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Mike Hulett, Published August 25 2012

Hulett: Editorial wrong and silly

The Forum editorial “Chickens top their agenda?” (August 22) was irresponsible. The accompanying cartoon showing a chicken sitting on top of Moorhead City Hall is juvenile and insulting.

Moorhead’s streets are generally in fine shape and upgraded periodically based on a well-formulated transportation plan. The delay of Main Avenue reconstruction downtown until next year is the responsibility of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, not city officials.

The north Interstate 94 frontage road to the Menards area may resemble a “lunar landscape” today, but it will be a paved street before winter. The Forum is aware of both projects.

Moorhead is not “mismanaging rail crossings.” In collaboration with the F-M Metropolitan Council of Governments, and after a comprehensive study of rail-traffic conflicts, positive steps are being taken to reduce delays due to the many trains that pass through town each day. Motorists will see improvements. The Forum is aware of this as well.

“Parking problems near two college campuses never get solved.” The City Council put into place the first set of numerous changes recommended by a recent parking study. Residents, college officials and the council have discussed college parking issues at length. Parking problems are being addressed.

“Endemic business flight to Fargo.” There are hundreds of businesses thriving in Moorhead. The Moorhead Business Association, the Moorhead Economic Development Authority, Realtors and developers are taking proactive steps to attract and retain business where they have no flood threat and no need for flood insurance. Sanford is building a state-of-the-art clinic at 34th Street and Interstate 94. There are choice spots for other business development all around the new facility.

Anyone can find a few “run-down, unpainted, shabby buildings in forests of weeds” in the F-M metro area.

To characterize Moorhead with those descriptors is to ignore 99.9 percent of the city. Moorhead has beautiful, warm, attractive neighborhoods with nearby playgrounds, parks and recreation facilities. Well-manicured lawns, stately trees, colleges with up-to-date buildings and grounds, and beautiful churches define our city. The Forum is aware of this.

There are hundreds of lots available for new homes located short distances from new schools. These lots and existing homes are free from flood threats and will not require the expensive flood insurance necessary for many thousands of lots and homes in Fargo.

Chickens on the agenda? A few residents brought up the topic and maybe 10 minutes was spent at one council meeting talking about it. For The Forum to imply this is a primary topic of concern for members of the council is ridiculous. The council is working hard on constructing the 2013 budget and on other matters of significant importance to our residents.

It is time to put aside silly, negative, degrading journalism. I encourage The Forum to accurately report progress on the examples of positive news and constructive outcomes in Moorhead, a wonderful place in which to live and work.

Hulett is a Moorhead city councilman.