Candidate Questionnaire: To Each Their Own?

Minot City Council Candidates

The Question:

Imagine you are the president of a Homeowners Association (HOA) that provides numerous amenities, including an aquatic center that uses a chlorine system to sanitize the pool. Some residents, unhappy with the chlorine system (despite being aware of it when they moved in), have pooled their resources and have now built a separate saltwater sanitized aquatic center. These residents now request a reduction in their HOA fees because they no longer use the community’s aquatic facilities. As the HOA president, how would you vote on their request and what would you consider as you decided?

About the Question

This question is loosely analogous to the issue of school choice. It was offered with the hopes that we might see a distinction in candidate responses with regards to balancing individual and community interests.

Mike Gietzen

This candidate did not provide a response.

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Scott Burlingame

First off, I am way too much of an individualist to ever move into an HOA, however, let me do my best to answer.

As the HOA President, I would look to see if there is any legal issues surrounding this proposed change, explore any precedent from other similar situations, I would explore the fiscal and legal ramifications of making such a change, I would look at how this change would affect all members of the HOA, not just this owner. I would be intentional with communicating with other members of the HOA and find out what the best direction is going forward. After gathering all that information, I would make in informed vote.

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Scott Samuelson

This candidate did not provide a response.

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Rob Fuller

As the president of the Homeowners Association (HOA), I would vote against the request for a reduction in HOA fees from the residents who built a separate saltwater sanitized aquatic center. The primary reason is that HOA fees are designed to cover the maintenance and operation of common amenities and services that benefit the entire community, regardless of individual usage. Allowing a reduction in fees based on personal preferences sets a precedent that could undermine the financial stability and fairness of the HOA fee structure.

It’s important to maintain community cohesion and equity. The HOA’s role is to ensure that all residents contribute to the shared amenities and services, fostering a sense of unity and shared responsibility. Granting fee reductions for a subset of residents could create division and resentment among those who continue to pay full fees, compromising the sense of fairness within the community.

Furthermore, approving fee reductions could set a problematic precedent for future requests, potentially leading to a fragmented fee system and budget shortfalls. Consistent fee collection is crucial for maintaining the quality and availability of all HOA services and amenities. The fees are not only for the maintenance of existing amenities but also for future improvements and community projects. Even if certain residents choose not to use the community aquatic center, their fees contribute to the overall betterment and enhancement of the community, ensuring that all amenities remain in good condition for current and future residents.

While I understand the residents’ desire for a fee reduction, it is crucial to uphold the principles of fairness, community cohesion, and financial stability for the entire HOA. To address their concerns and foster community harmony, I would propose engaging with the residents to explore other ways to recognize their investment in the saltwater center, such as organizing joint community events or considering collaborative efforts that benefit the entire HOA. This approach maintains fairness while acknowledging their contributions.

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Leif Snyder

I thought I was running for Minot City Council and was not aware I was running to lead a HOA?  Without knowing the details i would have some questions to ask first.  1}  Were these HOA members who built their own aquatic facilities part of a renaissance zone or tax abatement where they were able to avoid paying taxes on the improvements made to their center?  What was their motivation not to participate in and  improve the existing aquatic center?  When its all said and done its on them, it was there decision despite knowing the HOA fees.  With out prior communication or understanding I can’t support them not paying.

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Stephan Podrygula

A deal is a deal. If you joined an HOA that provided certain amenities, and agreed to pay for them, it’s only fair that you continue with that agreement (as long as that amenity continues to be provided). If you want to develop a new amenity, you either have to get the entire HOA to support it or else pay for it yourself.

For me, the basic principles here are personal responsibility, following through on commitments and contracts, and paying for the services you receive.

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Mike Blessum

My vote would be no on their request. As an HOA (and a society) we agree to the social structure when we buy property or join a community. The best parallel is the public school system. I have never had children in the public school system, yet I agree to public funding for the system and its main goal of educating the masses to participate effectively in our society. We can and should have big debates about how schools (and the HOA pools) function and whether they are effective, but in the end we all need to pay for them because they give us the best chance to have a functioning society. Those members of the HOA may have very valid reasons for opting into a different system for their pool needs, but that does not relieve them of their duty to pay for the community features they agreed to with their membership.

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Minot Public School Board Candidates

The Question:

Imagine you are the president of a Homeowners Association (HOA) that provides numerous amenities, including an aquatic center that uses a chlorine system to sanitize the pool. Some residents, unhappy with the chlorine system (despite being aware of it when they moved in), have pooled their resources and have now built a separate saltwater sanitized aquatic center. These residents now request a reduction in their HOA fees because they no longer use the community’s aquatic facilities. As the HOA president, how would you vote on their request and what would you consider as you decided?

About the Question

This question is loosely analogous to the issue of school choice. It was offered with the hopes that we might see a distinction in candidate responses with regards to balancing individual and community interests.

Lacey Laudenschlager

As president of the HOA, I would follow the bylaws and rules that are set in place by the association and abide by the agreement that was likely signed by the residents when they moved in.

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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

This can be related to the public school and private school debate that seems to happen each year or two within the legislator. Part three of the bill draft I mentioned above includes addressing this issue. It would allow the private school system the opportunity to receive 80% of the per pupil payment or approximately $9,000 if the private school agrees to accept the training provided by the ND Department of Public Instruction by March of 2026 and then the private school would have the opt-in option to alert the state by the end of June of 2026 if they agree to the reporting AND admission requirements of public schools. The reason for 80% recognizes the ability for the private school to keep their curriculum to include religious instruction while meeting minimum state graduation requirements. The amount proposed above currently exceeds the tuition payments to most, if not all, private schools in North Dakota. This is the best example of taxpayers agreeing to a tax structure when they purchase a property, then wanting to have additional options while paying for those services.

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KayLee Bourquin

This candidate did not provide a response.

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Michael Gessner

Mr. Gessner did not provide a response to this question.

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Darrik Trudell

This candidate did not provide a response.

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Bill Irmen

I would deny their request for a reduction of their HOA fees and remind them that they are welcome to use our aquatic center as their membership allows.  I would like to form a committee to explore the pros and cons of saltwater sanitation over chlorine sanitation and the feasibility of converting our aquatic center to saltwater sanitation if there are obvious benefits and if it is cost effective.

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Minot Park Board Candidates

The Question:

Imagine you are the president of a Homeowners Association (HOA) that provides numerous amenities, including an aquatic center that uses a chlorine system to sanitize the pool. Some residents, unhappy with the chlorine system (despite being aware of it when they moved in), have pooled their resources and have now built a separate saltwater sanitized aquatic center. These residents now request a reduction in their HOA fees because they no longer use the community’s aquatic facilities. As the HOA president, how would you vote on their request and what would you consider as you decided?

About the Question

This question is loosely analogous to the issue of school choice. It was offered with the hopes that we might see a distinction in candidate responses with regards to balancing individual and community interests.

Chelsea Kirkhammer

As the president of the Homeowners Association (HOA), I would carefully consider the request and I believe I would vote against the request for a reduction in HOA fees.

The HOA fees are designed to be shared equally among all residents to maintain the community’s amenities and services. Allowing fee reductions for specific groups sets a precedent and could negatively impact the community’s financial stability and cohesion. Instead, I would encourage continued open dialogue with these residents to address their concerns and explore alternative ways they can contribute to the community’s wellbeing without altering the fee structure.

While I understand the residents’ request, my primary responsibility is to ensure the fair and equitable management of community resources and uphold the principles of shared responsibility that benefit the entire neighborhood.

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Cliff Hovda

This candidate did not provide a response.

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Deven Mantz

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

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