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Recall attempt not the way to go

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Fargo, 58102
Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

The recall effort initiated last week involving West Fargo City Commissioner Brenda Warren was ludicrous at best.

Recall is serious business and something typically reserved for individuals believed to be engaged in blatant wrongdoing.

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The only 'wrongdoing' Warren can be accused of is her zealous stance on implementing a citywide smoking ban that will improve public health for everyone.

Petitions were circulated at a number of West Fargo 'smoking allowed' bars last week asking for signatures from anyone wishing to see the election of Warren as a City Commissioner recalled.

This petition came in the aftermath of a 3-2 Commission vote to draft a city ordinance in cooperation with Fargo and Moorhead attorneys mirroring the statewide smoking ban recently adopted in Minnesota, outlawing smoking in all public places, including bars.

Why didn't recall proponents attend the Commission meeting Monday night to have their message heard, instead of resorting to this poorly thought out, knee-jerk reaction that turned out to be invalid because organizers didn't identify themselves by the three sponsorship names required on the petition to make it legal?

Or why wasn't contact made with Warren for a one-on-one discussion, since she is of the most approachable commissioner ever, always open to constituents comments, concerns, and yes, criticism?

It's no secret that Warren has been West Fargo's biggest advocate in her attempt to eliminate smoking from all public places. She has said all along that smoking and secondhand smoke are major public health issues that no one should have to put up with and she has consistently tried to be true to her rhetoric.

It's also no secret that she has more supporters than critics on this issue, which explains why she was overwhelmingly re-elected to her third term in 2004 as the top vote-getter, the same year West Fargo's smoking ban was approved by a majority vote of the people.

What Commissioner Warren presented and accomplished Monday night took a certain amount of fortitude, reopening an old wound and choosing not to crumble in the wake of even more criticism.

Getting the three cities attorneys together to draft a uniform smoke free ban could prove to be an excellent first step in getting important dialogue going. Then it will be up to future discussion and action from the city commissions to make any decisions final.

This failed recall attempt was the wrong way of going about realizing any change - truly another classic example of 'just blowing smoke.'

Thankfully, nobody had to breathe it in.

khuber@westfargopioneer.com

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