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State Taking Hit in Slats

March 11, 2016
Roger Bailey, Bismarck , Pierce County Tribune

It seems that at least once each decade rural North Dakota takes a hit in the slats. In recent weeks, that hit to the future has occurred several times.

Job Service North Dakota announced it is closing several rural offices, reducing accessibility to residents -most of whom are unemployed-significantly. Did anyone seek to determine the difference between the savings to be gained by the closures and the increased costs at the primary offices and to the unemployed?

North Dakota Department of Transportation announced it is closing several rural rest areas, suggesting it will save $70,000 each for not mowing and removing refuse. A figure determined, perhaps, by the same geniuses who decided the red "North Dakota" on the new license plates would be undistinguishable from more than 27 inches away. Aren't they proud of North Dakota? Did anyone challenge that savings figure or simply accept the department's news release?

Then came the North Dakota National Guard's decision to close most, if not all, of the rural armories in the state. Did anyone make an attempt to discover how much would be saved and how much the urban locations would gain?

North Dakotans, including rural North Dakotans, are certain to favor efficiencies in government spending. But North Dakota bureaucrats should also know that government is about serving the people, as well. Each of the above actions fail to fit the criteria of serving the public; each will have devastating effects on the economies of the cities and people the departments serve.

What's next? NDDOT will be closing its rural maintenance shops no longer plowing snow except on the Interstate and U.S. Highways linking the state's major cities, depending, instead, on the sun to melt the snow and ice?

North Dakota's rural legislators no longer have the numbers or influence to change the direction of the state and city bureaucrats, and daily newspaper editors and publishers-who have long-largely favored the elimination of rural North Dakota. They, like third-grade children cited in a recent survey, tend to believe food comes from supermarkets.

Canst thou believe it?

Roger Bailey,

Bismarck

 
 

 

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