By Craig Whitney
It’s that time of year. With November’s elections looming, there is no doubt we are in the midst of campaign season, and we’re gearing up for a historic event. Between campaign ads, TV commercials, and advertisements in your mailbox, it’s hard to miss the importance of what will be happening on November 8. Between the presidential election, congressional races and legislative candidates and all the way down to local measures, your ballot is going to be full this election.
I encourage all potential voters to get out and voice their opinion through the act of casting a ballot. Do some research on the issues and reach out to the candidates you could be voting for and get your questions answered. Find out where they stand on issues important to you to make an educated decision.
When it comes to legislative races in Cass and Clay Counties, I invite you to attend our legislative Candidate Cracker Barrel on Tuesday, October 18 at 3:30 p.m. at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead. Candidates from Cass County Districts 16, 22, 44, and 46 have been invited, along with Clay County District 4 candidates. A cracker barrel-style event allows for individuals and candidates to have an informal discussion and interaction on topics rather than a formal debate.
Perhaps the most important question on our local ballots will be the extension of the two sales taxes in Fargo and Cass County that voters overwhelmingly passed in 2009 and 2010, respectively. It’s important to note that these are, in fact, extensions of those votes and not additional tax increases. The measure would only extend the current tax until the Diversion is completed and fully paid for.
The Chamber is a firm supporter of the Fargo- Moorhead Diversion Project, and we urge you to vote “yes” on this extremely important issue. We believe that extending the half-cent sales tax is the fairest way to properly fund a project that is so necessary for our region.
This is no longer about the Diversion but rather the best and fairest way to fund it. Because we can’t outright buy the protection of our citizens, approving this tax and allowing the project to continue protects the best interests of our region and certainly is in the best interest of moving commerce forward in the region.
Let’s get this done for our community, who our children and grandchildren, who in the decades to come, will continue to make Fargo- Moorhead-West Fargo the best community in which to raise tomorrow’s leaders.
* Craig Whitney is the president and CEO of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.