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Mike Hulett, Published January 19 2013

Letter: Bluestem reporting incomplete

The Forum news story: “Bluestem tug of war could lead to legal battles” (Jan. 16) is misleading and incomplete.

Public statements made by officials in both organizations clearly indicate that neither Fargo Public Schools nor the city of Moorhead will be suing the other unit of government. In fact, staff members of the two public entities have successfully negotiated a needed second lease agreement for the continued operation of the Trollwood campus in south Moorhead. Upon addressing several language concerns raised by a few Moorhead City Council members, the agreement will very likely be approved at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Missing from The Forum story is the important fact that not all of the members of the City Council engaged in strong criticism of Fargo Public Schools regarding their management of Trollwood. To the contrary, at least four of the eight council members expressed few if any concerns and several expressed full confidence in Fargo Public Schools and the staff of the Trollwood Performing Arts School.

The real story: How are we to appropriately implement the state of Minnesota’s requirement that the Trollwood facility be made available to regional arts groups? The problem is 1) there is no designated arbiter of what constitutes a regional arts group, and 2) there is no indication of what allocation of time for use of the facility by regional art groups is required.

While City Council members may have their own personal opinions and agendas regarding regional arts, lack of definition results in the answers being totally subjective. Some council members are suggesting that Trollwood Performing Arts School (a significant regional arts group) uses too much of the available time. What? Have they forgotten that the south Moorhead campus was built specifically to relocate the Trollwood Performing Arts School from north Fargo? No Trollwood, no regional arts facility.

Hulett is a Moorhead city councilman.