Garbage plan launch will test leadership, residents

The first deliveries of new receptacles for the City of Minot’s upcoming transition to its automated garbage/recycling program are a reminder that this new system will be a test. It will not be just a test of whether or not the system succeeds.

Instead, this new system will test the city government and residents. Furthermore, there might be more at play than just the essential service itself.

For the City of Minot, the test will be if the new service meets the promises made about it – and meets the standards of the reassurances officials gave residents who have expressed concern about it. From very early on in the public presentation of this change, residents complained that the city failed to adequately interact with taxpayers about the plan. That is, the perception was that it was a “done deal” on behalf of the City of Minot; and public desire wasn’t considered.

To reiterate, this is the perception of a vocal percentage of residents. It is also the perception of others in the community that the opposition to the new system is driven purely by dislike of change in general. Truth, like beauty, can be in the eye of the beholder.

With a promising new city council and administration, change is on the horizon. However, taxpayer patience with change, their willingness to trust that change will have a positive impact, is now in part, inevitably linked to the success of this program.

Taxpayers will also be challenged by the garbage service change. If the system functions as envisioned, will former critics acknowledge the success? Can some of our neighors overcome an aversion to change and applaud it when it works? Will a success with this system encourage enhanced open mindedness when it comes to future innovation?

These are the questions and the tests. Some already consider the garbage change to be an important issue. It might just be more important than many might think.