Letter to the editor: Ongoing issues won’t help grow business hereThe original editorial in Friday’s Sun (Feb. 1) is a welcome contribution to what for some time has left many citizens wondering why our county commissioners and City Council are considering withdrawal of Stutsman County and Jamestown membership from the South Central Dakota Regional Council.
By: By Ben Gums, Jamestown, The Jamestown Sun
The original editorial in Friday’s Sun (Feb. 1) is a welcome contribution to what for some time has left many citizens wondering why our county commissioners and City Council are considering withdrawal of Stutsman County and Jamestown membership from the South Central Dakota Regional Council. An editorial so articulate and rich in relevant information along with well-reasoned editorial positions is a feat of journalistic leadership that should alleviate a problem that ought not to have come up.
North Dakota is flourishing dramatically to the west, north and east of our nine-county enclave while the south central region is at best holding its own economically and in population growth. The first news reports on this provocation attributed it to a recommendation from the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. board, which quickly withdrew it — one may assume at the first hint of public dismay. Jim Boyd was president of JSDC when I asked him about its origin and authority. He told me it is a non-governmental civic agency which has a contractual understanding with the City Council and the County Commission to give leadership to establishing business and industry activities and in helping the city and the county to grow. In which case, prompt withdrawal of their recommendation was well-advised, to say the least.
If North Dakota is “The Luckiest Place on Earth” as The New York Times Sunday magazine trumpeted on its cover last week, there can be a bright future for this region. Realizing that requires us to show our neighbors, our state and the rest of the nation that we are eager to cooperate with the whole world. The ongoing feud between the City Council and the Stutsman County Rural Water Board, the seemingly arbitrary City Council decision to withhold tax money funding from the Buffalo City Tourism Foundation, merging the county and city libraries (which has gone on so long the public seems to be losing interest) are some of the current unpleasantries that along with the SCRDC imbroglio will discourage business and industry from considering locating in Jamestown. Who’s in charge here?
And one more question: Whatever became of “North Dakota nice”?