Yesterday, I put pictures of our City Engineer and Public Works Director on the Internet and questioned whether we have a system that gives the City of Minot the best chance of success. It was a difficult piece to publish because asking hard questions and questioning outcomes is uncomfortable business.
Today, you’re getting a very different perspective. And today I’m adding our City’s Finance Director to the mix.
Each of these individuals, Ms. Hemphill, Mr. Meyer, and Mr. Jonasson deserve our thanks. Over the past five years and longer, they have been the ones on the front lines doing their best to move the City forward. Though none of us agree with every decision, the easiest role to play is that of Captain Hindsight.
There’s no doubt that we’d all like a do-over on a few things, but at the end of the day, Ms. Hemphill, Mr. Meyer, and Mr. Jonasson have been the ones standing in there doing difficult jobs and making the decisions of the moment. And by my estimation, they’ve been doing it without a safety net and without a strong support network.
As we take our next steps with a new City Manager and a new City Council next June, it’s going to be critical that we put in place a government reliant on systems as much as it is on people. And we also need to build an institution whereby our elected officials grab hold of the responsibility expected of the office. Because our City employees deserve to have a support structure and culture that delivers successful outcomes and shares responsibility on all our shoulders when we come up short.
So, Ms. Hemphill, Mr. Meyer, and Mr. Jonasson thank you for showing up every day and making the hard choices. It’s been a thankless job, but the work is not unappreciated or unnoticed.