Setting record straight
I am writing this letter in response to former Mayor Curt Zimbelman and Chuck Barney’s May 28th letter to the editor in the Minot Daily News entitled “Change needed in mayor’s office.” The article mentions two city records requests that were denied, one of which was my records request for the Patricia Monson investigation notes. The request wasn’t denied by Mayor Sipma. It was denied by our current City Attorney Kelly Hendershot, and then reversed by the ND State Attorney General’s office.
Why would Zimbelman and Barney blame Mayor Sipma for something City Attorney Hendershot did? Shouldn’t the Mayor of Minot and the Minot City Council rely on the expert advice of the Minot City Attorney? Why isn’t there discussion about terminating Kelly Hendershot from working for the City of Minot after giving bad legal advice?
At my appearance at the Minot City Council Meeting in October of 2020, I knew the City of Minot was legally required to release the Patricia Monson note. Why didn’t she know the law? We know now what she was trying to hide, as the notes were released and basically vindicated Tom Barry. The City of Minot soon afterwards settled with Barry, knowing the notes from the investigation and other discoveries would likely cause them to lose in court.
Zimbelman and Barney also refer to violations under the current “administration,’ but how much control does Mayor Sipma or any Minot Mayor really have in who works for the City of Minot? Could Mayor Sipma start firing employees and appoint his own people? The answer is no, he doesn’t have that power! Mayor Sipma was forced to work with what was in place. Zimbelman and Barney know that, and they’re grasping at straws to try to prevent Mayor Sipma from being re-elected.
The City of Minot was a financial disaster under Zimbelman and Barney, and it took Mayor Sipma winning the election to allow former City Manager Barry to fix what needed to be fixed after decades of kicking the can down road. From the retirement fund fiasco, flood control, the streets in disrepair, to massive city employee turnover, Mayor Sipma helped turn the tide for the City of Minot. Mayor Shaun Sipma represents the citizens, not the Good ‘Ole Boys, who try to run rampant over what’s right in Minot. Please vote to re-elect Shaun Sipma for Mayor of Minot.