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City Council votes to restrict commission's members to city residents

John McRae will be leaving the city of Bemidji's Park and Recreation Commission.

The Bemidji City Council voted unanimously to have staff prepare an amended ordinance that requires members of that commission to live within the city limits.

Appointments to the commission had not previously been restricted to city residents.

The commission reviewed the issue during its Oct. 9 meeting and asked the City Council to set a policy on the matter.

Dan Haluptzok, the superintendent of parks and recreation, had recommended that a policy be set that McRae be grandfathered in and allowed to finish his term on the commission through Jan. 31, 2009.

However, Councilor Barb Meuers said she received a call from a resident who was not given the same option.

The council directed staff to prepare an amended ordinance that would enact a policy on including only city residents on the Parks and Recreation Commission.

The ordinance will have to come before the council for at least two readings before it is adopted.

It would likely be more than two months before it takes effect, according to city staff.

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