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There’s a Board for You in North Dakota

By Staff | Jan 8, 2016

Q: I would like to get on the North Dakota Mixed Fighting Style Advisory Board. I have some good advice for new forms of boxing. Should I ask Governor Jack Dalrymple for an appointment or talk to local politicians?

A: According to Marilyn Johnson, the Governor has no voice in those appointments. You will have to see the State Athletic Commissioner and Secretary of State Al Jaeger. He makes appointments to the boxing board.

Q: The state has a beef commission. Is that where I should take my complaints?

A: Marilyn Johnson says that the North Dakota Beef Commission is a marketing program for promoting beef. If you have a beef, you could write a letter to the editor.

Q: Which of the state boards, committees and commissions is the oldest?

A. Marilyn Johnson says that the North Dakota Historical Society Board can trace its roots back to the 1862 Old Settlers Historical Association. It became the Historical Society of Dakota in 1863.

Q: Did we have any old settlers in 1862? I thought we had to wait for an aging process.

A. You might check with the U. S. Census Bureau with that one. We did have a handful of trappers, traders and vagabonds going back to the early 1800s.

Q: Didn’t we have a North Dakota-Saskatchewan-Manitoba Boundary Advisory Board at one time?

A: Marilyn says that is true. It was created in 1983 and abolished in 1995 because it wasn’t meeting. It seems that none of them wanted to change boundaries, although a merger of North Dakota with Manitoba makes a lot of sense. Then North Dakota would be the southern part of something. It would improve our image in Alabama.

Q: What is the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Advisory Board doing these days? I go to church once in a while so I ought to qualify for an appointment?

A: We lost track of that one. It lacked sustainability. People without faith probably demanded an equal number of appointments.

Q: My barber just sheared me. Can I get on the Board of Barber Examiners to raise hair-cutting standards?

A: According to Marilyn, you need to be a licensed barber to be on that board. And don’t ask about other licensing boards. Professionals in the field get almost all of the appointments.

Q: The Bank of North Dakota has an advisory..

A. Don’t even ask.

Q: Isn’t there some state board or committee or commission that could use me?

A: To answer that, Rose Laning in the governor’s office is the one to see. She’s keeps track of the 142 boards requiring gubernatorial appointments. Her job really gets complicated by legislative prescriptions, retirements, resignations and staggered terms. There are 42 state boards labeled as “advisory” so there are openings for people with good advice track records.

Q: Well, who is this Marilyn Johnson?

A: After the State Library Commission published a compendium of state entities in 1982, Marilyn was handed the assignment of updating the portion relating to boards and commissions.

She now knows 317 pages of “Legislative History of North Dakota Boards, Commissions, Councils, Committees, Bureaus and Task Forces Created by Statute.” And that didn’t even touch many administrative agencies, elected officials or institutions. It’s democracy run amuck.

The state Legislature has had three sessions since the 2010 update, providing an opportunity for more updating by some aspiring graduate student. In fact, Marilyn’s statutory update provides fodder for at least a dozen master’s papers.

Marilyn retired and is now thinking about going back to school. Maybe she will do one of those master’s papers herself and we will know even more about boards.

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