On July 26, 2015 a letter from Cass County commissioner Ken Pawluk appeared in the Fargo Forum in response to to a July 7, 2015 letter from Wilkin County commissioner Lyle Hovland.
This article is Part 2 of 7 addressing Ken Pawluk’s letter to the Fargo Forum.
Here are links to both letters for your consideration:
Here is an excerpt from Ken Pawluk’s letter to the Fargo Forum:
|Ken Pawluk July 26, 2015 letter to Fargo Forum
For 11 years as Cass County commissioner, I have watched the citizens I represent live in peril from flooding. It is my goal to provide protection for as many people as possible, and I have worked closely with leaders in Fargo and Cass County to build more than $100 million worth of levees through town. But we are coming to an end on what can be achieved with levees alone, and the people north of the metro continue to live without relief from flooding.
Mr. Pawluk, you are a hypocrite among hypocrites.
You and your ilk have had 11 years to reduce or reverse the impact of development into the last natural flood plain relating to the “peril” you herald, yet, you have chosen to further an agenda fostering encroachment into areas that could naturally attenuate floods, which places more population at greater risk and flood insurance requirements.
Of those 11 ingratiating years you’ve patted yourself on the back with:
• only 4 years exceeded the 35 foot level you and your ilk are trying to manipulate.
• only 2 years exceeded the 38 foot level placing Fargo homes at risk.
• only 1 of the past 4 years exceeded major flood stage. (4.82′ lower than 38′)
That not withstanding, Fargo and Cass county have had years to remedy Fargo’s “trouble spots” with internal flood protections. Yet, six long years later the city remains at the embellished risk you and your ilk claim every time the Red River passes the 18 foot mark.
I’m sorry, but there are no accolades for internal flood protection that is long overdue. What the city and county can build in mere weeks before a flood, could have easily been completed in the six years since the 2009 flood.
Perhaps the failed leadership of Cass county and the city of Fargo should have focused on the existing city, before spending over $198 million on the ineffectual dam and diversion project.
It appears that you and your ilk make a lot of claims but provide no answers.
Commissioner Pawluk, the closing statement in your letter “…What I do not welcome is short-sighted commentary or those looking to blame my constituents for the flooding they face…” is a blatant example of failed leadership and that of your ilk.
Cass county, Fargo and the Diversion Authority are only interested in “yes-men” (no offense toward women) for the project agenda. Which is the most irresponsible and dangerous path to choose. It ensures that critical thinking does not play a key role in the decision making process, which in-turn fails to represent the public’s best interest.
Isn’t it interesting that once flood prone land…, could become high dollar development land if the focus on internal flood protection for the city that exists becomes redirected into a campaign to facilitate natural flood plain encroachment.
• There are 706.922 acres of property listed under the last name Pawluk west of the Sheyenne River and north of 32nd ave NW that are registered to the same Fargo, ND mailing address.
• The taxable valuation as of 2014 was $747,000
• This is an area prone to flooding.
• Pawluk land will benefit from a project decisions made by Cass county and the Fargo Diversion Authority
• Ken Pawluk is a Cass County commissioner, and has done so since the inception of the diversion project.
• Ken Pawluk is a voting member of the Fargo Diversion Authority and Public Outreach Committee.
• Ken Pawluk had the “opportunity” to exercise his will with greater representation in the DPAC assessment vote, both as a property owner and as a Cass county commissioner on the 706.922 acres registered to his Fargo, ND address.