Changes proposed for Fargo city elections

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 8:15 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Fargo voters are a step closer to deciding whether to keeping or discontinue term limits for the mayor and commissioners. The issue was passed narrowly (3-2) and was among several proposed by Commissioner Tony Gehrig Monday night. The matter must be voted upon again before it goes to the ballot. Gehrig also wants the city to take a look at adding “at-large members” and changing to a ward system, where those, who sit on the commission live in the ward they represent. Gehrig told commissioners, “You have to be able to have that person you can call, look I’m having a problem on 64th Avenue South. I know you understand because that’s where you live. Right now no one south of main avenue have that except the mayor, which is fine, he’s representing, 50 to 60 thousand people in south Fargo. We all represent people in north Fargo.” Commissioner Dave Piepkorn disagreed saying, “What are we trying to solve, what are we trying to make better, this is a solution looking for a problem. If you look at our city, I’d say we are doing well.”

One of the ideas agreed to tonight was the formation of an election task force, which would be a group that would look into these and other issues and provide recommendations to the commission, that could be later voted upon by residents.

Also debated was whether Mayor Tim Mahoney would be eligible to run for another term. While current city attorney Eric Johnson believes he isn’t, Mahoney sought a second opinion from a former Grand Forks city attorney, who feels that he can. That matter will be determined at a later date.

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