At a recent meeting sponsored by the Corps of Engineers regarding flood control, the attendees were advised it would probably be over 20 years before the Souris River flood control project is completed. Several credible local persons involved with the project conceded to me off the record, that it could be longer and possibly never.
As a former elected official, I have some empathy for the mind-numbing slow pace of democracy. That said, I have several observations which are troubling:
- There appears to be a significant percentage of the local populace that feel a flood like 2011 or worse couldn’t happen again.
- There appear to be a significant percentage of elected officials who are climate change deniers notwithstanding the fact that roughly 95% of world scientists with expertise on the subject think otherwise.If 95% percent of their doctors advised them to have surgery to remove a tumor, how many of them would not follow their doctor’s advice?
- Although roughly 25% of Minot citizens live in the 2011 flood plain, only a handful of persons attended the August 19, 2015 meeting. Do the other 11,000 plus person’s living in or having invested in the flood plain have blind faith in our government or are they merely apathetic?
- Why are more local citizens not making more noise about how long this is taking?
- Why is there not more aggression on the subject of flood control from our elected officials? By this, I mean every one of them. Who on the city council is pushing the issue? Is the mayor pushing the issue? Are the county commissioners pushing the issue? Are our local state legislators pushing the issue? Is the governor waiting for our debt-laden federal government to bail out a state with several billion dollars of surplus funds? Is that conservatism? Is that responsible?
- Why would our state and local leaders allow the region’s transportation center, medical center, shopping center, higher education center, entertainment center, and the state fairgrounds to be dangling in the breeze for over 20 years?
The politeness of Midwestern people is admirable, but only to a point. Silence may be golden, but not when it is the silence of the lambs slowly drifting to the slaughter.
Is it a secret that the weather in North Dakota is unpredictable? Even climate change deniers should concede that. In America (which includes Minot, North Dakota) one gets the government that one deserves. That is both the good news and the bad news of democracy.
For those who are impressed with the way Minot flood control is being handled by our government “leaders”, I can only quote the The Dude from The Big Lebowski, “Well, you know, that’s just like your opinion, man.”