Interview #4: Minot, ND Alderman Miranda Schuler

Minot may be small, but its city council is a force to be reckoned with. I talked to Miranda Schuler, insurance agent by day and one of Minot’s 14 aldermen.

She told me about her idea to shrink the council, and how City Council Chronicles is actually making a difference in Minot!

Q: You’ve got a plan to take the Minot city council from 14 members to eight. Who are you itching to get rid of?

A: Really…I think myself would be one of those people I would like to get rid of.

Q: Whoa! You’d draw yourself off of the council?!

A: I ran two years ago because I didn’t want to be one of those people who complains about something and doesn’t offer solutions. I have two young kids and I’m purchasing the business that I’m in, so I’m going to step back for a while.

Q: What are the other aldermen like?

A: One of the council members is pretty knowledgeable when it comes to construction. I would never pretend to know a lot of that stuff. We have an attorney on the council. Or, if has to do with something insurance related, a lot of people look to me.

Q: Mmhmm.

A: There are a couple that are better speakers. I am not a public speaker. It took me two years to be able to speak at council without feeling like I’m gonna start crying!

Q: At long city council meetings, how do you stay focused?

A: I’m kind of a geek. I’ve made my husband come to some meetings and he has a hard time staying awake. It takes a certain type of person who finds this stuff interesting. And you must be, too!

Q: I mean, when I’m watching at home, it’s slightly more…comfortable. You have to sit there in front of people.

A: You’re constantly on call. Last night I was getting Facebook messages at 11:45. They were quite upset. And they wanted to talk about it at midnight.

Miranda Schuler
Minot, ND Alderman Miranda Schuler

A: Interesting thing: when I originally started talking with you, I said, “Is there any way we can get some of these meetings published?” I could Facebook Live it, but it’s going to look goofy if I’m sitting at a council desk with my phone.

Q: Probably.

A: [We] actually recorded our meeting on Monday. It’s going on our website.

Q: Wait…the first EVER video-recorded council meeting was this Monday?

A: It’s already online. It’s a result of my talk with you via e-mail. So good job!

Q: Whoa! Good teamwork!

A: You can’t see me because I’m out of the shot.

Q: Oh, well, that barely seems worth it. I was going to ask you to describe the council chambers, but I guess I can watch the video now.

A: I would describe it as an early 1990s council chambers.

Q: Gotcha. Lots of pictures of the Backstreet Boys on the walls.

A: Yeah. Backstreet Boys are there. (Just kidding!)

Q: Who would win in a foosball tournament: the Minot city council or the Williston city council?

A: I’m pretty sure we would because I grew up with a foosball table in my house. I would come in handy.

Q: You think you’d carry the Minot city council?

A: Yeah. It really needs to be stated whether you could spin them. Because I’m not a spinner.

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