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Changed name to remain in place

Don't call it the parks and recreation commission.

Due to a "nay" vote from Councilor Jerry Downs, the name will remain the Parks and Trails Commission.

The name of the commission was inadvertently changed to the Parks and Trails Commission during the recodification of the Bemidji City Code, which was adopted Aug. 21, 2006, city staff explained during Monday's meeting.

A unanimous vote was needed to change it back to its original name, the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Conversation about the potential name change was light during the meeting, as councilors appeared to be trading laughs over the potential change.

"I like parks and trails," Downs said.

"The charge of the commission will be the same" despite whatever name the committee is given," Mayor Richard Lehmann replied.

Councilor Nancy Erickson agreed with a staff report that said Parks and Recreation Commission better encompasses the function of the group because it deals also with Little League fields and other recreational activities.

Once the vote was made, six councilors voted "aye" before Downs voted "nay."

Immediately following the vote, Lehmann had to ask Downs if he was serious about his vote, which he was. Erickson, too, was surprised and asked who had voted against the change.

Thus, the name will remain the Parks and Trails Commission.

City residency

In a related matter, the council voted 6-1 to require members of the Parks and Trails Commission to be city residents. Lehmann voted against the requirement.