Dear Minot cropped

Dear Minot

Dear Minot

A message from your government about the most topical and relevant information currently circulating throughout the community. 

Mar 24

Another opportunity to serve your community

Posted on March 24, 2023 at 9:16 AM by Bryan Obenchain

Dear Minot:

There are countless groups and organizations that regularly do great things for the members of our community.

Count City Serve ND among those groups.

From May 30-June 3, City Serve ND, which consists of churches from Minot, Fargo, Stanley, Bismarck, and Dickinson, will mobilize and organize efforts across North Dakota to provide services to their communities. In Minot, The Pursuit is among the nine local churches leading the charge.

The program began as a one-day event in 2021, with volunteers going into communities to fulfill needs of organizations through service projects. It has since expanded into completing projects over multiple days.

This year, there’s a wide variety of projects happening in Minot, according to Cindy Stock of The Pursuit, including:

-Assisting the Meals on Wheels program

-Being buddies for Dream Catchers baseball games

-Detailing police vehicles and vehicles for foster families

-Cleaning up Roosevelt Park Zoo

-Laundromat ministry

-Building walls and shelves for the Matthew 25 Project

-Roofing, fencing, and landscaping at the Minot Men’s Winter Refuge

-Providing freezer meals for local fire stations and EMS organizations

-Providing baked goods for hospital staff

-Hosting a family craft night

As residents of Minot, it’s our duty and responsibility to give back to other members of our community. Elected officials, business professionals, and civic leaders are rightfully proud of the way Minot takes care of itself. That trait is something that separates Minot from other communities in North Dakota and beyond. We’re proud of the way our residents respond in times of need.

This event with City Serve ND provides a perfect opportunity for us to respond again. The churches that make up City Serve ND are organizing, scheduling, and planning these days of service. All we have to do is sign up, show up, and help our community. It couldn’t be much easier.

To volunteer, you can go to for more information. After April 30, visitors to the site will be able to select a city, and then sign up for the projects they choose.

Please, mark your calendars for May 30-June 3. Set a reminder on your phone. Put a sticky note on your refrigerator. Whatever works best for you. But the projects completed during these days will serve as yet another strong reminder that Minot is indeed a big city with a small-town mentality. That trait is what has helped us recover from natural disasters and devastating accidents. It’s what has helped us forge ahead with plans to protect ourselves from future flooding.

That sentiment is what makes Minot the city that it is today. Join us on May 30-June 3. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.

Mar 09

How do you deal with change?

Posted on March 9, 2023 at 2:46 PM by Bryan Obenchain

Dear Minot:

We’ve often heard the old saying that the only things certain in this world are death and taxes. Well, I would like to add one more thing that’s certain – change. 

Change is inevitable. It happens whether we want it to or not, and it’s not always in our control. What we can control how we respond to change, and how we conduct ourselves to influence change to work to our benefit.

Over the remainder of my term as mayor, there will be changes. You can count on it. Do I believe everyone will agree with the changes that will happen? Absolutely not. I've been your mayor for more than eight months. One significant lesson I learned early on is that it's impossible to please everyone. But by using the philosophy of “together,” we can make decisions and changes that will be reflect the needs and the wants of our community. 

Moving a community forward with changes does not mean what we currently have is broken. It doesn't mean what our predecessors did was wrong. It may just mean times have changed, and needs have changed.

I look at it like this: Today as a community, we are reaping the benefits of investments made in the past, in both our public and private sectors. We can all sit back and look at the projects, buildings, facilities, and programs that were started or constructed years ago, and we may take them for granted. But when you stop and think, you can almost always say “I'm glad they did this, or built that, or started this.”

Are there exceptions to that? Sure. Not every decision made in our past turned out to be the best one, but it’s impossible to govern through hindsight alone. Think of the decisions made by our predecessors that have helped shape our community. The Northwest Area Water Supply project. The Minot State University Dome. A second public high school. These are just a few of the important decisions made by Minot residents that have influence our city’s future in a positive manner. And the list is endless.

The investments made in our community by those who came before us continue to impact us today. Those are the investments my parents made in our community. They are the investments your parents and grandparents made in Minot. We must never forget that. But we must also take a page from their book and look at what those dividends teach us about tomorrow, and what these investments teach us about our children and grandchildren.

What will Minot look like in 10 years? Fifteen years? How about 20 years down the road? We surely don’t want Minot to look the same as it does now. If Minot looks the same 10 years from now, we will have failed as a community.

Of course,   we can’t propose changes just for the sake of changing. Change must be relevant, and it must be forward-thinking. You could also argue that, as a community, if we’re not moving forward, we’re moving backwards. Standing still is truly not an option.

As elected officials, we face many types of challenges. Change is one of those challenges. We must ask ourselves this question: What legacy do we want to leave? Will our legacy be one of change that weighs the risk/reward options and moves forward in the best interests of our entire community?

Or will our legacy be one of sitting idly on our hands, as change continues to happen without us actively participating?

I choose the first option. Change is necessary, and it’s a valuable tool to ensure the long-term sustainability and survival of communities like Minot. We must continue to embrace change, not fear it. As elected officials, we have pledged to do that as part of our responsibility.

As residents of Minot, you, too, can help move our community forward. Engage in the process. Engage in your government. Engage in your community. Engage in our future.

You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.

Feb 24

Telling Minot's story at the Legislature

Posted on February 24, 2023 at 10:06 AM by Bryan Obenchain

Dear Minot:

As you read this, the North Dakota Legislative session has reached its halfway point.

This past week, legislators in both houses were able to hold hearings on a record number of bills. Their commitment and hard work has been fun to witness and take part in. I have to give credit to all of our Minot neighbors, City of Minot team members, and City Council members who have stepped up to let their voices be heard. The respectful testimony and individual insight has helped legislators from across the state make well-informed decisions to move our state forward.

Looking at the second half of the session, there are a couple of items that top my list of interest:

  • SB2020 relates to our Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection project, notably providing a steady stream of funding to get flood protection completed in significantly less time, which would save taxpayers and the state upwards of $50 million in construction costs and interest payments. The Senate approved $76.1 million for flood protection, and approximately $47.8 million for the Northwest Area Water Supply project. The bill will now be considered by the House.
  • Another project on our radar is in conjunction with the Minot Area Chamber EDC and Minot Air Force Base. Preparations are under way to get ready for a $3.2 billion construction project coming to our backyard, as the missile system at Minot Air Force Base will be replaced in the coming years. As City leaders, we have worked with Chamber EDC and Task Force 21 along with teams in Fargo and Grand Forks to help pull this bill across the finish line.  

There are many other bills and resolutions that the team from Minot is closely watching as the Legislature hits the halfway point. We can help these bills be successful by openly communicating our needs in a respectful manner that helps get our message across to our state lawmakers.  

This is my first legislative session as your mayor. I’m extremely proud to be in Bismarck talking to legislators from across the state, as well as leaders from numerous government agencies about what is happening in our community. It's been an education to be part of this important process, which just goes to show you that there are opportunities to learn new things every day.

I have confidence that all of our hard work will pay off with some wonderful announcements at the end of the session. I want to thank all of the legislators, especially the ones from the Minot area, who have been working through hundreds of bills as they strive to guide our state forward.

I also want to thank our residents, many of whom have provided testimony on behalf of or against bills of great importance to our community and our state. Thanks to City of Minot staff members for your tireless work in researching issues and providing me and our legislators with facts and figures that help explain the City’s positions on key issues.

There has been a lot of work done by both houses of the North Dakota Legislature, but there is much work remaining. As elected leaders, it’s our job to continue to tell Minot’s story in Bismarck and across the state. I’m looking forward to the second half of the Legislature.

You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.