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City Council to consider charter changes

The Bemidji City Council will hold a first reading Monday of six potential additions to the City Charter.

The City Council will meet first as a Board of Review at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 317 Fourth St. N.W. The Board of Review will consider the assessor's recommendations for adjustments for property owners and then take action on the 2006 assessments.

At 7 p.m., the City Council will open the regular meeting.

Proposed changes to the City of Bemidji Council-Manager Charter include adding a preamble stating the purpose and mission of the City Charter, as well as additions and deletions to five other sections.

One addition concerning the role of the mayor would delete provision for a president pro tem in case the mayor is absent or incapacitated. This section would also add the requirement that the mayor provide a State of the City address each January with information on the finances and strategic issues.

Another change would prohibit the mayor and councilors from managing the work of a subordinate to the city manager.

Further change would be a majority vote, rather than five-sevenths, to allow publication of only the title of lengthy notices, with the entire printed copy available to the public at the city clerk's office during City Hall business hours.

In relation to the city manager, a deletion to the City Charter would eliminate the provision for an additional month's salary and benefits after the City Council removes a city manager from office. Currently, the severance package can include paying the city manager for one month after the City Council passes the resolution for removal.

The final proposed change also involves the city manager. As chief purchasing agent for the city, the manager would be able to spend $20,000, up from $15,000, without going out for bids.

These changes would be adopted 90 days after the third reading and vote of the City Council.

In other business, the City Council is scheduled to consider two variances for First National Bank Bemidji's new bank building, which will be built at 1600 Paul Bunyan Drive N.W., provisions of North Central Door's relocation to the Bemidji Industrial Park and reduction in the per-gallon charge for wastewater trucked in from the Northern Township Waville Wastewater Treatment Plant.