At Independence, Inc. we work very hard to increase the all types of community participation and civic engagement by people with disabilities. In order to do that, we have reached out to each of the candidates for Mayor and City Council in Minot and asked them a very simple question.
Our next response is from Mayoral Candidate Tim Mihalick. According to his KMOT election bio,
Tim Mihalick has left his mark on many different aspects of the Minot community over the past four decades. Mihalick worked for IRET for 36 years, including its president and CEO for the last eight years, until his retirement in 2017. He now works as a business development officer for First Western Bank & Trust. Over the years Mihalick has also been involved with Minot State University, First Lutheran Church, Minot’s YMCA, and Trinity Health.
1) If you are elected, how will you work to make Minot a more accessible community for people with all types disabilities?
I was asked to write a mission statement for the city of Minot and here it is:
-The city of Minot’s mission is to welcome all comers by providing a safe and welcoming environment which provides all of the necessities to live a quality life.
For me “all comers” means what it says. It’s meant to be inclusive of all people regardless of whether they have a disability or are dealing with the effects of aging. Crucial to any plan is communication with those affected and relaying their concerns and needs to those who can provide the help necessary.
In my previous career, we found out early on that a tenant needed a fully compliant ADA apartment unit and we were able to modify the plans to provide a fully ADA accessible unit. Listening and reacting to the needs of people is invaluable. We included elevators in our apartment buildings to make them accessible and enlarged bathrooms allowing for wheelchair accessibility. Simple things, but worthwhile in the long run.
Regarding our aging population, as our retirees adjust to their new lifestyle we want to keep them in Minot. I want to make sure we address that by providing affordable housing so they can stay close to family and medical services they have had for most of their life. Whether it is a public-private partnership, public or private venture we need to explore opportunities to make it affordable to keep families close to each other.
Additionally, I am a Meals on Wheels volunteer and recognize the importance programs like this have by allowing people to maintain their independence.
Although all of what I talk about is what has happened in the past, I believe it is indicative of my commitment to the future and my hope that communication about advocacy for all effected occurs.