Veteran Cavalier County Commissioner Richard Flanders, now in his 14th year, was honored recently by the North Dakota Association of Counties when he was presented the Excellence in County Government Award at the NDACo annual conference in Bismarck.
Posted on 10/19/13
By Lee Coleman
Receiving the County Commissioner award, Flanders was nominated by the ND County Commissioners Association to honor those who have shown excellence through dedication, leadership and involvement for the good of all counties.
“I knew I had been nominated. I didn’t know I was going to get it,” said Flanders on Tuesday. “I was flattered and honored and pretty happy about it.”
During his tenure on the Board of Commissioners, Flanders said making things better for other people has always been at the forefront of his decisions.
“Living here in Cavalier County has been good to me and if I can be somewhat instrumental in making things better for other people, that drives me,” he explained. “I enjoy being a part of that. It has its ups and downs but by in-large, I enjoy working with people and trying to make things better.”
Flanders has seen just about everything during his 14 years and when asked what he would do differently if he could go back and start over, he paused for a moment.
“I would like to see people get more involved in government,” he answered. “From a county commission standpoint, we need a little more direction as to where we should be going and then maybe, we won’t get criticized for going in the wrong direction.”
Flanders is the commissioner for District One which is the northwest part of Cavalier County including Calvin, Sarles and Hannah.
“I wish I knew what it would take to get people involved,” Flanders said. “Society has become passive and I don’t know what it would take to motivate people.
“We need to get young people involved in government and local organizations and that is what we need to keep going.”
Surprised by winning the award, Flanders was humble in his acceptance.
“I do have a passion for my job,” he said. “I know a lot more county commissioners that were entitled to this award than maybe I am that didn’t get it.
“But I appreciate people that are passionate about what they do. I would like to be able to perform more services and lower taxes. That is the best of the best.
“If you get an award for doing something you enjoy doing and get a vote of confidence from your peers, that’s pretty meaningful and I appreciate it.”