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City manager role includes wide-ranging duties

There is a wide variety of roles and jobs in a municipal operation like the City of Minot, and every position is important to the overall success of our organization.

Good employees are the backbone of any successful company or organization, and that is certainly true at the City of Minot. Our departments are full of dedicated, hard-working employees who take their service to the community seriously. They are your friends, your neighbors, and your family members, and they all play key roles in our organization and our community, no matter which job they do.

Harold Stewart’s role as city manager is wide-ranging and encompasses great variations in job duties and responsibilities. Harold began his job as city manager in late 2020; he was unanimously supported by the city council after a nationwide search narrowed the list to semifinalists, and then three finalists were interviewed separately by the council and a panel of city department heads and community members.

First and foremost, the city manager is the leader of the 400-plus employees at the City of Minot. He oversees several department heads, and is ultimately responsible for the day-to-day operations at the city. While the city manager isn’t required to be an expert on everything that happens at the city – like flood control, sanitation collection, or financial software – the position does demand the ability to be knowledgeable about these subject when necessary. It also requires the ability to recognize who the experts are in each city department, and to confidently rely on their judgment and experience.

The city manager represents the city when partnering with other local entities, like Ward County, Minot Air Force Base, the Minot Park District, Minot Public Schools, or Minot State University. Those relationships are vital to not only the future of the city, but of the entire community. The city routinely collaborates with Ward County, MSU, Minot AFB, the Park District, and the school districts on projects and issues that are of community wide importance, despite all these organizations being separate entities. Leaders of all these groups must work together to balance what’s best for their individual organizations while keeping the future progress of the entire community in mind.

In addition, when the city works with local legislators on issues of core importance to the City of Minot and its residents, it is the city manager that often takes a leadership role in those efforts. That portion of Harold’s job will be at the forefront in the coming months, as the North Dakota Legislature conducts its business. There are many issues to be debated at this year’s Legislature, none more important than funding for future flood control phases. Though he is new to Minot, Harold recognizes the importance of our flood control project and the important role the city manager plays in promoting and supporting the project. On this key issue, the city manager is supported by the city council, the employees at the City of Minot, and the residents of the entire community as we forge ahead on the largest infrastructure project ever designed, funded, and constructed in Minot.

The city manager also plays a vital role in the function of the city council, acting as a liaison between the council members, City staff, local agencies, and members of the public. As the go-between for many diverse interests, the city manager is a key figure in the council’s inner workings. This aspect of the position requires a keen ear to listen to all concerns, a discerning eye to recognize potential problems, and a clear vision to help guide the organization into the future.

Of course, these aren’t all of the duties of the city manager. In reality, there are many responsibilities you won’t find written down anywhere, yet they fall to the city manager. It’s simply part of the job. With his extensive background in public service, Harold fully understands his role as our city manager. We’re glad he joined us in Minot, and as time goes on, we hope members of the community embrace the opportunities to meet Harold. You’ll find his enthusiasm and willingness to listen and learn about his new community encouraging.

Welcome, Harold. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

Sincerely, City Hall.

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

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