. I was a district chair in the Republican Party twenty years ago and have been reengaged in the party over the last three years when COVID forced us to stand up and get involved.
If you asked me five years ago which office I might consider, the city council would have been at the bottom of my list. Too many of the issues council members deal with hit very close to home for Minot residents and I didn’t relish the idea that friends and neighbors might not agree with the decisions I would make. A seat in the North Dakota legislature sounded more appealing - where I could be a step removed in Bismarck and not face the day-to-day scrutiny at home.
So, what changed? I got involved. First, by paying attention to the legislature and city council, school board, and county commission meetings. Then, by serving as an appointed member of the Minot Human Relations Ad Hoc Committee. I also attended budget hearings and made my voice heard. What I found is that our voices do matter and sometimes we need to step up even if it’s not comfortable. I believe I can be effective and that our system of government requires us to be willing to do our part.
Our city is reasonably well-run but operating under a set of self-imposed rules and precedents that hinder good government. We are locked into decades-old ways of doing things. Even when we introduce new programs, like recycling, we are trying to solve problems that more progressive cities have already tried and abandoned.
We need new leadership with a new vision. Leaders who believe we should consider new options for economic development, regulations and fees, and the dreaded property tax. I began my professional career as a management consultant where I learned to question everything and to find innovative solutions to business challenges. I will bring that expertise and outlook to the city council.
I want to see our residents more engaged than ever in their city, state, and country. I am ready, willing, and able to step up and serve. I know WE CAN DO BETTER for the people of Minot. I hope the voters of Minot give me the chance.

  • Mike Blessum
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