Name: Carson J. Steiner
Hometown: New England
Positions with the city: City Commissioner
For how long: 13 years
When did you move to Dickinson:1979
How does your work with insurance complement and contrast with your position on the City Commission?
You have to be able to work with people to solve problems, share our knowledge with the citizens and also rely on their knowledge. It goes back to what you promise during election time and that is to hear what the people have to say. There are times when there are disagreements but we need to be respectful of each other.
What is your favorite part about being on the City Commission? And what is your least favorite part?
Most favorite part of the City Commission is working with the staff. The City of Dickinson has a very dedicated staff. They are working long hours and frankly do not receive the recognition they deserve. The education you receive pertaining to city government is very valuable.
My least favorite part is the decision making when both parties may be friends between themselves or with the commissioners. We try to resolve these issues in a win-win situation as we do in all our city business.
What are you most commonly asked about as a city commissioner?
There really is not one most commonly asked question. There is so much going on in Dickinson that we receive hundreds of different questions. However, in each question the individual wants to know how the decision will affect them personally.
You have been a big proponent of downtown revitalization, how much does having an office downtown influence that?
We are at a point in our downtown that we have an opportunity that may never come along again given the current situation. The downtown is the most vital area of any community. We need to change the mindset for downtown that any growth starts with people.
We have the people. We need buildings. Due to lack of space, we need to go vertical with any building being built or remodeled at this time. When you go vertical, you have options of providing business space on one level, parking on another and apartments, condos on other levels. This does a couple of things. One, it brings people downtown. Two, it brings business downtown. This is growth revitalization. We are now in discussion about a new public plaza for events. This public plaza will be the focal point of all downtown activities.
In North Dakota alone, you have Williston, Minot, Watford City and Dickinson that are all trying to create a viable downtown through a city plaza. These communities are our competition. They are doing this to retain and attract residents to their community. With the West River Community Center, Biesiot Activities Center and a well-thought-out downtown plaza Dickinson can become the destination city for people wanting to relocate to North Dakota and have a choice of which city they want to live in.
What is your favorite book/movie/TV show? Why?
My favorite TV show has been "Breaking Bad." It had a way to keep you in suspense to keep watching for the last five years. My favorite book is "The Red Arrows." My father served in World War II and was part of the Red Arrow. As in any book about World War II, it shows how honorable those men were and how hard they fought for our rights. And as anyone knows or has heard. They are the Greatest Generation.