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Minot City Manager looks ahead to next year

December 24, 2017

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Minot’s city manager has faced a steady stream of challenges since he first took the helm in December 2016.

Tom Barry has had to manage flood control financing, buyouts, parking ramps, a dispute with Earth Recycling and financial issues with North Dakota Port Services in his first year as city manager.

Barry told the Minot Daily News that he inherited many of the city’s historical challenges that spilled over from the flood.

“I feel like I am being held back with these historical challenges,” Barry said. “I would like to get as many of those resolved as soon as I can to move forward. Unfortunately, some of these are so complex and so challenging that quick solutions aren’t really likely to result.”

Barry said he was taken aback at first by the city’s financial situation. “When you are the new guy, you don’t want to be the person who comes in and says, ‘Well, we have to raise taxes and we have to let staff go and we have to cut benefits,’” he said. “But my first and foremost duty is to ensure the financial viability and long-term sustainability of the city, and finances are a huge component of that.”

Barry’s goal is to improve community engagement. He initiated a city newsletter this year and added a communications assistant position in the public information office. He plans to introduce citizen satisfaction surveys and host a State of the City address event in February.

Barry also wants to organize a council retreat next year to write the city’s mission statement, determine core values and develop strategic planning.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

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