Candidate Questionnaire: Sell Minot!

Minot City Council Candidates

The Question:

A 28-year-old female medical doctor, finishing her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, has three job offers of equal pay and professional environments: Minot, Duluth, and Billings. She’s deciding based on the place alone and has reached out to you, as an elected leader in Minot, for insight. How would you convince her to choose Minot?

About the Question

This is both a practical and literal requirement of serving in elected office in Minot, ND. Whether we acknowledge it or not, our community is in competition with neighboring communities and states, and the competition is for people and talent. How we differentiate our selves as a community and state — both positively and negatively — impacts peoples’ location decisions. And our elected leaders are significant contributors to the story outsiders hear about us and the opinions they form.

Scott Burlingame

I am a person who moved to Minot as an adult, and I work in an office full of people who have moved here as well. Let me tell you a little about the charm of the Magic City.

Community and Lifestyle:
Minot is a town on the brink of greatness. Our community is shedding the mindset of “that will never work here” and transforming into a modern, vibrant city while maintaining its small-town charms. We are a warm, welcoming community where people genuinely care about each other.

Quality of Life:
Minot offers a high quality of life compared too many other places. Housing options are diverse, and we are actively working to increase housing to ensure everyone finds a place they can call home. Additionally, our city is known for its brand new healthcare facilities, which is crucial for a medical professional like yourself.

Recreation and Culture:
Our city boasts a variety of recreational activities and cultural events. From the North Dakota State Fair and Norsk Høstfest to the numerous parks, golf courses, and outdoor activities, there’s always something to do. Minot’s arts and cultural scene is vibrant, with theaters, museums, and a symphony orchestra adding to the rich tapestry of community life.

Support for Families:
For those thinking about the future, Minot is a family-friendly city with excellent public and private schools and safe neighborhoods. We are committed to expanding and improving childcare facilities, making it easier for families to thrive here.

Choosing Minot means choosing a community that supports and values its residents. I am confident that you will find Minot to be a place where you can not only advance your career but also enjoy a fulfilling personal life. We would be honored to have you join our community and contribute to our shared future.

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Rob Fuller

Choosing where to start the next phase of your career is a significant decision, and I believe Minot offers a unique combination of professional opportunities and quality of life that is hard to beat. We would be thrilled to welcome you to our community and support you in your journey as a medical professional. Here are some key points that highlight why Minot could be the ideal choice for you:

  1. Community and Quality of Life: Minot is known for its strong sense of community and welcoming atmosphere. With a population that’s large enough to provide diverse opportunities but small enough to maintain a close-knit feel, you’ll find it easy to connect and become a part of the community. Minot offers a family-friendly environment with excellent schools, parks, and recreational facilities.
  2. Professional Opportunities: Minot has a robust healthcare sector, anchored by Trinity Health, which provides ample opportunities for professional growth and collaboration. The medical community here is supportive, and there are many opportunities for continuing education and involvement in local medical associations.
  3. Cultural and Recreational Activities: Minot offers a variety of cultural and recreational activities. The city hosts the North Dakota State Fair and the Norsk Høstfest, the largest Scandinavian festival in North America. There are also numerous outdoor activities available year-round, from hiking and fishing to skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.
  4. Strategic Location: Minot’s location in North Dakota provides a unique mix of small- town charm with access to larger metropolitan areas. It’s an ideal place for those who appreciate a quieter lifestyle but still want the option to travel easily.

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Mike Blessum

I am a firm believer in story telling for discussions like this. I would emphasize the people of our city and the wonderful community she would be joining. I would talk to her about my (step) grandfather and two of the managers that I had work for me at Delta Vacations that chose to make Minot their home after retiring from the Air Force after being stationed all over the world. I would talk to her about the 2011 flood and how over 10,000 people were displaced and our emergency shelters were largely empty because the community took in friends and family to ensure everyone had a place to go. I would talk to her about a city that is able to withstand a 48 inch blizzard and 30 degrees below zero with the same humor that we go through a 106 degree day at the ND State Fair. I would talk to her about the innovative entrepreneurs I meet with weekly in our accounting office that are pursuing their dreams of business ownership right here in our city. And finally, I look forward to talking to her about how the city council and the other Minot area subdivisions have made a conscious effort to ensure the economic success of our residents by limiting the scope of government and focusing on providing a low tax, low regulation environment where everyone can be successful.

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Scott Samuelson

This candidate did not provide a response.

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Stephan Podrygula

Minot’s main attraction, compared to Billings and Duluth, is that it is a small town and still has many of the virtues we associate with “old-fashioned” small-town life, including the following: a strong sense of community, a high degree of public safety, friendly people, clean air and water, good schools, relatively manageable social problems, and the chance to become very active in a variety of community activities and organizations.

A single individual can make a real difference here, especially a young healthcare professional just starting out in their career, where technical skill, a good “bedside manner”, being up to date on the latest techniques in their profession, and compassion can be noticed and will make a definite difference, not just for their patients, but the entire community. You’re not just a cog in a big (medical) machine or part of a faceless crowd in a large city.

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Leif Snyder

I don’t think it is my role as an elected official to sell Minot, I see my role more as taking care of the needs of current citizens as i think the constant desire for large amounts of growth is part of the problem.  If the Chamber EDC and Visit Minot cant do it I guess i will give it a go.

Congratulations on the job offer!  Unfortunately looking at the property tax rates compared to Billings and Duluth we seem to be the highest but if you are in the market to rent there are some nice apartments being built directly north of the Hospital…..Oh wait? Ya maybe thats not a good suggestion at the moment!  Should you decide to move here, what I can tell you is that more fiscally stable decisions are on the way from the City Council so eventually I hope to see our tax rates lower or equal to Billings and Duluth.  I think it is my role as an elected official to see to it city services are provided in reliable manner and that taxes are within reason.

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Mike Gietzen

This candidate did not provide a response.

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Minot Public School Board Candidates

The Question:

A 28-year-old female medical doctor, finishing her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, has three job offers of equal pay and professional environments: Minot, Duluth, and Billings. She’s deciding based on the place alone and has reached out to you, as an elected leader in Minot, for insight. How would you convince her to choose Minot?

About the Question

This is both a practical and literal requirement of serving in elected office in Minot, ND. Whether we acknowledge it or not, our community is in competition with neighboring communities and states, and the competition is for people and talent. How we differentiate our selves as a community and state — both positively and negatively — impacts peoples’ location decisions. And our elected leaders are significant contributors to the story outsiders hear about us and the opinions they form.

Darrik Trudell

This candidate did not provide a response.

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KayLee Bourquin

This candidate did not provide a response.

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Michael Gessner

Minot has a great public school system.  They offer Career and Tech courses, including Medical Careers course(s).  There are AP offerings and many great extracurricular activities.  Also, Trinity Hospital just opened a brand new hospital facility here in Minot.  We have a State University here in Minot that offers many degree opportunities.  We also have an Air Force Base located 13 miles north of Minot.  Minot Public Schools provides the education for these military personnel’s children.  The parks and recreation opportunities are plentiful.  Minot is a city of educated people.  I believe Minot would be a great place for this person to be a part of, and to raise a family.

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John Carey

While I appreciate the offer to participate in this candidate questionnaire sent to me by “TheMinotVoice”, I have respectively declined because I do not feel that answering hypothetical questions is helpful in addressing and solving our current problems. My positions and opinions on certain topics are based on the real world issues we’re currently facing in our school district. Thank you John Carey

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Scott Louser

Fascinating question considering my career as a real estate broker has been, in part, to promote and recruit into Minot. I would begin with discussing the fantastic hospital that was recently opened in Minot and refer her to a Facebook Live video that I did last summer promoting just that as a prime recruiting tool in Minot. I would promote the community that we have in Minot, how responsive many of our elected officials are to the inquiries of our constituents and ask her specifically what is most important to her as a contributing resident in her community; school board, park board, county commission and/or city council? After learning what is most important to her, I would ask if she would be interested and willing to meet with elected officials from those political subdivisions based on a personal meeting I would set up for her. From a real estate perspective, I would promote our average price for a home, the average appreciation and sell to list ratios as well as an evaluation of current inventory levels for homes in her price range while promoting using a local lender for financing. I have access to walk scores, crime reports, school testing reports through the Realtor Property Resource network software relative to Duluth and Billings. I would discuss our full state income tax and fee structure and local property tax and insurance rates. Overall, I would promote the quality of life in Minot, the attractiveness of both Minot public schools and the private options and we would likely tour Minot North High School and any other schools she may have an interest in if applicable to her situation.

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Bill Irmen

There are several reasons for this young doctor to move to Minot.  Of course she would be working in a brand new, state of the art hospital, assuming she takes a job with Trinity.  But aside from that, I would tout that Minot is an excellent place to raise children when she is at that stage of life.  We live in a very safe community with excellent municipal services and accommodations like parks, the zoo, etc.  And her children will get the best education by sending her children to Minot Public Schools.  They will be offered a rich, vigorous curriculum with outstanding electives to enhance their education and advanced placement and dual credit classes to help them get jump start on their college careers.   And if their children choose to stay in North Dakota for college, they will be eligible for grants and scholarships to help pay for the education.   MPS also offers a wide variety of high quality co-curricular opportunities. Thanks in part to the Minot Air Force Base, Minot has a diverse population.  I have many friends who chose to stay in Minot after leaving the military.  They like the safe environment, the school system, and the location.  People who move here from other places love that they can distinctly experience all four of the seasons.  Minot is located a short distance from many recreational destinations.  If you love the outdoors, we are close to lakes, hiking, biking trails, and some of the best fishing and hunting in the nation.  The Badlands are a short drive away, as are the Twin Cities if you want to take in a game or get away for a weekend.  We are close to three and soon four casinos that offer a variety of entertainment, including popular musical acts and comedians. And if you want to travel farther, there are several flights a day to choose from via the Minot International Airport.  But you don’t have to travel to find things to do.  The North Dakota State Fair and Norsk Hostefest celebrate our culture and also bring in some of the biggest names in entertainment. Minot is an excellent place to live, work, play, and raise a family.

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Lacey Laudenschlager

Interestingly, when I was a new Realtor, I had this exact opportunity. I would take prospective doctors on tours of Minot to show them some of the wonderful things Minot has to offer. Each tour was roughly an hour and I would highlight the following areas and attractions:

  1. The fairgrounds, which hosts the North Dakota State Fair, Hostfest, dirt track racing, and various other events.
  2. Our growing (and really cute) downtown that boasts shopping, arts and entertainment, and many bars and restaurants.
  3. Minot State University- home to the Beavers, the Minot Symphony Orchestra, and MSU Summer Theater.
  4. Our beautiful parks and zoo.
  5. The Air Force Base and all the wonderful things that come along with it.

As we would drive around we’d talk about how Minot has something for everyone, not to mention its close proximity to many lakes and opportunities for outdoor recreation, a beautiful airport with multiple airlines for easy travel, wonderful schools, and how it’s an easy place to live and raise a family.

As a new, young doctor, I would make sure to point out that not only is Minot a great place to live, it also has a lower cost of living than Billings and Duluth, which would help her get ahead financially.

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Minot Park Board Candidates

The Question:

A 28-year-old female medical doctor, finishing her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, has three job offers of equal pay and professional environments: Minot, Duluth, and Billings. She’s deciding based on the place alone and has reached out to you, as an elected leader in Minot, for insight. How would you convince her to choose Minot?

About the Question

This is both a practical and literal requirement of serving in elected office in Minot, ND. Whether we acknowledge it or not, our community is in competition with neighboring communities and states, and the competition is for people and talent. How we differentiate our selves as a community and state — both positively and negatively — impacts peoples’ location decisions. And our elected leaders are significant contributors to the story outsiders hear about us and the opinions they form.

Deven Mantz

This candidate did not provide a response.

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Chelsea Kirkhammer

Here is a list of key reasons I would use to convince her to choose Minot!

  • Residents of Minot are friendly, welcoming, and supportive.
  • Minot is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, including the Souris River and
    numerous parks. Our city is perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Recreational Opportunities: From hiking, fishing, and camping in the summer to
    skiing and ice skating in the winter, Minot provides ample opportunities to stay
    active and enjoy the great outdoors.
  • Minot boasts a vibrant cultural scene with annual events like the North Dakota
    State Fair and the Norsk Høstfest, the largest Scandinavian festival in North
    America. These events highlight our diverse heritage and offer rich experiences.
  • The city has a thriving arts community with galleries, theaters, and live music
    venues. The Taube Museum of Art and the Minot Symphony Orchestra are just a
    few examples of the cultural amenities available here.
  • Education: Minot is home to excellent educational institutions, from well-regarded
    public and private schools to Minot State University, which offers diverse
    academic programs and cultural events.
  • Strategic Location: Minot International Airport offers convenient travel options,
    making it easy to visit family and friends or attend professional conferences.
  • Military Presence: The nearby Minot Air Force Base brings a dynamic and
    diverse population to our city, contributing to the local economy and cultural
    richness.

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Cliff Hovda

This candidate did not provide a response.

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About our Candidate Questionnaire:
We tried to get our candidates thinking. If you’d like to read the rest of the questions and candidate responses, here you go:

MinotVoice

MinotVoice authorship is an amalgamation of source material and local context. It is created with a human touch and an AI assist. When licensing allows or content is provided as a news release, that content is also published under MinotVoice authorship.

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