If City Hall doesn’t succeed, neither do we

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this was incorrectly attributed to Josh Wolsky. This has been updated to reflect the correct author, Jim Maxson.

If there are more thankless jobs than being on the Minot City Council or being Minot’s Mayor, I have no idea what they may be. The present administration inherited some pre-existing conditions which are challenging to say the least. Roughly 25% of Minot’s population had been displaced by a monumental flood in 2011. The flood caused extensive damage to existing infrastructure such as streets, etc. The prior administration had made some decisions regarding downtown Minot, which over the long term will be beneficial, but over the short term, had made mistakes regarding contract details and the credibility of the parties with whom it was dealing. Minot’s prior administration had seen the big picture, but apparently had not read the fine print.

Fixing existing infrastructure and creating additional infrastructure for an increasing and/or misplaced populace has been expensive. It is Easter Bunny economics to believe anything other than additional tax revenues could have paid for this. Roughly 850 million more dollars will be required to complete the flood control project. The taxpayers of Minot cannot foot that bill. Our real estate taxes are now the highest in the state, after our disaster. State and federal dollars will be required to complete flood control. Without flood control, Minot’s growth potential will be stunted. Even climate change deniers must concede that the weather in North Dakota has always been unpredictable. Leaving things as they are is playing with fire.

We have the right as Americans to complain about our government. That said, to paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, I am thankful for those “in the arena” who have chosen not to be those “who have never known victory or defeat”. It wouldn’t hurt us to say thank you to those persons gutsy enough to step up to these daunting challenges facing Minot which they did not create, but are stuck with. I admire them and wish them well. If they don’t succeed, neither do we.

Jim Maxson

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