City Council to consider declaring another vacancy

The Bemidji City Council, in addition to their special meeting this afternoon, will meet for a regular meeting Monday.

According to the agenda, council will discuss the Bemidji Downtown Alliance’s parking rates proposal, consider crosswalk artwork at two intersections of downtown Beltrami Avenue, and discuss a reopening plan of the city’s playgrounds, beaches and the skatepark.

The council will also consider declaring a council vacancy for the at large council seat and ordering a special election.

Current at large councillor Jim Thompson has not been present for the past few council meetings, which have been held online.

Thompson, in his early 90s, narrowly won the at large seat in 2018.

City charter states that three unexcused absences from regular council meetings in a row are grounds for dismissal from the council.

If the council declares the vacancy, there would be six of the seven council seats up for election this year. The Ward 2 race is a special election, due to a vacancy declared after the resignation of Mike Beard.

In the regular election cycle, Wards 1, 3 and 5 are up, each are four-year terms, and the mayor’s seat, a two-year term.

Filing for Wards 1, 2, 3 and 5 and the mayoral race is open until 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 2.

Monday Council Agenda and access instructions: 6-1-20 CC Electronic Meeting Notice -Agenda

City Charter (council vacancy information in Chapter 2 on page 7-8) Charter_-_Final_2017


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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