In what only could be summed up as a “question-able math-a-lete rant” Oxbow, ND mayor Jim Nyhof rattled off a seemingly incoherent set of home buyout counts to justify an action that should never have begun in the first place.
This isn’t about whether or not buyouts are warranted in a flood control project or the chicanery in the dynamics of the OHB (Oxbow, Hickson, Bakke) project.
As a staunch property rights advocate, I firmly believe that if a persons property is needed for the benefit of another, then the party wishing to acquire said property should expect to provide compensation that would prevent the property owner from incurring any financial impact, however small it may be, and financial consideration for their “actual” inconvenience (change in lifestyle) to ensure the “unwilling seller” is justly made whole.
That being said, this is about the exaggerations and hyperbole tied to the home buyouts Mr. Nyhof is citing in his July 10th, 2015 Fargo Forum letter to the editor.
Here is the excerpt:
Another 200 homes?
In January 2011, the Diversion Authority’s plan for Oxbow was
complete elimination and a federal buyout of the whole community.
For those with heartburn over 40 home buyouts to federal standards,
imagine adding another 200 homes to the process.
To better understand the “embellishments” being made, one must first understand that post 2009 flood buyouts there were only 104 homes that existed in Oxbow, 15 home in Hickson, 57 homes in Bakke and 2 rural properties west of Bakke for a total of 178 homes within the footprint of the OHB project.
It appears that Mr. Nyhof is attempting to justify 40 home buyouts versus a 240 home count that never existed in Oxbow. The 40 home buyouts, notwithstanding, would have left only 64 remaining home buyouts in Oxbow. A far cry from the 240 that Mr. Nyhof implied in his hyperbole.
If Mr. Nyhof intended to use the entire OHB area to support his theory, then there still would have only been 138 remaining home buyouts within in the OHB project footprint.
What would compel such an embellishment?
In only what can be described as a negligent, irresponsible and unethical action, shortly after the Cass county sales tax vote in November 2010, the Fargo Diversion Authority and the USACE moved impacts upstream without discussing the matter with affected property owners.
Mr. Nyhof was very outspoken in those initial 2010-2011 community meetings, wherein, he encouraged property owners to “stick together” and make demands to either stop Fargo’s project or get into the best position to negotiate terms. Mr. Nyhof is no stranger to ultimatums to reach goals. Recently he threatened to leave the Kindred School District without bringing it to Oxbow residents and during a recent Diversion Authority Land Management meeting he reminded Fargo commissioner Dave Piepkorn that Oxbow has a “rock solid MOU” (memorandum of understanding) with the DA and they have no choice but to build them new houses so it doesn’t matter what the Fargo City Commission says.
So to recap.., in Oxbow’s entire history there has never been 200 homes that EVER existed, let only “240” as implied.
Rather curious that Mr. Nyhof, a person self proclaiming oneself to be credible, honest and effective…, resorts to embellishments and ultimatums to push his agenda.