Richland-Wilkin Joint Powers Authority
Original Publication Date:
Sep 18th, 2014
Wahpeton Daily News
Republished with permission from:
JPA Editorial Team
Everyone hates a bully, few stand up to them. How many times during a life do we look back and regret not saying something, not doing something. At the time the bully seemed too strong, the consequences of his punishment too great. Alone, with no one coming forward to back us up, many of us just went along to get along. We watched as the other person was hurt, doing nothing for fear that the bully will turn his attention to us.
The people of Hickson, Bakke Subdivision, Pleasant Township, Holy Cross Township, Comstock, Wolverton, Kindred and Richland School Districts, Rural Horace, Christine, Richland County and Wilkin County have been on the receiving end of a trio of bullies. The Fargo Diversion Authority decided to unnecessarily flood our communities under an 80 square mile “staging area.” The Army Corps cooked the books to make this development plan pencil out. Fargo’s premiere media provider acts as their enforcer, shouting down any fact based argument that counters their agenda. Alternatives that would greatly reduce the impacts such as implementing distributed upstream retention, reducing the size of the project, and locating the storage area in the existing flood plain closer to the FM Metro have either been not reported on or misrepresented.
Upstream residents, guilty of no crime other than objecting to their property being taken for Fargo’s development, are routinely insulted, their motives and integrity questioned. The bullying is most apparent in the attacks by the Forum’s opinion editors on elected leaders who dare to question Fargo’s program. North Dakota’s federal delegation has been largely mute. Who can blame them if standing up for a minority of voters in Richland and Southern Cass County might cost them reelection because the state’s biggest media provider will attack them? One public official recently remarked: “I don’t fear Fargo but I sure do fear the Forum.” ND leaders need only read the vicious editorial attacks made on Governor Mark Dayton and Representative Paul Marquart to see what’s in store for them.
So while ND’s governor and federal leaders hide under their desks, Minnesota’s Governor Dayton, Representative Marquart and a few others have stood up to the bully. They are not “going along to get along.” They are speaking out for the people and communities they represent, declaring “unacceptable” the plan to flood 35 square miles of rural Minnesota for Fargo’s future development. Thank you Governor Dayton and Representative Marquart for being of the few.