Burgum thanks State Water Commission members for their service, opens positions for applications

Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 7:00pm

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today thanked the members of the State Water Commission for their decades of service and contributions to water resource management in North Dakota.

Under state law, all seven appointed members of the State Water Commission are considered to have resigned effective Jan. 1 of the first year of each four-year term of the governor.

Burgum accepted the members’ statutorily triggered resignations after today’s meeting.

Two of the members, Harley Swenson of Bismarck and Robert Thompson of Page, joined the commission in March 1993 as two of four new members appointed at the time by then-Gov. Ed Schafer. Commission member Larry Hanson of Bismarck has served on the panel since July 1999, while Maurice Foley of Minot and Arne Berg of Devils Lake were both appointed in December 2006. Douglas Vosper has served since 2008, and George Nodland of Dickinson has served on the commission since October 2013.

Combined, the seven members have served more than 100 years on the commission.

“The State of North Dakota is grateful for the leadership of these State Water Commission members,” Burgum said. “Their service in promoting water resource management and addressing flood protection, water supply and other water issues is greatly appreciated.”

For purposes of continuity, the governor must reappoint three of the seven members to fill out their terms. Burgum is reappointing Berg, Foley and Hanson to complete their terms, which end June 30, 2017. Pursuant to statute, these commissioners shall continue to serve until the governor’s appointments have been named and qualified.  

“It is always a good board governance practice to thoroughly review a pool of leadership candidates at the beginning of a new term,” Burgum said.

All current commissioners are eligible to reapply. The governor will accept applications for the open commission seats until Friday, July 21. The application form can be found online at https://www.governor.nd.gov/boards/.

The nine-member State Water Commission consists of Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring as an ex-officio member, and seven members appointed by the governor to six-year terms, with one member each from the seven major drainage basins in North Dakota. The commission meets six times a year. The State Engineer serves as the commission’s executive officer, overseeing the staff who carry out the commission’s work.