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Sen. John M. Andrist, Published February 13 2011

Criticism requires an explanation

The Forum Editorial Board believes Rep. Jim Kasper’s, R-Fargo, effort to require a public vote before construction authorities can go into debt for building projects is meddling.

Your criticism should have been precluded with some explanation. A public vote is not required for construction projects unless bonding debt is involved. Virtually every school and major civic construction project in North Dakota includes bonding, however, and has required a public vote – with the exception of Davies High School.

The law providing construction authorities with the right to borrow and bond without a public vote is in essence an end run around what has always been standard procedure in every community of North Dakota for 75 years.

If North Dakotans think that’s appropriate, as the North Dakota House did when Kasper’s bill was rejected, that’s OK with me. But they deserve an understanding that it is not the way North Dakotans have traditionally done business, and it massages our system by removing one more taxpayer protection.


Andrist has represented District 2 in the North Dakota Senate since 1993.