To the editor, Social media, shock jocks, and fake news are covering the proposed city sales tax increase with the enthusiasm of the great Tamara Merseli spiking a perfectly set ball for another winner at the Betty. While there are no cons to UND volleyball; there are two sides to the sales tax. Pros: Farmers get rain for free, they should help pay for our water. UND, Altru, Park District and many of the other ten largest users are tax exempt. It only makes sense we also subsidize
Taking mother's advice, I will start with saying something nice about the Herald's Aug. 24 editorial (" Judge's ruling the right thing on Arbor Park "). This piece brings the credibility of the editorial board to the level of two national media outlets: Breitbart News and MSNBC.
To the editor, Soon the City Council will be asking for a sales tax increase. This will be the fourth opportunity to ask the community their preference on a library location, midtown or downtown. This rejection of public input is 100 percent on city leadership. The library board has been more than patient as they strive to spend appropriately.
To the editor, Arbor Park has been a lightning rod for commentary. I have had obscenities screamed at me in public and numerous personal attacks on social media. That does not advance civil discourse. It is important to remember, when we wake up June 21, Grand Forks will still be a great place to live, work and play. A so-called information piece is a compilation of misinformation designed to scare you. Let's examine each claim one at a time. Claim: "Businesses closing ... tax revenue declining."
I have previously written that our community is becoming too divided. Sadly, the Herald seems intent on furthering the divide ("Herald extends offer to host Arbor Park debate," Page B2, May 6). In its announcement, the Herald wrote, "The lot was left vacant after the 1997 flood, and in the years since has become a green space with art displays." Since 2016, the Herald opined at least three time against Arbor Park, supporting the park's "demise" and efforts to "raze" it. Hardly the views of a neutral arbitrator.
Let's start where we can get 80 percent to 90 percent agreement. First, a 10-year, ½-percent sales tax to fund four or five specifically named road projects. Second, development for all of Grand Forks. Third, remember the wisdom of Kenny Rogers, "Know when to hold 'em, and know when to fold 'em." Think local. Barry Wilfahrt, president and CEO of The Chamber, has the toughest job in Grand Forks. While I give him a pass, the dues-paying members should ask the board some tough questions, such as:
GRAND FORKS—There is a lot to unpack in Jason Schaefer's op-ed, "Downtown Grand Forks needs housing, not Arbor Park" (Page A4, Feb. 5). First, Schaefer says supporters are opposed to "returning it (Arbor Park) to its original purpose as a building site." Let's review the Herald's opinion at the time Arbor Park was completed. "The parks they built are important symbolically, because they represent the rebuilding of the city after the Flood of '97," the newspaper editorialized in 2001.
My friend -- and yes, he is my friend -- Grand Forks City Council President Dana Sande needs other friends to talk the truth to power. In 2013 he correctly chastised the school board for not passing on all the fully funded state property tax buy-down. His spouse now sits on the school board, and we still do not receive the full benefit of the buy-down. In 2016, he supported the full city property tax increase and the failed 50-year major sales tax increase.
Generally I agree with Herald editorials or at least acknowledge they present a rational opinion. That is why I am disappointed with Sunday's editorial ("If downtown declines, more empty parks loom," Page A4).
I want to both criticize and compliment the Herald Editorial Board. In the editorial, "Why condos win out over Arbor Park," the board buys into a false narrative (Page A4, Nov. 17). If you follow the editorial's logic, any park, school or public building that is not occupied 24-7 is a waste. The Alerus Center, Ralph Engelstad Arena and King's Walk Golf Course are unoccupied and unused more than 75 percent of the time. Would the Herald advocate closing down these great assets?