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Letter: Attacks against Commissioner Piepkorn are unwarranted

In response to Jack Zaleski's column, "Commissioners have damaged the city of Fargo," published Dec. 10:

In reading the paper Dec. 10m I see more derogatory comments on certain city commissioners, again. First off, we need to remember that these are elected positions. We voted them into these positions of authority to represent our interests in the city.

When I look back over the last couple years I pretty much see one commissioner who seems to be the primary target of these unjustified attacks—Dave Piepkorn. I have known Mr. Piepkorn since we met at the lakes in the 1970s. I was his neighbor and I always thought if Dave as a very well-grounded individual. When Dave came into public office many years later I was again very happy for him and for the citizens of Fargo for having a responsible voice speaking for us. At this time I had been the owner of my own computer company based in Fargo with multiple offices employing around 75 people. With the responsibility of this company, it helped knowing that Dave Piepkorn was watching for our interests within the city.

There are many challenges and decisions to be made that affect every employee within my company. There was one point where we covered not only the employees health insurance. but also that for their entire family. We did this because our employees meant everything to our company and it was a way of saying thanks. Years later, because of the changing business environment, the stock market crash of 2000, etc., and pouring over financials records and forecasts, we deemed the safe thing to do was to change our insurance policy. It cost the employee more to cover their family, we offered this plan is as painless a way as possible to our employees.

One of the things I have heard repeatedly is Dave's "hatred and war against immigrants and refugees." Why is this being said? Is it because Dave wants us to know what the cost of our generosity really is? In reviewing my company's health insurance, I looked at every cost involved. Does this mean I hate my employees and am using this to wage war against them? No. I do not have a company without those employees. Never have I heard Piepkorn say we should be cutting the provided benefits to these folks. Just because one of our elected representatives speaking on our behalf would like to know what some actual numbers are does not make him Adolf Hitler, for goodness sake.

If you don't care enough to want to know where your tax dollars are going, that's your problem. Just because I do want to know these numbers does not give you one right to question, demean and make very nasty innuendos towards me.

I do not deserve that, and neither does Commissioner Piepkorn!

Kostman lives in Horace, N.D.

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