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David and Sally Hallman, Published May 12 2010

Rourke support misplaced priority

We are writing about the upcoming vote on the lease for the Rourke Art Gallery Museum. We are against this lease. The city of Moorhead has experienced tough times, and the next few years we face reductions in aid from the state. Why in the world would we lease a million-dollar property to a private organization for $1 a year for 30 years? It is beyond comprehension that a council member would feel that we have extra money to spend on museums.

The city of Moorhead’s main priority should be police and fire protection. If we sold the museum, we could hire a new police officer or firefighter for years to come just by using the interest from the money.

If we rent the museum to an organization that will pay fair market value, we could also help alleviate the future money problems of the city.

Times of financial trouble are not the time to enter long-range agreements that lose the city money. How does the City Council think it can waste our money while most of us are cutting all areas of our budgets just to make ends meet? Please consider the facts before you vote on this issue, and I am sure you will make the right decision.

Please don’t leave the city with this albatross for the next 30 years while ensuring our grandchildren will pay more of their income to run the city. If the residents of Moorhead want an art museum, let them support it with their own personal funds. It is not the government’s job to provide us with entertainment.