MOORHEAD — Moorhead's City Council passed by a required unanimous decision on Monday, Oct. 25, to add a council member to the Moorhead Public Service Commission.
The issue has simmered for a few years after the council sought to have better communication with MPS, which operates the city's electric and water utilities.
The city's Charter Commission tackled the issue and also decided unanimously in August to add one council member to the commission, which requires a change to the city charter.
A second and final reading of the charter change is planned for the next City Council meeting where residents could still comment on the plan.
The voting council member will be added to five current members. They are all citizens appointed by the City Council.
There was some concern that having an even number of six commission members could create a situation where a tie vote could occur. But the Charter Commission felt it would encourage a greater level of consensus since four votes would be required to move forward on any action item.
Council member Chuck Hendrickson wondered if MPS was in favor of the move.
City Manager Dan Mahli said he believed it was acceptable with General Manager Travis Schmidt and others and said the city and MPS's relationship with was "going very well."
Council member Deb White said it would likely mean the council's current liaison and alternate to the MPS board would likely no longer be needed. Serving in those assignments now are Henrickson and council member Laura Caroon, respectively.
The five citizens currently on the MPS board, appointed by the City Council and serving three-year terms, include three former City Council members: Mari Dailey, Heidi Durand and Joel Paulsen. The other two members are Sebastian McDougall and chairwoman Kristine Thompson.
The board includes one member from each city ward and one at-large member.