Ward 2 Special Election may be complicated

The Bemidji City Council will discuss the Ward 2 vacancy and how to fill it during their meeting this evening.

Mike Beard, former Ward 2 council member

Mike Beard resigned two weeks ago, citing health concerns as his reason for immediately stepping down.

According to a memo from city manager Nate Mathews, with phase 3 of the orderly annexation of Northern Township, timelines to fill the vacancy and comply with state statute may make the matter more complicated.

The recommended special election day is May 12 for an initial date, with a tentative second election date of August 11 if the initial election serves as a primary with no clear winner.

The council is also recommended to immediately set a date for the Public Affairs Committee to begin consideration of responsive designations for revision of Ward 2 and 3 boundaries, in anticipation of the annexation approval.

The Ward 2 filing period for interested candidates may start as early as next week.


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 is also an active member with the Bemidji Jaycees, a leadership development through community service organization for adults 18 to 40. 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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