Letter: After Fufeng, work to restore integrity
We must look toward how city government and other entities get back into integrity with the public as we are not through the woods yet.
As the Fufeng controversy winds down, at least on the battlefield of City Council meetings, we must look toward how city government and other entities get back into integrity with the public as we are not through the woods yet.
First, the rollback of the annexation must occur. If Fufeng is willing, the rezoning should be wound back as well. Resetting things back to a clean slate is the only morally and ethically acceptable solution to the annexation issue.
Second, members of City Council, the mayor and the Grand Forks Regional Economic Development Corporation must recalibrate their moral and ethical compasses. Stop spinning this to look like a win that they have championed. Everything that has been stated by them – save for Vein and Osowski – can be refuted by readily available evidence, from email traffic to agendas to comments made at meetings, on the radio and in articles.
You messed up. Have the integrity to admit that and take ownership of that failing. Commit to doing the right thing, not the politically beneficial or convenient thing. More than likely, your political careers are through; this being the case your focus should be putting the offices you hold back into integrity with the citizenry.
Third, a housecleaning needs to occur to eliminate conflicts of interest. Council members or the mayor shouldn’t sit on the EDC board. The demonstrated inability to invest fully the necessary time into the issues of the city and exhibited willful ignorance and arrogance towards topics of grave importance during this debacle has proven this. Including the Grand Forks Herald publisher being removed from the EDC should be included in this. The deeper the leadership of the city paper is intertwined with the inner workings of business ventures and city government itself, the more likely the paper is to take on the flavor of a state-run propaganda rag like the China Daily News. And yes, the China Daily News is owned by the CPC and it’s operated by the propaganda wing of the CPC.
Fourth, if you’re going to sit on the council and remain mostly silent and be an ineffectual leader, step down from the council. Be the leaders our community needs or let someone else step up – one who wants to be there and understands the meaning of public service and the sacrifice of time and the commitment necessary to fulfill those duties.