- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Minot voters have overwhelmingly approved major changes to the makeup of the City Council in North Dakota’s fourth-largest city.

Nearly three-fourths of the 5,800 voters in Tuesday’s election favored reducing the council’s size from 14 members elected from wards, with a mayor voting only to break ties, to six members elected at large, plus a voting mayor. The change will take effect a year from now, the Minot Daily News reported (https://bit.ly/25Xodvp ).

Proponents said the change will help ensure competitive races and force council members to look more broadly at city issues. Proponents gained a second victory Tuesday when group spokesman Shaun Sipma was elected to the council.

“We have expended a tremendous effort to get to this point,” Sipma said.

Opposition group spokeswoman Lianne Zeltinger said she is disappointed that other options for changes to the council won’t be considered now. Had the measure failed, city residents would have voted in November on an alternative proposal to reduce the council from 14 members elected from seven city wards to eight members elected from four wards, with the mayor voting only to break a tie.

City Councilwoman Miranda Schuler came up with the alternative because, she said, constituents indicated they wanted a smaller council but still a ward system.

City residents in a special election in March approved changing Minot’s home rule charter, giving themselves the authority to change the council’s makeup.


Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com

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