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Letter: Here we go again, another bond

Here it comes again, a vote to increase funding for more schools and additions in

West Fargo. We just recently approved $98 million and now they ask for an

additional $106 million or more. Let me state that I am not against schools and

needed room for the growing populace in West Fargo. I have voted for each and

every one. I am a retired teacher/administrator and have worked on building and

student overflow in the past. The problem I have with this is the going back to the

well for more tax dollars often and not being transparent with the dollars.

The biggest problem is with the way the last group of organizers laid out their

plan for the $98 million West Fargo project. The plan was large but something

needed to be done for the influx of students. I believe most felt that it was

needed and voted it in. The buildings themselves should have been enough at the

time. But no, two other projects were "piggy backed" on that measure driving up

the costs. There was the aqua center and ice sheets for hockey. Yes, the swim

people and hockey people were delighted. But were these needs or wants?

There should have been two separate votes. One for room space and one for

aqua and ice. I am sure there were people that voted for it with that piggy back

because they knew the room space was need but really did not want their taxes

to go up by paying for both. They had no choice. I asked one of the more

prominent members of the committee why they attached the ice and aqua center

without a separated vote? I was told "They would not have passed without it".

What does that mean? This small group was going to get their way even if the

public tax payer did not want it? Yes! I will attest that some of the ice and aqua

money came from outside sources, but the tax payer picked up the balance. This

time it is turf grass and whatever. At a cost of millions.

I attended a meeting several years ago in which the aqua center was being

proposed. Among other questions I asked was why the park board did not want

this project. Too expensive. I asked why Fargo and Moorhead did not build when

they had the proposal before them? I called Fargo parks and a Moorhead council

member. They told me, too expensive. The issue became silent for several years

until it raised its ugly head and was attached to the school building project and

you paid for it.

At the polls this time I will not vote for it and urge you to do the same. Will this

stop the building needs for our students? I hope not. Just send it back to trim off

the fat even if they say that has already been done. Make them show where the

dollars will be spent. Perhaps some room sharing with Fargo if available. They are

not that far away so transportation should not be a great problem.

Schools take approximately 65 percent of our total taxes. How do you want them spent?

Look closely at this next one in November. Listen to hear how transparent they

make it. Look for the add-ons before casting your vote.

Jack Fuller

West Fargo