A look ahead...
October 26, 2001 3:30p.m.
November 1, 2001 5:30-7:00 p.m.
November 2, 2001 12-1 p.m.
November 3, 2001 9:00-3 :00 p.m.
November 6, 2001 7 a.m-8 p.m.
November 14, 2001 5:10-6:30 p.m.
December 7, 2001,2001 12-1 p.m.
January 4, 2002 12-1 p.m.
Larry Weil, West Fargo Planning Director for the past eleven years, spoke at the October First Friday meeting about what the community envisions for the coming years. People are moving fast, he said, and must look at what has happened and what is happening.
The population of West Fargo is 14,940. This represents a 21.6% growth in the past ten years. West Fargoans see themselves as a family community. Residences are 60+% owner occupied and 30+% multiple occupancy. There has been a lot of development along 13th Avenue. The 180 single family building permits issued in the past year is almost the same number as the whole Metro area. Multiple occupancy units have"high end" rents of $800-1200. All space is pretty well taken up inside the city limits. In the 1970s many single family permits were issued, however, construction fell in 1979 due to high interest rates. It picked up again in 1993, when the Horace -Sheyenne River diversion project was approved to alleviate flooding.
Some community needs are: different types of single family dwellings, assisted living units, additional access to the community and another interchange. Some issues are the location of new residential development, housing maintenance programs, quality of construction and land uses along Main Avenue and Sheyenne Street. There is an agreement with Fargo as to development west of I-29. The Eagle Run area is in West Fargo.
Question was raised about property taxes for West Acres. Weil pointed out that it is only school taxes that go to West Fargo, the rest go to Fargo. Member Sen. Judy Lee pointed out that West Fargo receives the school tax because many years ago when rural schools in the undeveloped area around the two cities closed, West Fargo agreed to bus the children involved to its schools thereby making the territory part of the the West Fargo school district.
The League of Women Voters values diversity in its members. In principle
and in practice, the League knows no barriers on the basis of age, creed,
disability, gender, national origin, race or sexual orientation, and encourages
full participation in and contribution to the organization by all its
Dr. Carolyn Jefferson Jenkins, President of the LWVUS, said the following:"As a people, we have resolved that we will never allow our democracy be defeated by unseen enemies. Let us also resolve never to allow it to decay from within. Let us strike back at our attackers by demonstrating our national pride, deep patriotism and commitment to civic engagement and participation. Let us show the world that democracy is alive and well in America."
The League has already been busy promoting democracy on a local level this fall participating in the October Naturalization Ceremony at the Federal Courthouse. We continue to work to educate voters by providing candidates' forums during the week of Oct. 22, 2001 before the Moorhead elections in November.
The November First Friday meeting welcomes Dr. Mona Ibrahim who will be speaking about Islam. I hope to see a lot of you there, and please bring a friend. This promises to be a great dialogue.
Dr. Jenkins sums up the importance of our work best:"Americans have responded to terrorists with heroism. We have come together as a country and shown the world that strength lies within. Citizens have dedicated themselves to our nation in significant ways‹standing in line to help those in need through donations of money, blood, food, clothing and medical supplies. There is something else Americans can do for their country. Participate in your government. Let your voice be heard by exercising your right to Vote. Democracy, like the American spirit, cannot be broken by terrorism."
Proud to be an American,
Andrea Sather, President
Statement by Dr. Carolyn Jefferson Jenkins
Last week's tragic and savage attacks on our nation's financial center and government--New York City's World Trade Center and the United States' Pentagon--shocked and sickened America and the entire world community. They forced us as a national community to pause and reflect on our safety, security and on the true strength of our commitment to a unified democracy. The League Women Voters joins our country's elected leaders and the nation in their resolve to defend our country from external attack. As we begin to rebuild and heal our country, we must take care not to ignore or trample the basic civil rights, liberties, freedoms so precious to all Americans. Let us stand together to protect and strengthen the American way of life and our democratic systems of good government that our adversaries would like so much to try to destroy.
As a people we have resolved that we will never allow our democracy to be defeated by unseen enemies. Let us also resolve never to allow it to decay from within. Let us strike back at our attackers by demonstrating our national pride, deep patriotism and commitment to civic engagement and participation. Let us show the world that democracy is alive and well in America.
As Americans head to the polls this fall in communities across the country, many will be keenly aware of the role they play in selecting leaders, the preciousness of their right to vote and the value of an accessible and transparent system. Primary elections in New York City have been rescheduled for Sept. 25 and the LWV will be there helping things to run smoothly at the polling places citywide, through a citizen education phone service and at www. dnet.org., the league's online voter resource for local, state and national elections.
Americans have responded to terrorists with heroism. We have come together as a country and shown the world that strength lies within. Citizens have rededicated themselves to our nation in significant ways--standing in line to give money, blood, food, clothing and medical supplies.
There is something else Americans can do for their country. Participate
in your government. Let your voice be heard by exercising your right to
vote. Democracy, like the American spirit, cannot be broken by terrorism.
Note: Check our the league's local web site--www.lwvnd.org --where dnet.org
can be accessed for bios and positions of candidates in Moorhead's election
and links with political party, city and other sites.
Our hard working State League President and local Treasurer, Suzanne Dobbins, was recently honored by the national League. She was invited to join the national board of directors. Fortunately for North Dakota and our local leagues, she turned the position down. Suzanne was also interviewed by the National Voter for an article on Council 2001 (p.2 League Connections Section, Sept.- Oct. National Voter).
Former LWVRRV President Billi Jo Zielinski and her husband have arrived safely in the USA from Turkmenistan which borders on Afghanistan. Their tour with the Peace Corps has involuntarily ended. Future plans were indefinite at press time.
Vice President Julia Jones, Director of the Dakota Montessori School, is enjoying the school's beautiful new building at 1134 Westrac Drive.
Long time member, Helen Shirey, passed away recently. Helen had been living at Bethany Homes but continued to be a wonderful League supporter. She was at one time a State League officer.
On October 17, the board welcomed Carla Hartje to appointed membership on the board.
Kathy Kvalvog, Finance Chair, explained some of the activities her committee has planned in addition to the annual finance drive for which letters have gone out to former contributors and our own members. In the planning stages are a silent auction and a rummage sale. Planning discussion took place for a symposium to include and follow the First Friday meeting on Election Reform tentatively set for March . We hope to feature representatives from state, local and possibly federal government in a panel.
Local Study Update
Progress is being made on this study of non-elective boards and commissions in Moorhead, Fargo and West Fargo. Lists of these boards and commissions have been obtained along with names and addresses of members. Ways in which members are selected are being investigated.
A survey with cover letter has been completed and will be mailed to the board and commission members the last week in October. Questions addressed in the survey are related to appointment barriers, diversity of mem- bership-- if it does or does not reflect demographics--training of members, efficiency of invested time in the meetings, staffing by city employees, attendance policies etc. The budget for this mailing was approved at the last LWVRRV board meeting.
A face-to-face interview with selected members may follow the written survey. Active members of the committee are:
Other members are being sought to assist with mailing preparation, tallying
of the surveys when returned, and preparation for the interviews. A meeting
to prepare the mailing will take place at the Davies home, 1001 S. 10th
St. on Oct. 26, at 3:30. Interested members are welcome. Attention!!
We are looking for volunteers for a committee to organize our continuing
study of area schools with a focus on planning. If there is no response,
the study will be tabled.
Meet New Board Members
Helen Rudie was elected to the board last spring. Although she retired as director of the Concordia Library Curriculum Center some years back she has been most active in our communities and abroad since. Helen joined the Moorhead League in 1965 after an invitation from a friend. She was able to help with studies of public health and recycling of solid waste by producing audio- visual aids. The league's health study contributed to the placing of public health nurses in Moorhead public schools.
In 1994, Helen traveled to Bratislava in Slovakia to serve as a volunteer mis- sionary librarian at a Lutheran High School. She traveled extensively in Europe and Southeast Asia. After four years in Slovakia, she returned to Moorhead.
Helen is particularly interested in community affairs, the environment and women's issues. She has been active in many organizations notably the American Association of University Women which she once served as Minnesota President and her church. She enjoys sharing slides of her travels and and information about life in Eastern Europe since the fall of communism.
Although long a Moorhead resident, Helen recently moved to the Park East Complex in Fargo.
Women in Action Conference
The Women's Studies Departments of our three colleges in conjunction with LWVMN will hold a conference on November 3 ( see A Look Ahead).
There will be three panels: Women, Politics and the Media featuring Heidi Heitkamp, Merrie Sue Holtan and Robin Huebner; Women on the Inside with Lisa Borgan, Arlette Preston and Cynthia Rothe-Seeger; and Community and Local Activism with Waulene Pennymon, Yok-Sim Gunaratne, and Jill Danielson.
Small informal discussion groups with individual speakers will conclude the event.
Registration is free to college students and $10 for all others. LWVRRV Board Notes
Fargo City Commission
At this time each year the special assessment lists for the coming year are voted on by the commission. Most were approved without protest, but a few resulted in a lot of discussion.
One discussion concerned assessments for tree planting in new developments. Explanations by city staff members seemed to convince the protesting homeowners that all of the lots would end up paying similar amounts in the end, even though the rates appeared to be unfairly distributed at this time. These sorts of protests have come up fairly regularly in the past. The commissioners all mentioned that they think that possibly a different way of paying for tree planting in new developments should be used.
Several much larger assessments, for water mains and sewers in the area around the new Bennett School resulted in lengthy discussions also.
People who purchased new homes in this area are being assessed for an amount that is up to 40% more than the special assessment rate that they were quoted at the time of purchase. The specific reason for the discrepancy in this case was not determined at the meeting, but one cause may be that is very difficult to give an accurate estimate ahead of time when the assessor's office must make many estimates in a short time.
--Carol Sawicki, Observer
Fargo School Board
A large portion of the first October meeting was taken up with discussion of desirable ways to establish communication with the city, West Fargo School District and ND legislators. The discussion was continued from a previous meeting.
This board development process will continue as the time for the updating of the long-range facilities plan nears. It is expected that much engagement with the community will be required to complete the plan.
--Audrey Richmond, Observer
November 6 Moorhead citizens will elect a new mayor and a city council member in each ward. They will also elect three School Board members.
For information on many candidates go to www.dnet.org. This is the first year we have used this League web site for a local election and it is gratifying to see how many candidates have signed on. Candidates write up their own information.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m.‚8 p.m. The polls are the same as used in the general election. The city is in charge of the ballot and anyone needing an absentee ballot should contact City Hall.
JOIN THE LEAGUE!
Support the good work of the League by becoming a member
Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number
and e-mail address.
LWVMN Regional workshop
On Saturday, October 6, Fargo hosted the Fall Regional Training
Workshop for Leaders. Members of the Minnesota LWV board of directors
including President Carol Frisch, members Lee Humphrey, Evon Spangler,
Ellen Mork and Ellen Biales shared methods of organizing and presenting
program and voter
Especially interesting was the explanation of LOTT--Leaders of Today and Tomorrow--an arm of the Minnesota League which encourages young women to become politically active. LOTT is responsible for training the leaders of our own successful student LWV chapter at Concordia College. It is the only program of its kind in the country.
Present at the workshop were leaguers from three states.
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