February 5, 2020


By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Everyone always seems to have an opinion when it comes to what is happening in our local school boards, city council meetings and park boards, as well as at the county commission level. Some of those opinions can be supportive of the actions that these boards take. But oftentimes, members of the public are critical of what is either happening or what is not happening.
How many times have you said to yourself or to others, “If I was on that board, things would be different?”
Well come this June, the door is open to people across the county to step up and become a part of the decision making process as elections will be held to fill seats on a multitude of boards. As is being reported in this week’s McKenzie County Farmer, the process to elect three county commissioners is already underway. Likewise, candidates for city council seats in Watford City, Arnegard and Alexander are being sought, along with seats on the Watford City and Alexander park boards. And at the school board level, all three school districts in the county will also have openings.
But so far, with the exception of the county commissioner race, there have been very few people who have stepped forward to consider serving on these critical boards.
And the lack of candidates, to date, to fill these positions is truly unfortunate.
Yes, serving on any board takes a tremendous commitment of time. And the actions that you make, as a board member, may not always be easy or free from criticism. But the rewards of public service oftentimes far outweighs that commitment of time or the risk of criticism. By serving on local governmental boards, you have the ability to positively impact the lives of your neighbors and friends.
As a member of a school board, you have the ability to create great schools and provide high quality education to our children. As a park board member, you can enhance the life of those living in our communities by bringing more programs and services to your city. And as a city council member, you have the ability to shape and direct what you want your city to be in the future.
We, in McKenzie County, are blessed to have so many new individuals and families that have moved into our communities in the past several years. Are these new residents willing to share their knowledge and experience by deciding to serve in an elected position? Or are there others who have toyed with the thought of running for public office but have hesitated to do so? Let’s hope so.
To get your name on the ballot is a simple process of filing your intentions with your city hall or school district for the local elections, or with the county auditor’s office for the county commission race and collecting a few signatures on your petition. The deadline to file your completed paperwork is no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, April 6.