Mankato seeks citizens for Public Safety, heritage commissions

Mark Fischenich, The Free Press, Mankato, Minn.
·2 min read

Mar. 26—MANKATO — The city of Mankato is looking for residents to serve on citizen commissions overseeing heritage preservation and the police and fire departments.

The nine-member Public Safety Advisory Committee is specifically seeking representatives reflective of the entire community.

Public Safety Director Amy Vokal said the committee has been an important asset for the department, with members even participating in interviews to fill open positions.

"We do have the hard work of getting a completely representative advisory committee on board," Vokal said. "We tend to know people and those are people who get recommended."

The city sent out an open invitation for Mankatoans to apply for the commission, but the department is also asking people advocating for police reform to make suggestions.

"We're actually reaching out to what we call our Steering Committee on Police Reform to really push them to find different membership that represents different areas of our community," Vokal said.

The Heritage Preservation Commission is charged with promoting and preserving Mankato's historic neighborhoods, including recommending new properties to be designated as official Heritage Preservation Landmarks.

The commission appears to have been largely inactive in recent months. The last annual report from the commission on the city's website dates to 2017, and the last meeting minutes for the commission are dated Aug. 12 of 2019 — a meeting where only three members were on hand and the commission could not take any official actions because it didn't have a quorum.

For the Heritage Preservation Commission, the city is seeking residents who have a demonstrated interest in the historical, cultural, or architectural development of Mankato; own property within a heritage preservation district; or work in a preservation-related profession, including people involved in the building trades.

Appointments to both commissions carry three-year terms.

Those interested can apply at — look for the link under "Latest News." People can also get more information or request an application by calling city staff at 387-8690, 311 or 387-8600. Although applications are accepted at any time, city officials are encouraging interested residents to apply by April 2.