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Pete Marinucci, Moorhead, Published March 22 2014

Letter: Moorhead leadership a clown act

Nancy Otto, Moorhead city councilwoman, declared in the March 15 Forum that the pending probable loss of the S.S. Ruby tour boat is a “real tragedy” and “a shame” in Moorhead. Her tree-hugger mentality has clouded her view of reality.

What is a real tragedy and shame is the condition of Moorhead streets.

What is a real tragedy and shame is inadequate funding to fully staff Moorhead’s fire and police departments.

What is a real tragedy and shame is a City Council that hides the tax burden they are placing on Moorhead Public Service ratepayers. Nearly 25 percent of the amount paid for electricity by homeowners, renters, businesses, schools, churches, food pantries, homeless shelters, all genre of nonprofit organizations, and even government-owned property, goes directly into the city bank account to cover the all-too-often impulsive spending by the council.

Case in point:

Within one recent week, The Forum reported three new and novel ways the city of Moorhead’s staff and council are exploring to drive the city deeper into debt:

• Acquire the former Centro Cultural building.

• Attempt, for the fourth time, to pursue federal funding for the 20th Street/Main Avenue Southeast railroad underpass.

• Create a riverfront park from the Bluestem Center for the Arts in far south Moorhead to Wall Street.

Less than five months ago, this august body of legislators was gnashing teeth and wringing hands over the need to raise taxes and commandeer even more money from every Moorhead Public Service customer.

Why were these funds needed?

To pay the bond payments on tax-forfeited lots, and even whole developments, in south Moorhead.

At the same time, newly elected council members were vowing that under their watch this travesty would not be repeated. Same circus – different clowns.

It’s long past time elected city officials stop capitulating to the whims and demands of those who believe a project has merit as long as someone else pays. Poll those who are going to be encumbered with the bill and determine if it is something for which they are willing to pay. Tax those who support the expenditure and exempt those who reject it.

I am fed up with disingenuous politicians buying votes with my dime, and you should be, too.