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Your Opinion: Growth plan vital for Fargo

Fargo and Cass County will be voting on June 10 on a measure to levy a sales tax for the purpose of implementing a long-term economic growth plan for our area. This is a very important vote. The long-term viability of Cass County and Fargo is at ...

Fargo and Cass County will be voting on June 10 on a measure to levy a sales tax for the purpose of implementing a long-term economic growth plan for our area. This is a very important vote. The long-term viability of Cass County and Fargo is at stake.

As a former member of the Economic Development Corp. and having served 32 years on the Fargo City Commission, I am deeply concerned about the future of Fargo and Cass County.

Our current economic condition is the result of hard work, good ideas and sound policy over the past 15 years. But the one thing I have learned is that you can never rest on your laurels. If you stand still, you lose ground.

Fargo and Cass County have prospered, so far, because of the quality of our workers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, public leaders and our excellent education system. But the world around us is not standing still. The successful ideas of yesterday and today do not guarantee success in the future.

The EDC has developed an innovative growth plan for Fargo and Cass County to continue to prosper and grow and to provide the opportunities for our young people to have successful careers right here. That will mean new families, new jobs and new growth for Fargo and Cass County.

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One other thing I have learned and have practiced is that progress always comes at a price. There is no free lunch. For our future, the price will be a half-cent sales tax for the next dozen years. That investment will be returned, multiple times, as Fargo and Cass County are able to successfully compete to bring new companies here from around the world.

Those new companies and the expansion of local companies will keep our young people here. It will also provide the growth necessary to generate the public funds needed for our community. And the spin-off from the primary sector growth will result in more service and other jobs, thus helping other workers and businesses.

As a Fargo city commissioner, I had the reputation of being a guardian of the taxpayers' money. As has been said many times, it is not the city or the county's money. It is our money. So I have been and still am very reluctant to support any tax increase. If I did not believe this was absolutely necessary for our community, I would not support it. I believe my record backs this up.

I sincerely believe that we must keep Fargo and Cass County moving forward. We must attract the high-tech and high-quality companies and retain our current world-class companies. And we certainly can do this. We have a wonderful education system, the best work force in the nation and outstanding entrepreneurs and planners. They can compete with any city or community in the world. But they need the tools to get the job done.

We can give them the tools to grow our community and provide a prosperous and exciting future for Fargo and Cass County. My wife, Doris, and I are going to vote yes on June 10. Please join us in voting yes to progress and yes to the future of Fargo and Cass County.

Bromenschenkel is a former Fargo city commissioner

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