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Fargo City Commission Meeting Wrap-Up - 11.29.21

In case you missed the November 29, 2021 Fargo City Commission meeting, here are a few highlights we would like you to know about.

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The Fargo City Commission Selects a New City Attorney’s Office

The Fargo City Commission unanimously approved the recommendation of the Finance Committee to award The City of Fargo’s Civil Legal Services to Serkland Law Firm.

Nancy Morris has been selected as the new City Attorney for The City of Fargo. Morris has represented the City for ten years as First Assistant City Attorney and was identified as the most qualified individual to fill this role. As First Assistant City Attorney, Morris advised regularly on real estate matters & acquisitions, ordinance drafting, contract negotiations, public works projects, employment matters, public bidding law & document review and open records & open meeting issues.

Erik Johnson, who has represented The City for 35 years (the past 14 years as City Attorney), will remain a part of the legal team and continue to be an important resource for The City of Fargo, supporting and assisting Morris and Serkland Law Firm through the transition.

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Massage Therapy Establishment Requirements Ordinance Proceeds

In response to a recommendation from the Fargo Cass Public Health’s Division of Environmental Health, the Fargo City Commission voted 3-2 to approve Massage Therapy Establishment Requirements as presented during the first reading of an ordinance which would require massage therapy establishments to obtain an operating license from The City of Fargo.

The second reading and final adoption of the Ordinance will be discussed during the next Fargo City Commission meeting.

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MATBUS Updates Passenger Fare Structure

The MATBUS Coordinating Board made a recommendation to introduce “Connect”, a new account-based fare structure which will allow for passengers to create a personalized account, load funds and earn free rides through a smartphone app. The new process will also eliminate the use of paper tickets and introduce reloadable Smartcards. These changes would become effective upon completion of software updates, estimated to be completed in early 2022. A two-week advance notice through Rider Alert emails, social media and posters will be provided prior to implementation.

The Fargo City Commission approved recommendations from the MAT Coordinating Board update the MATBUS Fare Structure passed with vote of 5-0.

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The Fargo City Commission Approves Downtown Business Improvement District Services for 2022

The City Auditors Office recommended extending the management contract with the Downtown Community Partnership (DCP) for the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID). This extension was approved by the Finance Committee as a sole source contract. Staff feels the DCP is a responsible agency and the contract for the management of the BID should be awarded to the DCP.

The BID works to improve and enhance the overall attractiveness and appeal of Downtown Fargo by making sure Downtown Fargo is clean, safe, maintained and properly promoted.

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The City of Fargo Police Advisory and Oversight Board is Established

The Fargo City Commission voted 3-2 to approve the establishment of The City of Fargo Police Advisory and Oversight Board.

The purpose of the Fargo Police Advisory and Oversight Board is to advise and assist The City of Fargo and the Fargo Police Department in policy development specific to police-community relations, education, outreach and other areas of concern. The Fargo City Commission will appoint up to seven board members who will work to create an open dialogue between community representatives and the Fargo Police Department while improving relations between law enforcement and the community. Additional tasks for the Board will include assisting with the recruitment of diverse candidates and providing community perspective on policy, programs and priorities of the Fargo Police Department.