City Commissioner Candidates Participate in Public Forum
Six of the nine candidates running for City Commissioner participated in Tuesday's public forum
Two seats on the Fargo City Commission will be up for grabs this June. Nine candidates, including Dave Piepkorn and Tony Gehrig who currently hold the position, are running in the election.
Six of those nine candidates running for City Commissioner participated in Tuesday’s public forum. Linda Boyd, Arlette Preston and Lenny Tweeden were the three missing from the meeting.
But for those that were there, they touched on various topics ranging from permanent flood protection plans to diversifying the community, making the downtown area more family-friendly and crime rates throughout the city.
Although each candidate had their own unique opinions, there was one topic many of them seemed concerned about. Affordable Housing.
With property taxes and special assessments on the rise, many people are worried it’s driving families and seniors out of their homes and keeping new people from moving in.
“Obviously special assessments,” candidate Tony Gehrig said. “The two taxes I can talk to the most are specials and property taxes. We’ve been having his discussion for decades. This has been happening since the seventies. In the early 2000’s people finally had enough and now they’re really fed up. They’re actually angry about it.”
“It seems like almost every concerned citizen has brought up to me has been special assessments,” candidate Kelan Oster added. “I spoke with one citizen whose tax bill in a few years went up from $1800 to $6,000 a year. How are we allowing senior citizens to stay in their homes if we’re taxing them like that? How are we encouraging anyone to buy a home in the city of Fargo if we have taxes like that?”
Each candidate was given roughly thirty seconds to answer questions from Mayor Tim Mahoney as well as concerns from community members. The election for city commissioner will be held on June 12th.