Flood funding vote explained

Dan Ruby


Minot Alderman Josh Wolsky wrote a letter published on February 11 that was of some interest to me. In the article, Mr. Wolsky mentioned that someone said he was a member of the new Minot Mafia and he contemplated what that label meant to him and to the possible intention of the person who said that to him.

I had no problem with his musings as the Minot legislators are frequently called the Minot Mafia in Bismarck during sessions. Maybe not as much as before but they call us that when they see we are working together for a cause and are being effective.

But then Mr. Wolsky attempts to take a shot at three legislators, whom he does not name, but claims they voted against Minot because they voted for their own conservative principals to the detriment of Minot, related to flood funding. Of course, he then encourages everyone to apply a litmus test to anyone running for the Legislature before they get your vote. That is fine; you should always study the candidates before making a decision, but please get all the information rather than half of the story.

As I said earlier, Mr. Wolsky did not name names other than saying three conservative legislators. He also did not check the subsequent votes on the bill. The bill he was referring to is the Water Commission Budget that was first voted on in the House. Three of us from Minot did vote against the bill on the first vote for various reasons, which we all explained at the biweekly Saturday forums held during the session. The main reason for my vote was that they intended to add a new tax to the private water depots to fund the public depots that were competing with them. Another concern was it said there would be no further appropriations for Minot’s flood protection.

For those who don’t know, budget bills often receive several votes because they always go to conference committee. When the bill came back to the House the problem areas had been removed and two of those no votes changed to yes, including mine. We received historic appropriations for future projects and it would be better for city aldermen to work with Minot area legislators as a team rather than painting them in a bad light.