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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Moorhead Rejects Fargo Diversion Authority Right of Entry

Moorhead Says NO to Fargo

One has to wonder what compels the Forum Editorial Board to profoundly define their ignorance when it comes to diversion matters.

It is, as if, they dust off a vinyl copy of Wagners – Ride of the Valkyries, crank it up for inspiration…, and as the Trombones crescendo – the Editorial Board begins spewing that special brand of Fool’em venom, only to have the end result aptly become the sound of PacMan dying.

The May 28, 2014 editorial was no exception.

Here is the editorial with commentary:

Forum editorial: Moorhead has stake in diversion project
by: Forum Editorial Board, May 28, 2014

The Moorhead City Council’s reluctance to embrace its role as a full partner in the Fargo-Moorhead diversion project is shortsighted and parochial. It suggests the city’s leadership (or at least a portion of it) is content to look inward at a time when the F-M metro is expanding and solidifying its place as a significant regional urban center. In that scenario, comprehensive flood protection is vital.


Completely incorrect! The entire paragraph reads like a prom date gone wrong and one party is frustrated with the other not wanting to go further. Perhaps there are Moorhead council members tired of being submissively used for Fargo’s agenda.

The Fargo Forum is shortsighted for NOT DOING investigative journalism from the outset to ensure the right project evolves…, and not the current plan which, when comparing historical records to Corps of Engineers data, still sends impacts downstream all the way past Drayton, ND.

However, the psychological projection in calling Moorhead “parochial” is laughable. Especially, when coming from the dogmatic mouth-piece of the Fargo Diversion Authority.

Forum Editorial Board
Moorhead’s myopia is troubling because early on city leaders were pleased the city was a sponsor of the diversion. Indeed, Moorhead and Clay County have places at the Diversion Authority table. That fact alone recognizes Moorhead’s importance in the overall flood protection enhancements the metro needs for a secure future.


It would appear that the most troubling aspect is when leaders are no longer “pleased” with things that they are expected to throw caution to the wind and default to an early state of agreement…, whether or not the earlier agreement was truly in the best interests of constituents.

If there is any question of “myopia”, one needs to look no further than the Fargo Diversion Authorities own propaganda. Repeatedly claiming that:

“The FM Diversion would protect 1 in 5 of all North Dakotans”.

Ironically, ZERO mention or intent for Moorhead benefit! This is a Fargo development project disguised as flood control for the region that only offers benefit to roughly 1,323 vacant Fargo lots that are naturally flood prone and about 400 to 500 Fargo homes that previously existed or became flood plain due to encroachment and water displaced from the natural flood plain south of I-94.

Also, myopically shortsighted and parochial by forgetting that 80 percent of North Dakota receives no benefit, only taxation, from the proposed project.

Forum Editorial Board
Moorhead has done an excellent job funding and building flood protection for itself, but the city does not exist in its own tiny bubble. If a big flood cripples Fargo, Moorhead will suffer because the cities’ economies are interrelated. It’s a fact members of the council should easily grasp, since several of them work and/or do business in Fargo. And thousands of Moorhead’s residents cross the river every day for jobs, recreation, medical care, education and shopping.


Co-dependency is a foolish rationale and an outright insult to any Moorhead resident. Fargo, if anything, has stolen economy from Moorhead for decades, yet Moorhead continues to grow. It is a geographical fact that as flooding is more easily defended in Moorhead than Fargo. Yet the mouth-piece of the Fargo Diversion Authority desperately grasps to a zero-sum mentality –

“that without Fargo all others will wither and die.”.

It does make one wonder…, if Fargo was such a great place to be, why are West Fargo and Moorhead statistically outpacing Fargo’s growth?

As for obscure workforce statistics…, why do people leave Fargo, ND to work in Moorhead?


Forum Editorial Board
The divided council’s latest mistake was blocking diversion-related land surveys in the county. (Four voted to OK the work.) The council previously had approved such work, and has the legal authority to do so. But this time the council came up short of the six votes needed to move ahead. It seems some members of the council are so constricted in their perceptions that they are buying into the nonsense from a few diversion opponents south of Moorhead. That might be a blissfully misguided feel-good option for some council members, but it’s also lack of foresight and failure of leadership.


It is rather arrogant to assume that 100 percent of Moorhead supports Fargo’s multi billion non-funded boondoggle when 39.6 percent of Fargo voters voted against it during the last tax vote extension.

Moorhead has adequate flood protection and took the initiative to build internal protection for its constituents in a timely manner.

Playing second fiddle to Fargo is not Moorhead’s role in the region.

Forum Editorial Board
As a full participant in the Diversion Authority and a project sponsor, Moorhead has taken on certain responsibilities for phases of the project. That reality was underscored by City Attorney John Shockley, who none-to-subtly said if council members were not comfortable with the small survey phase of the project, they might want to consider the larger policy question of being a sponsor. If Moorhead takes that route, it will be further enshrining its status as a not-serious city where visionary leadership is in short supply.


When you think about this, it’s rather comical. The whole premise of bringing something to a vote is “not to receive” a unanimous tallied outcome. In fact, Moorhead residents should consider themselves lucky to have a city council that is still willing to weigh the pro’s and con’s of an issue, rather than otto-matically rubber stamping Fargo Diversion Authority propaganda.

How can Moorhead City Attorney John Shockley represent Moorhead and advise the Moorhead Council in regards to the Oxbow Hickson Bakke ring dike, and the MN DNR’s warnings about Moorhead’s participation, when he is also the attorney for the city who will get the ring dike: Oxbow; and the attorney for the Cass County Joint Water Resource District, the organization that is going to build the ring dike?

Why is Moorhead/Oxbow City Attorney John Shockley issuing veiled threats to influence Moorhead’s decisions? Shouldn’t he be serving the Moorhead Council’s will?

Is just seems rather curious that Shockley’s law firm Ohnstad-Twichell can receive payments from the Fargo Diversion Authority, while representing Moorhead, Oxbow and the Cass County Joint Water Resource District all on the same matter.

It sure would be nice if the Fargo Fool’em would do a little investigative journalism, rather than just act as verbally abusive mouth piece for the Fargo Diversion Authority.

…cue dying PacMan sound…

Views: 188

2 Responses to “ Moorhead Rejects Fargo Diversion Authority Right of Entry ”

  1. i am not sure the diversion would protect one in five fargoans, let alone one in five north dakotans or a better way to say it is four in five fargoans are not affected by most floods.
    the agenda of the forum shows through loud and clear when they chastise moorhead leaders for doing what their consituants wanted. which was to take care of their flood problems in an expiditious manner and not lay around waiting for the feds to pay for a wildly waistful project dreampt up by the corp and a couple engineering firms that were more looking at career building than the best use of tax dollars to help the most people in our high water events. i have often wondered why our two minnesota united state senators have been on the air waves “pimping” for this diversion project more than the north dakota senators. i would lay odds most minnesotans (moreover even moorheadians) would put a low priority on spending a lot of money for a fargo diversion. a diversion that has detrimental affects up and down stream. a diversion for a city that resides in a state that has a 6 billion dollar savings account and growing. the author of this fargo dam article expects the fargo foolum to do investigative reporting and be factual on its reports about the diversion? i bet he knows better. thats not now a bully pullpit operates.

  2. conflict of interest n. a situation in which a person has a duty to more than one person or organization, but cannot do justice to the actual or potentially adverse interests of both parties,-

    The obvious question that some people have asked is —
    How much money does his legal firm get from whom and does this color his legal advise. Of course the longer this plays out (the diversion process) the more money he and his company make. It is like playing all sides for purely finical gain.
    Nice work if you can get it?

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