Editorial: YMCA’s MARC Language is Anything but Polite

If you caught Minot Daily News last Sunday and happened to read the letters, you may have noticed one from Y.M.C.A. Executive Director Roger Mazurek titled ‘YMCA politely declines at this time’. In the letter, he makes official the Y’s intention not to participate in a revenue sharing plan with the proposed MARC.

Sadly for Minot, the content of that letter was anything but polite.

This is what a polite ‘no thank you’ would have looked like…

The YMCA does not feel that participating in a revenue sharing plan with the Park District is in the best interest of our organization at this time.

The end.

Instead, the YMCA leadership chose this language…

Based on our experience, we believe the preliminary numbers considerably understate the construction and operating costs. Because we have not had access to the Business Plan, we are unable to determine the effect the proposed facility will have on our ability to continue to operate the Y in a fiscally responsible manner. Because the Y was built and operates with no tax dollars, and has debt to service, we must remain especially vigilant in our financial stewardship.

In case you were wondering, this is what gloves-off political sabotage looks like.

When a respected community organization like the YMCA calls to question the construction and operational costs of a proposal before they’ve seen the business plan, it means they never intended to give it any serious consideration.

Furthermore, the consulting company and architecture firm behind concept will be in Minot on the 25th of March to defend their plan and their numbers. Wouldn’t the community-first attitude be to at least listen to what they have to say before concluding they’re wrong and speaking out in a public letter?

And then there’s this, from the December 2, 2013 City Council Meeting…


Alderman Knudsvig moved the City Council place Ordinance No, 4765 on second reading,, enacting new provision of Section 21-31 through 32-35, inclusive, to be designated as Article IV, “Enterprise for funding the Minot Family YMCA Community Outdoor Fitness Park”, and authorizing the City of Minot to engage in the Enterprise of granting funding through a contractual relationship to a private non-profit entity for the enhancement and improvements of community facilities from proceeds from the City Sales Tax, in the amount of $193,585. Motion seconded by Alderman Hatlelid and carried unanimously

Alderman Knudsvig moved the City Council pass the Ordinance No. 4765, on second reading. Motion seconded by Alderman Hatlelid and carried by the following roll call vote: ayes: Connole, Frantsvog, Frey, Hatlelid, Jantzer, Lehner, B. Miller, M. Miller, Seymour. nays: Frantsvog, Knudsvig, Olson. abstain: Moen

Coming from an organization that has willingly accepted your tax dollars to improve their facility in the past, Mr. Mazurek’s comments on behalf of the YMCA seem at best disingenuous.

Love it or hate it, Minot deserves to have an open, honest, and spirited debate about the MARC. And we think it’s time for leadership of the YMCA to take a closer look at their mission statement because it seems like they have gotten it confused with a hot, steaming pile of protectionist hypocrisy.

For those of you who support the MARC proposal, at least you now know what you’re up against.

Read all of Mr. Mazurek’s letter here on The Minot Daily News or here on Facebook.

Josh Wolsky

Developer & Writer @TheMinot Voice, Fan of the Souris River, There's a lot to Savor about Minot. Fortunate to be a 'former' City Council member ;)

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