- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) - A Devils Lake commissioner first elected in 1990 has missed 42 percent of the meetings held by the commission in the past three years.

City Commissioner Rick Morse has missed 51 of the 121 meetings held, including special budget meetings, the Devils Lake Journal (https://bit.ly/2iImumo ) reported.

Morse said a reason for his absences is due to his duties as a respiratory therapist.

“I work in the ER a lot,” Morse said. “We have a very busy ER here, and it always picks up at about 3:30 until sometimes about 9 o’clock.”

City commission meetings are usually held twice a month, on Monday evenings. Morse said that while he has missed nearly half of the commission’s meetings, he keeps current with his portfolio.

Mayor Richard Johnson said commissioners don’t have attendance requirements.

“My philosophy is that when you run for an elected position, you’re willing to accept that with that there’s going to be time commitments that you have to make yourself available for,” Johnson said. “We know we have certain responsibilities that come with the job. If a commissioner feels that he’s representing the constituents adequately, that’s a call he makes.”

Morse hasn’t said if he plans to run for another term. He will be up for re-election in 2018.

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Information from: Devils Lake Journal, https://www.devilslakejournal.com

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