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Bemidji City Council to discuss memorial for Bob Peters, ranked choice voting

During tonight's meeting, the council will discuss a memorial for longtime Bemidji State men's hockey coach Bob Peters who passed in 2021. They will also hear a proposal on ranked choice voting.

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R.H. "Bob" Peters stands inside the Sanford Center rink, which is named after him. The Bemidji City Council is considering creating a memorial in honor of Peters at the Sanford Center in recognition of the 34 years he served as head coach of the Bemidji State University men's hockey team.
Pioneer file photo
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BEMIDJI — The Bemidji City Council is set to hear a proposal for a memorial dedicated to Bob Peters, the longtime coach of Bemidji State's men's hockey team who passed away in 2021.

Peters, who coached BSU hockey from 1966 to 2001, was a well-known community figure and a legend in college hockey. The Coach Peters Memorial Committee is bringing a proposal to the council to install a bronze bust of Peters at the Sanford Center as a tribute to his legacy.

The council will also hear a proposal on ranked choice voting by Maureen Reed, chair of FairVote Minnesota. This method of voting would allow voters to rank each candidate according to their preferences.

In an election where a clear majority is found, ballots are counted as just the voters' first choice. However, if no candidate receives the majority of first-choice rankings, the lower rankings on each ballot are added to the tally.

No formal decision on the proposal is expected, and any changes to the city's voting practices would likely involve both the Bemidji City Council and the city's Charter Commission.

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The council meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. tonight, Jan. 9, at City Hall.

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