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Michael Brown Jr., Fargo, Published May 17 2012

Sobolik knows about leadership

The Fargo City Commission candidate forum held on May 3 proved what many of us across the city already believed: Contrary to the billboards, Dave Piepkorn is no leader.

Nothing made this clearer than when he was asked about the morale of city workers. Piepkorn used a classic move of a politician: He changed the subject entirely. He didn’t want to discuss how he belittled a city employee during a commission meeting when he told Fargo traffic engineer Jeremy Gorden he’d be fired if Piepkorn were his boss.

Demeaning someone’s work and tarnishing their character because you disagree with their view is not leadership. Leadership is not about controversy and creating problems that don’t exist simply to pass a city ordinance received from a national organization that doesn’t know what’s best for Fargo. That is what Piepkorn did with his city employees’ pension change. He

didn’t go to the department heads to visit about their concerns. No one seems to think current pensions are a serious issue for the city.

In fact, the only person who showed real leadership at the candidate forum was Melissa Sobolik. She didn’t avoid the questions, unlike her opponents. She answered, and her integrity showed with the fact that, as a real leader, Sobolik held numerous conversations with the city’s workers who are affected by the decisions the City Commission makes.

My vote will be placed with the individual who will provide “real leadership,” not simply stamp that label on a billboard. My vote will be for Melissa Sobolik.