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By Robert Hansen, Published January 23 2009

Residents ignored by elected officials

A big thank-you and congratulations to John L. Pelkey Jr. (letter, Jan. 18). Someone finally hit the nail on the head. The UP Center is just another on a list of projects rejected by the residents of Fargo that got pushed through (no accident). Do the detox center, mega-$$$ library or zoo ring a bell?

I expect the new events center addition to the dome will soon join the list; some big name will put up enough money to get the project rolling for “naming rights,” and the buck will stop at the public trough. Thanks a lot.

It seems when the people of Fargo don’t want something and vote it down, someone in the private sector will start a project and conveniently “donate” it to the city along with the long-term expense it carries.

Tax incentives or abatements are real money to the taxpayer whether it’s a hockey rink, a zoo, a few libraries, a downtown development, a basketball/midsize concert hall, and the list keeps going on and our taxes keep going up.

It appears to be easy to get into the decision-making circle: Just spout fiscal responsibility. You don’t have to mean it, just say it. It’s time to hold our elected officials accountable and force them to realize that it is public money they’ve been entrusted with, not some slush fund.

I think the commission, the Park Board and the Board of Education have completely lost contact with the people who put them in these positions. The “bottomless pocket” that we, the taxpayers, have become has to close.

It’s about time all of these groups (and The Forum) face up to this.