Letter: Romantix editorial calls into question the Forum’s integrity

Paul H. Gleye, a member of the Fargo Downtown Neighborhood Association's board of directors, writes that The Forum stands to benefit if Romantix moves.

We are part of The Trust Project.

The Forum editorial of Nov. 19th says it’s ironic when the city of Fargo opposes the Romantix adult store’s proposed move from NP Avenue to Broadway. The city long wanted to redevelop the blighted block on NP but was thwarted because Romantix refused to move. Now that Romantix wants to move, the city is saying no. The Forum accuses the city of being silly and self-defeating because if Romantix moves, its current block in the heart of downtown becomes prime real estate for the redevelopment that the city has always desired.

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By refusing to grant a permit allowing Romantix to move, the city of Fargo likely is making it more difficult to redevelop the blighted 400 block of NP Avenue, a major downtown eyesore.

But there is a second irony afoot here, which has to do with The Forum writing such an editorial at all. The Forum owns fully half the block where Romantix currently stands. So The Forum is not a disinterested party offering an opinion on what is best for downtown. If Romantix moves, The Forum stands to reap a huge financial windfall when that block is redeveloped.

Publishing such an editorial under the guise of supporting sound public policy places The Forum under suspicion of self-dealing – of using its editorial page to advance the company’s own financial interests. It calls into question The Forum’s commitment to the Trust Project, wherein journalism commits itself to the highest ideals of integrity.

Paul H. Gleye is a member of the Fargo Downtown Neighborhood Association's board of directors.

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

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