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New city manager saying the right things

Minot’s new city manager, on the job for less than a month, certainly has his hands full – and Minot so far seems to be in very capable hands.

The Minot Daily News published an in-depth story on Harold Stewart in Saturday’s edition. In that article comments by Stewart revealed that he already has a finger on the pulse of the Magic City. Two of his comments are especially worth reading again:

About partnerships and teamwork – “I think (trust and credibility) are going to be very integral in our ability to reach the potential that I can see going forward. The future of Minot is not something that the City of Minot can do by itself. It needs the partnership of many entities and individuals and citizens as a whole,” he said. “Secondly, I’m just learning and absorbing, the best I can, opinions and perspectives and history so that I can make sure that, collectively, we’re making the best decisions for Minot.”

Refreshing. A listener.

The other comments that caught our attention concerned the future of downtown and the ongoing impact of the 2011 flood. Stewart is on the mark there as well.

“Two things that I think definitely need to have some community conversation would be: one, the downtown area as the Trinity hospital finishes its transition to the new facility and what do we do with all those buildings downtown and the impact that it’s going to have culturally and economically on the downtown area and the community as a whole,” he said. “The other one that has some concern for me would be the residential areas around the river that will be in the flood plain. Most of those houses are having difficulty selling and transitioning. A lot of them are being repaired by homeowners, but a lot of the homeowners are taking out second mortgages to do that. Eventually the flood insurance is going to be having an impact there as well. You can see a stark difference in housing prices between what’s in the flood plain and was not in the flood plain. And so, my concern going forward is how do we have an active plan to keep that area vibrant and healthy so that it doesn’t deteriorate and become an area that has other issues and concerns and negative impacts for our community.”

Valley dwellers will especially appreciate his view on that subject.

That is just a bit of what Stewart had to say in Saturday’s paper. If you missed it, go back and take a look.

So far, we like what we see.

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