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Dickinson volunteers, your government needs you

Dickinson wants you to volunteer for a city committee or board.

There are several open spots on city boards and committees waiting to be filled by a passionate person, City Administrator Shawn Kessel said.

The Civil Service Commission has an opening left by decade-plus veteran Cal Kolling.

"I've been on for 12 years and I just want to move on to some other things," he said.

The Civil Service Commission makes human resources decisions for the city, Kessel said. It is responsible for setting job descriptions, HR policy and discipline.

There are several spots open on the Urban Forestry Committee, which decides where to plant trees throughout the city and is responsible for the maintenance of existing inner-city trees.

There are no degree or background requirements to be on these boards, but potential members must have an interest and passion for the type of work the board does, Kessel said.

The Historic Preservation Committee has five open positions, but only two are open to the general public, Historic Preservationist/ Museum Center Director Dan Ingram said.

The Historic Preservation Committee is set up through federal funding and is required to have an historian, an architect and an archeologist on the board, he said. The other four positions can be filled by involved citizens of Dickinson.

"It's been hard for us over the years to find architects and historians who have the time to commit to the work of the commission," Ingram said. "They're there, but they're awfully busy at this point."

Commissioners must be approved at the local level as well by the State Historic Preservation Office in Bismarck, he said.

The Historic Preservation Committee makes decisions dealing with the Museum Center as well as deciding which buildings to designate as local landmarks, he said. A local landmark is nothing more than an honorific title.

"There's no protection," he said. "And fundamentally there's no protection with a listing on the national register."

People who have lived here their whole life as well as those who recently moved to town are welcome to apply or to nominate someone they think would be good fit for the committees, Kessel said.

To apply, fill out a citizen interest form, available on, and send or email it to Rita Binstock at 99 Second St. E., Dickinson, ND 58601 or

Those interested in joining the Historic Preservation Commission can submit the citizen interest form, along with a resume, to the Dickinson Museum Center at 188 Museum Dr. East, Dickinson, ND 58601 or

"We need good volunteers," Kessel said.

Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
(701) 456-1206