Election 2016: Meet Your Minot Park Board Candidates

This coming Tuesday is an election day across North Dakota. For state offices, this is a standard primary election whereby we narrow the field down to the final candidates who will appear on the November ballot. But for local races, this is it. This is your only chance to cast a vote for our City of Minot, Park Board, and School Board leaders.

This is your opportunity to get a feel for our Park Board Candidates.

— Park Board —

There are three candidates for two opens seats on the Park Board. You will be allowed to vote for two of these individuals.
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Cliff Hovda

Please provide a brief personal background and explain why you’re seeking office.

I am a retired educator, having taught, been a guidance counselor, and 11 years a principal at Souris River Campus, the alternative high school in Minot. I have served 2 terms on the park board and hope to continue to help preserve and enhance the park district. This board has the best interests of the community at heart.

Write briefly about your top three priorities as a Park Board member.

  1. Be financially prudent and use long term planning to provide the best possible park system.
  2. Coordinate with the full board strategies that allow and provide retention of the current excellent management and staff.
  3. Involve community in planning and promoting use of parks as social gathering places.

In terms of recreational facilities, what are we most lacking/what is our greatest need in Minot?

More outdoor recreational facilities such as cross country skiing, hiking trails, frisbee golf, dirt bike trails, soccer fields, and more walking paths.

What can we do to do a better job of retaining our best and brightest young people so they begin contributing their energy, ideas, and perspective to Minot as a whole?

Good paying jobs, quality of community life, and a vibrant city with a variety of activities and recreational opportunities. We need to encourage new ideas and give them a chance to demonstrate their involvement. The more involved they are, the more they are likely to stay.

John-Drady

John Drady

Please provide a brief personal background and explain why you’re seeking office.

Living in Minot my entire life – I have always enjoyed the Park Facilities. I chose to run for the Park Board so I could give back to my community. I have enjoyed my time on the Park Board over the past three years and have helped raise millions of dollars for park projects in order to keep the cost to tax payers low.

Write briefly about your top three priorities as a Park Board member.

  1. Continue to maintain the Quality of our existing Parks and Facilities
  2. Continue finding creative ways to help grow and improve the park facilities with the least amount of financial burden to The Park District. ex. Maysa expansion
  3. Listen and be open minded to new ideas regarding the park district from the citizens of Minot

In terms of recreational facilities, what are we most lacking/what is our greatest need in Minot?

While we have done a nice job over the past few years rebuilding from the flood and adding or improving our facilities -( Maysa expansion, new tennis courts, oak park band shell ect…) the top three needs that I see for future would be a new or expanded soccer complex, aquatics facility and continued expansion of the outdoor trail system

What can we do to do a better job of retaining our best and brightest young people so they begin contributing their energy, ideas, and perspective to Minot as a whole?

Continue to work as a whole towards improved quality of life in Minot. Input from our young people is vital in this effort as we are building the future of Minot and making it a place our young people want to stay and live in or move back home to. While finding and increasing employment opportunities in the area.

Steve-Wharton

Steve Wharton

Please provide a brief personal background and explain why you’re seeking office.

Our generation was raised to give back to others what was given to us. I believe in public service and have over 35 years in the public and private sector. No candidate or present park board member has the knowledge and education in the operations of sports facilities, grounds management or public employee relations like I do.

Write briefly about your top three priorities as a Park Board member.

  1. Transparency and Accountability -positive public relations and total openness with the public on all issues, don’t skirt the Century Code
  2. Spending-a 17.5% increase in the budget is unacceptable. The district will face difficult budget decisions during this slow economic times; requires future vision
  3. Board needs a “moral” voice

In terms of recreational facilities, what are we most lacking/what is our greatest need in Minot?

Minot has a great park system for a town it’s size. We are special and noted around the country. I have no hidden agenda. I want to see to it we maintain what we have at a high level and add parks to our new neighborhoods. I would like to see more bike and walking paths. Need to work with other entities if we are to build “big ideas.”

What can we do to do a better job of retaining our best and brightest young people so they begin contributing their energy, ideas, and perspective to Minot as a whole?

Leadership begins at the top. There is a void in leadership.The Minot Air Force Base uses the motto “Only the Best Come North.” Adopt that motto in all aspects of life. Retention requires wages and benefits, a high quality of life and a safe and happy workplaces that make employees want to excel and become leaders.Everyone can contribute.

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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