Questions for Your Councilman:

We have to demand more from our elected leaders.  It’s time we begin putting pressure on them to act.  Committee’s and meetings will not rebuild this city, action will. If you’re not sure where to begin a conversation with one of your alderman here’s a list of questions you might consider asking:

Find which Ward you live in here, and find contact information for your councilman here.  During your conversation be considerate, constructive, and listen to their answers, but be inflexible in your demand for action.

Also, these questions apply equally to our Ward County Commissioners.  Find them here.

And… I believe some of these questions are nearly impossible to have answers for at this early stage, but at least we will be setting the expectation that they should be coming before long.

General Questions:

  • Have you drawn your flood fight map?  What areas are you going to recommend be included in buy-out areas?  If not why? (Every alderman needs to have an opinion in this decision, and if the City of Minot can act as unified body I think we could move the process forward more quickly.)
  • What elevation levels and flow amounts will you recommend the city be protected against for future flood events?
  • What management changes will you recommend for Lake Darling?
  • What is the schedule for redrawing the flood fight lines and which agencies will have a voice in that decision? AND…
  • What are you doing to move that process forward more quickly? Because…
  • Have you thought about what will happen to a wet house that freezes?

Communication from the City:

  • Why aren’t we having a regularly schedule press conference?
  • Has the city considered hiring a public information officer or communications consultant?  If not, why?
  • Why was the website built by a company from Bismarck?  (this is my business so there is self interest in the question, but I think it’s fair.)  The business didn’t have to come to me, but it should have stayed in Minot.


  • Have you missed any meetings in the past two weeks voluntary or otherwise?

About Grand Forks:  ( An easy way to find out if our Councilman are doing their jobs)

  • If not: You may want to ask what they’ve been doing for the past two weeks. If they are familiar with the document the following questions might be relevant:

Regarding State & Federal Involvement:

  • What actions are the city currently requesting of FEMA?
  • What actions are the city currently requesting of HUD?
  • What actions are the city currently requesting of the State of ND?
  • What actions are the city currently requesting of the Army Corp of Engineers with regards to the rebuild process?
  • In what ways are you happy with the federal and state response?
  • In what ways do you believe the federal and state response can be more effective? Have you made this clear to these respective agencies?
  • Are you/and the City documenting everything that takes place between different agencies?
  • Who is the City’s designated liaison to these different agencies? If we don’t have one, Why don’t we have one?

Regarding Recovery Planning:

  • Has a goal oriented recovery plan developed? Where is it? Or Why hasn’t it been developed?

Regarding Community Involvement:

  • What members of the community have been asked to serve and what roles are they playing?
  • Who’s doing the asking for committee members, and how are these representatives being chosen?
  • What are your plans for gathering community feedback and soliciting opinion?  When is this going to happen?

Rebuilding Regulations:

  • What  steps are being taking to expedite the new business licensing and registration for contractors new to the area who will help with the reconstruction?

Again, be respectful and courteous, but make it clear that you intend to hold our elected officials to the duty and responsibilities they asked to have. Minot needs strong leadership and decision makers.  Without it the state and federal agencies will ride rough shod over the rebuilding of our city.

Josh Wolsky

One thought on “Questions for Your Councilman:”

  1. Another question to ask city officials is why is this “flood committee”, 21 members, made up of 19 people who are NOT in the flood?

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