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Nancy Otto, Moorhead, Published August 23 2013

Letter: Leafy spurge not deserved

Most Prairie Roses and Leafy Spurge awards given by The Forum are deserved. However, the Aug. 19 Leafy Spurge directed at the majority of members of the Moorhead City Council is definitely not deserved. The Forum objects to Moorhead City Council members disagreeing with council member Mark Altenburg’s push to change our city’s mayor and council member elections from November in odd-numbered years to November in even-numbered years.

Why do most Moorhead City Council members want our elections to remain in November of the odd-numbered years? Our local candidates and issues would get lost in the national presidential election on the even-numbered years. Local issues and candidates would not get the attention we believe is necessary to help voters make decisions. Also, political party views are at the forefront of discussion during national elections. It costs about $16,000 to hold city elections on the odd-numbered years, but it does allow our elections to be dedicated to local issues and decisions and be much less partisan.

I wish the county and school board would also move their election times back to the odd-numbered years. Many residents don’t even know the names of all the members of their boards, much less the issues. These are important taxing entities and deserve more of our attention. One additional point is that combining the city elections with the state and national elections may push us to a two-page ballot, which would involve more cost.

Since The Forum gave a Leafy Spurge to Moorhead Council members for not wanting to combine our city elections with November’s national elections, one would think that the city of Fargo surely must hold its city mayor and commission elections with the November national elections. But wait! Holy hypocrisy! Fargo does not do this. It has an election in June for mayor, city commission, park board and school board positions. It is also the primary election for county, state and federal positions. Much lower turnout of voters than the November national election dates.

Leafy Spurge to The Forum for not looking at their own city before they criticize their neighbors to the east.

Otto is Moorhead City Council member from the 1st Ward