To build or not to build

Bob McNamara

Upham

This isn’t meant to be pro or con. It is not directed at any particular place because the issue goes from West Fargo to Minot to Williston and small places in between. It is meant to stir conversation and thought.

On a daily basis I hear the economy is booming. We have had positive job growth for 100 months – anyone can find a job. If you want two you can have it. Stock market has risen for eight years or more. Wages are up. Go to the lake and see the fancy boats or campers. Houses are bigger and better than ever. Yet every year school bonding votes go down in communities across the state. And it isn’t just schools. In some communities it is a courthouse or law enforcement center or maybe a roadway that struggles for funding.

I read in the MDN of the legislature struggling with funding issues, the mayor of Minot pledging to hold taxes down next time around, and not long ago the TGU school district, along with many others, voted down bonding for schools and maintenance.

As I said this isn’t meant to say those things are right or wrong. But I wonder if not now when will we be able to afford these things. When the economy slows down? I doubt that.

So I wonder what do our elected officials owe us? What do we owe our community and our society? Are we properly spending public funds and is the pubic providing proper funding?

If we look across the state we have built lots of schools, highways, courthouses, and jails over the last 20 years. However, it always seems we need more. It is worth your unemotional thought.

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