#MakeMinot, the committee behind the initiative to reform the size and make-up of Minot’s City Council, issued a news release this morning offering a compromise reform plan and timeline. The full news release including the plan follows below.
Bias disclaimer: I am a member of the #MakeMinot committee advocating the issue of reforming City Council be placed in front of the voters.
— Official News Release, #MakeMinot —
On Saturday, January 2nd, #MakeMinot issued a news release directed at City of Minot administration and elected officials. The purpose was to bring to light questions and practical difficulties that result from accepting the City’s preferred timeline, a timeline that would see #MakeMinot’s certified petition considered outside the legally mandated 120-day period.
To date, no City of Minot officials have addressed the many problems created by the City’s proposed timeline. After much internal discussion, #MakeMinot is offering a compromise solution that would allow the city to proceed on a legal path and one that also meets the goals and intent of the #MakeMinot petition.
“The petition process is not a political process of compromise. Citizens have the legal right to see petitioned issues advanced to voters under the strict terms of their petition and within the legal timeframe. But our goal as #MakeMinot is not to protect petitioner rights. Our goal is to see the citizens of Minot consider our reform proposal in spirit at an election, and if approved, see it adopted on an expedited timeframe that’s best for our community,” said #MakeMinot spokesperson Shaun Sipma.
Following a successful vote on March 1st that grants City Council new authority to advance changes in form of government and the governing body to the voters, #MakeMinot is proposing City Council advance the following plan to the citizens of Minot for consideration at the June 2016 primary election.
Change to a 7-member Modern Council that includes a voting Mayor.
All City Council seats shall be elected at-large, in citywide elections.
If approved, the transition to this Modern Council shall take place approximately 1-year after approval by voters (June of 2017).
City Council agrees not to advance any competing initiatives as indicated by the City’s official position of December 17th.
The above plan shall be advanced to voters no later than March 24, 2016.
Upon advancement of the above reform to the voters prior to March 24, 2016, the #MakeMinot sponsoring committee will recall the currently certified petition.
Further, in a show of good faith, we’re asking City Council to approve this plan through a resolution of support and public vote at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Monday, January 11.
“One of our main goals in taking up this issue was restoring trust in leadership. With this plan, we’re offering a legal path, a timeline that won’t destroy the incentive to run for office this spring, and, for many, a more palatable reform concept. In accepting this proposal, we see an opportunity for the City; it’s a first step toward rebuilding trust. We’re hopeful they’ll embrace it,” added Sipma.
In the event City Council does not endorse the alternate plan through a resolution of support, #MakeMinot has retained legal counsel and will be making preparations to seek an order from the court requiring the currently certified petition be advanced to a ballot within the 120-day legal requirement.