Minot leaders mull over proposed changes to subcommittees

MINOT, N.D. - Minot's City Council is headed for big changes next year. Following the #MakeMinot vote in June, the council will go from 14 members to six at-large, with a voting mayor.

Now comes the task of sorting out the odds and ends, and that includes what to do with the city's subcommittees.

As Minot's city council heads toward what's known as a 'modern council,' an ad-hoc committee of aldermen and community members are tasked with getting the city ready for the transition.

“As I'm thinking about the committee structure, I'm trying to also find a way where can streamline and save these people who have very important days, the time,” said Alderman Shannon Straight.

Scott Knudsvig proposed paring down the subcommittees to two, each with five members--four aldermen and a resident.

“The chairman of each committee serves on that committee. The president and vice president of the council each only serve on one committee as well. And the other two aldermen then serve on both committees,” Knudsvig said.

Alderman Dave Lehner addressed concerns over what he saw as an unintentional quorum, suggesting that each of the two subcommittees have three aldermen and three residents.

“If you have five on a committee with three aldermen, the three aldermen all of a sudden constitute a quorum of that committee, and darn near a quorum of the city council,” Lehner said.

Alderman Stephan Podrygula joined others with taking a different approach, suggesting that the council meet as a 'Committee of the Whole,' and residents voice their concerns on an ad-hoc basis.

“We create an ad-hoc committee to deal with an issue or problem. They meet. They come up with a resolution. It's voted on, approved or disapproved. Then they disappear, and we move on to something else,” Podrygula said.

The committee will take up the issue again next Tuesday, Oct. 11 at noon in the City Council Chambers.

A special election will take place next June to elect the six at-large aldermen for Minot.