This post might seem like an intensely local issue, important only to people who live in Fargo, but as you read this remember the same tactic could be deployed by your local leaders.

Around the 4th of July holiday Fargo Park District executive director Joel Vettel – a well-known face in the community after a long-time tenure with the Fargo Police Department – abruptly left his job.

The park district board has approved a separation agreement which pays Vettel nearly $75,000 in salary through the end of the year, plus roughly $11,400 in benefits if I’m doing my math right based on the figures in this report from Fargo Forum reporter David Olson.

The park board wasn’t exactly forthcoming with the agreement – the Forum had to invoke the state’s very strong open records laws to get a copy of it (it’s at this link) – and part of the agreement is a stipulation that neither Vettel nor the board talk about, well, much of anything.

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