Longtime council members have much still to offer

With the results of last month’s election bringing new blood to the Minot City Council, longtime members of that body are moving on.

It was good to see Mayor Chuck Barney recognizing the contributions to the city of former council members Larry Frey, Bob Miller, Jim Hatlelid, Tom Seymour and Kevin Connole. All have served the city and its residents with dignity and commitment. There is a great deal of aggregate experience and institutional knowledge among the departing council members.

In public appearances and comments during this election cycle, some of these men expressed their desire to see projects completed that began while they were in office and to otherwise have a sense of closure on issues close to them during their tenures in office. It’s an admirable feeling.

However, holding office is not the only way these veteran statesmen can contribute. They have a great deal to offer the new members of the council, and they will have much to offer whoever the next members of the council will be next year. As advisers and mentors, they can continue to have a voice in the direction of Minot. Free from the bonds of the mundane requirements of holding office, they can, perhaps, offer different views than they once had, or look at things in refreshed eyes.

Hopefully, the promising young new members of the city council will lean on these veterans for advice and hopefully a productive line of communication will remain open, to the benefit of both groups and thus to the city in general.

That’s the best way for one generation of leaders to pass the torch to the next.