Chris Brostuen and Tate Cymbaluk, two of the Williston City Commissioners whose seats are on the ballot this year, have announced they’ll be running for re-election.
Brostuen is seeking his second term on the commission, while Cymbaluk is running for a third term.
Both men said one reason they’re running is to help guide the projects Williston has started over the last several years.
“I really want to see the airport through to construction and operation,” Brostuen said. “I’ve spent a lot of time on that and developed just a real passion to see it through to completion.”
Cymbaluk pointed to projects like the expansion of Williston’s fire department and the airport as reasons he wants to remain part of the commission.
“We’ve gone through a lot of changes, and we’ve got a vision and we’ve got to follow through on that vision so that some of these projects come through to fruition,” he said.
Both men also were raised in Williston, and that is another reason they decided to run for another term.
“(I have) love for the city that I grew up in, that my kids live and work in now and then grandkids that are here,” Brostuen said of his reasoning.
“I’ve been born and raised here,” Cymbaluk added. “I opted to move back to the community that treated us very well growing up as a kid.”
They have seen their hometown grow and change and both said they’re proud of the work that’s been done.
Cymbaluk, who is the police, fire and ambulance commissioner, pointed to the city’s 1-cent public safety sales tax as something that’s helped the city keep up with growth.
“If we did not have the public safety tax, there is no way, shape, or form we would have the level of service with our fire and police departments,” he said.
Last month, city officials credited the public safety sales tax with helping to improve the city’s insurance rating, among other things.
Brostuen, who is the commissioner who oversees water, sewer, the airport, as well as building and planning, said the recently completed expansion of Williston’s water and wastewater treatment plants has made an enormous difference. During last summer’s drought, the city might have faced severe water restrictions without that project, he said.
“I still find it remarkable how the city, how the commission, how the staff, how it’s reacted to this growth,” Brostuen said. “Whether we’re talking water treatment, drinking water, city police, fire, ambulance, just the gamut from one end to the other how the city responded to all the growth that it went though.”
Cymbaluk said that if he’s re-elected he hopes the city can work with new residents to make the quality of life better.
“I’d like to believe that (our new residents) can bring some of their expertise to this community that we could utilize,” he said.
Those residents come from different regions and have experience in different fields, and that might be able to attract new opportunities.
Brostuen, too, hopes to focus on bringing new industries to Williston. With the Williston Basin International Airport scheduled to open in fall 2019, he thinks the infrastructure and population are here to attract companies.
What’s more, he said, expanding the city’s economic base is key for the future.
“The city economy needs to continue growing because of all the services we’ve added to serve the people,” Brostuen said. “If we end up having a downturn and the economy goes sour, we still have to pay for a lot of the services we’ve added. Down the road, whether it’s the next four years or 10 years, I think it’s critical we continue to work on diversifying the economy.”