City of Minot Response to Planning Department Allegations

Following last week’s article in the Minot Daily News in which a former planning department employee raised serious questions about the way the department operates, the City of Minot issued the following news release that includes a statement from the City Manager.

— Official News Release, City of Minot —

Minot City Manager Responds to Questions Regarding Ethical Behavior of City EmployeesRecent allegations with the City of Minot Planning Department have called in to question the ethics of certain employees and policies. City Manager Lee Staab would like to address these particular items, and his standards of ethics for all employees.

Lee Staab: “As the City Manager, I am bound by a code of ethics. This ethical code is a part of the larger “Code of Conduct” that is embedded in all military personnel. As a retired military officer and as the City Manager, the code of ethics is the cornerstone of my leadership and managerial principles. I hold all City of Minot Department Heads to the highest standards of ethical behavior. We all serve at the discretion of the Citizens of Minot and the officials that those citizens have elected. We are honored to serve The Magic City. As public servants, we also have to ensure that fiscal responsibility and stewardship are at the forefront of our many daily decisions. I am proud of the tireless work that all of the professionals working for the City of Minot perform on a daily basis in the areas of public safety and public service.”

“With respect to specific allegations leveled against the City in an article printed in the Minot Daily News on Saturday, March 26th 2016 (“Un-planned Departure”), I would like to offer these clarifications: First, the new sign at the Roosevelt Park Zoo is still under discussion due to upcoming work on that area of Burdick Expressway, and no plans have been finalized. However, the discrepancy cited in the article was referencing the zoning ordinance (Chapter 22) for Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Ag Districts. The Roosevelt Park Zoo is zoned “Public”, and falls under section 16-4, which specifically allows the planned sign. The second allegation regarding Little Caesar’s Pizza parking requirements failed to take in to account that the restaurant falls in to the category of those that primarily serve patrons by way of take-out or drive-thru. Section 23-1 (gg) calls for ‘1 space for each 15 square feet dedicated to patron service and 5 spaces for employees.’ This particular restaurant also falls under Section 23-3 (h) regarding ‘shared use’ as an establishment located in a strip mall. This particular item has not been before the Planning Commission or the City Council at this time.”

“As has always been City of Minot policy, I welcome any citizen who has an issue with City of Minot Staff, Department Heads or Leadership, or any other concern, to please call my office and make an appointment to discuss these things in person. Likewise, I invite all Citizens of Minot to participate in our local government by attending the committee and council meetings where these decisions are made. All meetings are open to the public, and any member of the public may voice his or her concerns at those meetings.”

Josh Wolsky

Editor and Publisher of TheMinotVoice, Developer of the #ForMinot Network,  Co-Host of #GoodTalk Minot, Advocate and Friend of the Souris River, Former City Alderman, and clearly -- all things #MakeMinot. Go ahead, don't wait for permission!

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