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Justin Vega, Published December 29 2013

Letter: Congressman Cramer is right about F-M diversion discussions

A few weeks ago, Congressman Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., spoke publicly about the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion plan on a local radio network. What he said should resonate with all of our local neighbors.

There are a number of major players involved on both sides of the diversion issue. Dedicated to the success of the plan are the Army Corps of Engineers and the F-M Diversion Authority, who have been met with resolute opposition by the MinDak Upstream Coalition, the Richland-Wilkin Joint-Powers Agreement, and the newly formed Upstream Cemetery Authority. The allegations by the diversion opponents, in addition to the vast disparity in data and expected consequences of the project maintained by both sides, are cause for major public concern, and lead to one logical conclusion espoused by our esteemed congressman one month ago: Bring the two sides to the table, and come to a solution that benefits everyone.

I share deep concern with many of our local residents in regard to this project for a variety of reasons, and one thing is absolutely certain; we deserve to be well, if not perfectly, informed about the project and its consequences.

I believe bringing the two sides together for a solution should be taken one step further. They should be brought together for public debate. They must be charged by the people with the duty of public discourse. This way we will be able to understand the intentions and concerns of both sides, to make an informed decision, and, in the end, express our demands when a solution must be reached.

As Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.”

I want one, if not many, widely publicized and televised town hall debates, and so should you. Let us be so well informed that, if there is cause for concern, we may set them right.

Vega, Fargo, is first vice chairman, District 16 Republicans.