Letter: Jim Roers has done a lot for this community
Solinger writes in support of Fargo developer Jim Roers following criticism over his failure to build a promised buffer of townhomes as part of a full-block development next to North Dakota State University.
In 2014, I was hired as the executive director for Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead. At the time, our board of trustees was a group of passionate and dedicated community leaders and volunteers that had been working tirelessly for several years to launch this innovative nonprofit to end generational poverty.
Sandra and Jim Roers were passionate supporters of this mission and key leaders in marshalling community support from the get-go. Although Jim did not serve on the board, he played a crucial role in ensuring the apartment building for low-income moms was built, and his team at Roers led the way in completing it.
In 2017, when we built the building, we were fortunate not to be breaking ground after an economic shutdown due to a two year global pandemic. This economic and public health crisis has resulted in supply chain delivery eruptions, sky-rocketing prices for construction materials that fluctuates more than the stock market, and labor shortages due to a lot of people who have died or have long-term COVID and can't work. These are just some of the challenging building conditions every construction company has had to confront.
Why Piepkorn and other members of the Fargo City Commission choose to single Jim Roers out is a head scratcher. Instead of threatening to sue, perhaps a "we're all in the boat together" approach would reassure nervous neighbors, help to move the project along, and send a message of problem solving versus "a good thrashing."
Diane Solinger lives in St. Louis Park, Minn.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.