Letter to the editor: Council doesn’t have to follow JSDC guidelinesInteresting editorial in the Aug 21 Jamestown Sun regarding Cherry Berry. If I may — why the late coming on board with your editorial? Your comments — “The JSDC, City Council, and Stutsman County Commission should re-think the guidelines they have in place for the Flex Pace program. Limit local participation to businesses that pay a living wage.” Yes, I agree.
By: Clarice Liechty, The Jamestown Sun
Interesting editorial in the Aug 21 Jamestown Sun regarding Cherry Berry. If I may — why the late coming on board with your editorial?
Your comments — “The JSDC, City Council, and Stutsman County Commission should re-think the guidelines they have in place for the Flex Pace program. Limit local participation to businesses that pay a living wage.” Yes, I agree.
The City Council can stop this abuse of our generosity right now. The buck stops with the elected officials — city and county — (and now only the city has left to decide). They have the responsibility to the taxpayers — both sales taxpayers and the property taxpayers as we pay property taxes that are dedicated for “economic development” also.
In addition, Mayor Katie Andersen should recuse herself from voting, as her business received Flex Pace interest buy down on her loan for her business. When I was mayor, I had to recuse myself from the voting of the Flex Pace interest buy down for Buffalo City Diesel. Buffalo City Diesel did not list me as a competitor on its application, and if I remember correctly, it did not even list Crossroads Repair as competition. There was nothing in the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. documentation nor in the Buffalo City Diesel documentation given to the council for me to make any connection with the Crossroads Repair. What was my sin? Reuben (my husband) and I had advanced a private loan to two businessmen who own the Crossroads Repair business. We took their Crossroads Repair building along with six other of their buildings as collateral — and this on a second position. We had no ownership in the business.
What a vicious firestorm by the JSDC and the other council members at the council meeting that turned out to be — resulting in the denial by the council of allowing me to vote. The same denial should hold true for Mayor Andersen.
The council does not have to follow the policy and procedure guidelines of the JSDC. The guidelines are not absolutes. They are not binding to the council. At some point the governing bodies, in this case the council, need to say “What are we doing here? This abuse has got to stop! Legally we may be able to dish out the money, but morally it is wrong!”