LIVE AT 11 a.m.: Companies promise jobs to get government support, but is anyone checking if they follow through? Rob Port and Tony Gehrig discuss

Click to watch Fargo City Commissioner Tony Gehrig discuss what he sees as a lack of effort to check up on economic development claims

Commissioner Tony Gehrig listens to a city staff member during a City Commission meeting July 27 in Fargo City Hall. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

A company or organization wants to start some project with economic development assistance from the government. They make applications to state boards or local governments, and in those applications they make promises.

They'll create jobs, they say. They'll generate tax revenue. And when the tax breaks or subsidies are approved, the politicians doing the approving typically take a victory lap.

But does anyone ever look back to see if the promises made in the process of procuring government largesse are kept?
Fargo City Commissioner Tony Gehrig , an outspoken critic of this approach to economic development, says no. At least not in his community.


He joins this episode of Plain Talk Live to discuss.

All episodes of Plain Talk Live are also available on the Plain Talk podcast , which you can subscribe to by way of your favorite podcasting service.

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Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at .

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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