Next week two men familiar to Minot's City Council will square off for the seat for Ward 3. The incumbent, Jim Hatlelid and former Minot councilman, Steve Podrygula.
While both have a pedigree for public service, they agree it's time for change and that the city needs to focus on flood control.
“The big elephant in the room is flood control. Clearly we've got to do something about that, or I think what we could end up with is two Minots, one on each side of the valley,” Hatlelid said.
"We're moving in some good directions. The biggest issue, of course will be flood control. That's gonna take a generation, probably, to achieve. It's gonna cost a billion dollars, and as much as we want to spend money on it, I think we should spend more city on it, the reality is, we're gonna be dependent on the state and federal government,” Podrygula said.
A Williston native, Hatlelid works at Bishop Ryan Catholic School. He joined the city council shortly after coming to Minot and has served the city for more than 30 years. Podrgyula's from New York but stayed in North Dakota after studying psychology and runs his own business.
"The big three things I'm concerned about accessibility, openness, and accountability. When I go door-to-door, and I've knocked on 2,500 doors, people feel disconnected, people feel like they're not heard, people feel their input is being taken seriously if you're the average citizen,” Podrygula said.
Hatlelid disagrees, saying the city has made efforts in recent years to inform the public, including a new-look website.
"I'm not sure what the people that are talking about transparency. The budget is on the website should you choose to see how the city is spending your tax money,” he said.
When asked about the #MakeMinot proposal, both Hatlelid and Podrygula said they saw a need to keep the city's ward system, citing concerns over the use of city-wide funds for campaigning.
Either way, both men will look to return to the city council with the vote next week.
Tomorrow, Joe will speak with the three candidates vying for one seat in Minot's Ward 1, the incumbent Larry Frey, and his competitors Shannon Straight and Jacob Sowers.