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Election & Governance Task Force

The Election and City Governance Task Force was established by the City Commission on August 1, 2016. The task force is comprised of seven members, each of whom must be a resident of the City of Fargo and would be selected as follows:

  • Bruce Furness and Arlette Preston, former elected officials.
  • Five community members appointed by the Fargo City Commission. Community members reflect Fargo’s demographic population with consideration given from the following community organizations: League of Women Voters, Chamber of Commerce, Home Builders Association. Each Commissioner and the Mayor appoint one member.
  • Commissioners Tony Gehrig and Tony Grindberg serve as non-voting liaison members.
  • Steve Sprague, Fargo City Auditor and Mike Montplaisir, Cass County Auditor, will serve as resource staff members to the task force.

Scope of Work

The scope of the task force is to research, discuss and make recommendations on the following:

  • Whether to establish a requirement for a run-off election to occur and, if so, what conditions would trigger a run-off election.
  • Whether the number of City Commissioners should be increased from the current number of five Commissioners, including the Mayor. [See N.D.C.C. §40-06-09].
  • Whether the City of Fargo should convert from a “Commission” form of government, where Commissioners are elected at-large, to a “Council” or “Modern Council” form of government, with council members being elected by wards within the city. [See generally N.D.C.C. Chapters 40-04, 40-09, 40-08 and 40-04.1].
  • Whether the duties and compensation for the Mayor should be recognized as a full-time position.
  • Term limits.

These recommendations need to be made to the City Commission before the first regular meeting in January 2017.

Meeting Information

The Task Force will meet every other Thursday at 7:30 a.m. in the City Commission Room at 200 3rd St. N. until the end of 2016.

Meeting Materials

Minutes Video
September 29, 2016 9/29/16 video
October 13, 2016 10/13/16 video
October 27, 2016 10/27/16 video
November 10, 2016 11/10/16 video

November 22, 2016  

11/22/16 video
December 8, 2016 12/8/16 video
December 16, 2016   12/16/16 video
December 22, 2016 12/22/16 video
January 5, 2017 1/5/17 video
January 19, 2017 1/19/17 video

Task Force members

Members of this Task Force are listed below:

Bruce Furness Chair
Arlette Preston Co-Chair
Sean Foss Attorney at O'Keeffe O'Brien Lyson Foss Attorneys
Daryl Ritchison Extension Meteorologist at NDSU
Kevin Wilson City of Fargo resident and business owner
Rick Steen Business Community Representative
Jed Limke City of Fargo resident

Non-voting Advisory Members are as follows:

Mark Johnson Instructor of Political Science at MSCTC
Carol Sawicki League of Women Voters
Barb Headrick League of Women Voters
Tony Gehrig Fargo City Commissioner
Tony Grindberg Fargo City Commissioner
Steve Sprague Fargo City Auditor

Mike Montplaisir

Cass County Auditor