#6: Revamped city council seated in 2017

Jill Schramm/MDN Josh Wolsky, right, was a newcomer to a revamped Minot City Council in 2017. At left is councilman Shannon Straight.

Minot’s City Council was given a completely new look in 2017. Voters who had made the decision to cast off the system of 14 aldermen that had been running city government, two councilmen from each of 7 Wards, voted for six of nine candidates to provide new direction for the city without Ward affiliation.

Elected June 13 to the “new look” council were Shaun Sipma, Shannon Straight, Josh Wolsky, Mark Jantzer, Lisa Olson and Stephen Podrygula. Sipma, Straight, Jantzer, Olson and Podrygula were incumbents and Wolsky a newcomer. Three candidates falling out of the top six at the ballot box were David Shomento, Edward Montez and Kenton Kossan.

Under the streamlined system the mayor, Chuck Barney, became a voting member of the council. In late 2017 Barney made it known that he would not be running for re-election in 2018. Sipma immediately announced that he would seek to replace Barney. As of mid-December, no one else had formally announced they will contest Sipma for the mayor’s position.

The top three vote-getters in the 2017 council election were elected to three-year terms. They were Sipma, Straight and Wolsky. The second three vote-getters, Jantzer, Olson and Podrygula, were elected to one-year terms. The staggered terms were deemed necessary so that only half of the new council would be on the ballot in future elections. Winners in the upcoming June 2018 election will serve four-year terms as will those elected in 2020, meaning half the council will be elected every four years there-after.