Monte Reiner, Minot
More than $100,000,000 was wasted by Karl Rove and Company on negative ads achieving less than a 2 percent success rate in getting his puppets elected. I was shocked to hear that after all of this strategizing that the demographic changes went unnoticed. This did not happen one month before the election. This has been ongoing for years. My belief is that they did not feel these people counted and that they are not Americans. I would like to thank Mr. Rove for two things. Number one the economy appreciated this additional spending. Number two he exposed the huge sums of money the Wall Street folks aren't using to hire Americans, but buy influence. Thanks Karl for confirming to us who has the ability to pay more taxes in 2013.
This brings me to North Dakota and the Senate campaign where out-of-state money tried to brainwash us, but outright lies were rejected by those thinking for themselves and ideas won. Second to ideas, demographics played a role in North Dakota when our congressman forgot to include Native Americans. Go Sioux! I'll let the local and state officials who supported our congressman explain for themselves if they were "all in" or just part way in.
This brings me to the new folks trying to build a life in western North Dakota. I would just like to caution you as the next election comes around to listen and study the issues and candidates. Do not get brainwashed by state and local leaders who may have their own agenda and are heavily influenced by all the new money flowing into the state to distract from the truth. Their attempt to influence the Senate results was not based on facts about Heidi's position on energy. You'll be able to see this first hand as our new senator takes office. I challenge you to compare our new senator's position on energy as she gets to work versus what you were hearing in the campaign. I am proud of the new and lifelong North Dakotans seeing through the smoke and mirrors. Remember who made these false energy position comments in political ads as you vote next election. Our first female senator is her own person, not a "rubber stamp," not a "binder." She will be working tirelessly and in a statesmanlike manner for our country, but more importantly for the great state of North Dakota.
As we move to Ward County, it seems voters were disappointed in the idea that county commissioners are better than county employees and not need to go through security at the county courthouse. I hope in the newly approved building that all of us are treated equally. They also were unhappy that those who bought flooded property in the buyout zone for a dime on the dollar deserved taxpayer dollars in the amount of pre-flood values. Where are our principles?
So I don't leave out the city of Minot, I want to make a few points on the Imagine Minot project downtown as I best understand them. The revitalization will create shops, 254 housing units (some of which is "affordable housing"), and 588 parking spaces vs. the 260 we currently have.
The cost of this parking project is $9 million with $3 million from the Magic Fund, $5.3 million from the Community Development Block Grant dollars to help with flood recovery and $700,000 from the developers directly benefiting from this project. In addition, the city lots used for these ramps have substantial value I cannot confirm.
Parking in this highly desired new development has been promoted to the public for new access to parking as they flock to downtown. So help me understand the math: 588 parking spots, minus 260 current parking spots, equals 328 new parking spots, minus 254 new parking spots used by residents of the 254 new housing units (using one car per unit), leaves the public 74 net new parking spots at a cost to taxpayers of $8.3 million or $112,162.16 per net new spot.
So please pray each new resident of downtown Minot only has one car and that all these new business owners take a taxi so that you can find a parking spot in the Imagine Minot concrete jungle. Let this also serve as a notice to outlying downtown businesses. Your current on-street parking for customers may be taken up by those flocking to the new project area's 74 open spots. Where is the green space that was talked about in our recovery plan? Seems the green meant green in select business pockets, not the quality of life for citizens of Minot.