My initial reaction upon hearing that the North Dakota Tax Commissioner was going to resign due to another incident involving his alcohol problem was much like others: that it was the right thing to do.

On reflection, I hate that it may be the right thing. Ryan Rauschenberger is an exemplary public servant, a man on whom Gov. Doug Burgum and legislators relied for both the impacts and writing of tax policy and bringing new businesses to the state. It is hard to see that Rauschenberger’s resignation is good or helpful to anyone.

Alcoholism is a disease. Some who suffer from it are able to get it under control with relative ease, while most struggle and experience many falls before ultimate success. Some might never succeed.

Rauschenberger has fallen again, but hopefully his current effort to recover will succeed. In the meantime, I hope that Burgum will reject Rauschenberger’s resignation, an action that would be good for the state.

Jim Bond is a resident of Fargo.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.