Meeting the city commission: Sandra Tibke
By Dustin White
Mandan News, editor
Sandra Tibke and her family first moved to Mandan in 1998, looking for a smaller community. Her husband had grown up around the area, and the property tax exemption they could receive on a home gave them the added incentive of choosing the city.
The next two years would be somewhat of a struggle to adjust to her new life, but after she did, there was no turning back.
On April 1, 2003, Tibke was appointed to the City Commission. “I wanted to contribute to the community, and saw some things that I wanted to improve and change.”
Her drive to contribute to the city was one of the factors that made her the top pick. The mayor at that time, Ken LaMont, said, “during the interview process, she came across as bright, enthusiastic and concerned for the city of Mandan.”
It took a little time to learn how to effectively implement this change. Once Tibke got the swing of things, she continued to push forward. When her appointment was up, Tibke sought to be elected to the commission.
“At that time, there was a lot of rapid growth and change, because of the fuel cleanup and development. I wanted to be a part of that, and use the knowledge I had learned to help,” she said.
It would be this help she offered that would prove to be one of the major difficulties she faced as a commissioner. Rebuilding downtown proved to be quite a task.
“Attracting the first initial investors, and to have them take the leap of faith that they would be supported, was a challenge,” Tibke said. “Now, the major challenge is keeping up with the rapid growth we are seeing.”
But the community has been a great help. “People here are very upfront and don’t sugar coat, which is really enjoyable as it helps to get to the actual situation.”
This involvement is one thing Tibke really encourages. Whether that is volunteering for a board or committee position, or just giving one’s perspective, becoming involved with the community can be rewarding.
Tibke is not one to shy away from the diverse ideas that are sent her way either. For her, it is this diversity that makes the ordeal fun. It also allows her to think through her own ideas more thoroughly, while trying to see other perspectives.
What it boils down to though is the community. “The community comes first. Regardless of our own ideologies, or political parties, we are there to do what is best for the community,” Tibke said.
One of Tibke’s largest strengths is this ability to balance, whether it be the different views she’s exposed to, or just life in general. “Sandra has been able to juggle having a job and family, and still put good effort into city commissioner,” City Commissioner Dennis Rohr said.
Tibke was first appointed to the commission in 2003, and then was elected for four-year terms in 2004, 2008, and 2012. Her portfolios include finance, Mandan Airport Authority, and Mandan Public Library.
“It’s the people who make the community great. There support is what makes this community strong and able to shine. We, the commissioners, are replaceable,” Tibke said.