Support the school district

Josh Wolsky, Minot

Minot Public Schools deserves your support on Dec. 10. I’ve followed the bond issue closely since the school district began holding community meetings on building condition and enrollment growth last spring, and I applaud and appreciate the way school administrators have gone about formulating a plan that I believe meets the current needs of our community.

And while I will certainly be voting ‘yes’ on Tuesday, I can’t help but agree with many of the naysayers who are frustrated by the state of our community, the cost of living, the growth of local government and the seeming ineffectiveness by which I often observe it operating. To those of you who find yourself similarly at the end of your rope regarding the state of Minot, I’d ask you to hang in there a little longer. This vote on the school bond issue is not the place to draw your proverbial line in the sand.

Our schools have reached a point where renewal and reinvestment is required, and the growth of Minot makes the need to act immediate. Is the plan presented to us perfect? I don’t believe it is, but I do believe the decision needs to be made now and I want the school district to have the resources it needs to move forward today.

That said, as a Minot resident and business owner I’d like this letter to serve as notice to school board members and all of Minot’s elected leadership… I’m officially raising my expectations of what is required to sit in the chairs you occupy. I’m going to demand more public accountability from each one of you on Minot issues.

It’s time to recognize that the School District, City of Minot, Park Board and Ward County, though they all have separate mandates, each organization is a part of Minot’s whole and the decisions of each affect all the others. As taxpayers, we are not an unlimited resource and the decisions, efficiency, and effectiveness of each organization reflect on all of Minot’s perception of leadership as a whole.

The school bond issue, the Ward County courthouse expansion, Bishop Ryan’s bleachers, Minot State’s press box and scoreboard, flood protection, Maysa expansion, The MAGIC Fund, United Poly Systems, downtown parking garages the list goes on. Each of these though seemingly separate and distinct is actually a City of Minot issue, a Minot Public Schools issue, a Minot parks issue, and a Ward County issue.

As an elected official sitting in any chair for any of Minot’s or Ward County’s leadership positions, you have a duty to weigh in on Minot’s issues and you have a responsibility to hold Minot’s other elected leaders to the high standard of responsible, efficient government. If you fail to do so, I fear one of Minot’s organizations will one day be caught holding the short end of the stick at a very important time because the taxpayers will finally have had enough.

I hope that day isn’t Tuesday, and I hope that organization isn’t Minot Public Schools. Of everything that has come before us as taxpayers in the past several years, I believe the schools and our students are most worthy of our support. I hope you’ll join me in voting ‘yes’ on Tuesday, and holding Minot’s leadership to the continued and renewed high standard of responsible, efficient, government in the future.