Ad-hoc committee moves recommendations on restructuring to Minot City Council

Published: Oct. 25, 2016 at 5:27 PM CDT
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Minot's government is headed for big changes next summer, following voter approval of the #MakeMinot proposal this past June.

An ad-hoc committee of alderman and Minot community members wrapped up a month and a half of meetings Tuesday on guiding the transition from this year to next.

Next June Minot's City Council will transition from its current 14-member body with seven wards, to an at-large group of six aldermen and a voting mayor.

Under the recommendations of this ad-hoc committee, the four standing committees—public works, finance, liquor and gambling and airport—will combine as the 'Committee of the Whole.'

Starting in 2018, aldermen monthly salaries will go up to $1,000, with the mayor earning $1,500 per month.

The mayor will vote on every actionable issue but will lose veto power in the process.

Minot alderman Shannon Straight, also a committee member, praised their work.

“Right or wrong, I think it's a good first step. It still gives citizens a chance to come in and voice a concern, say, about a particular issue and then have a second shot at it, as it goes into council,” Straight said.

The Mayor invited Minot resident Lianne Zeltinger to join the committee. She praised the work of the city attorney and city clerk in laying out the guidelines for their discussion.

“When I was asked to be on this committee, and heard that I was on this committee, I thought it was going to be a swamp that we were entering. They created a pathway that told us what we needed to look at,” Zeltinger said.

Zeltinger says she strongly opposed getting rid of the ward system but, nevertheless, did her part in helping guide the city to next year.

“I don't think this needed to be done, leading up to this but when we got to this point, yes, the committee did very well,” she said.

The recommendations that the committee has made will go before the full city council at their November meeting for approval. A special election will take place next June to elect the six at-large aldermen for Minot.