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Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
February 7, 2018     Walsh County Press
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February 7, 2018

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OMMUNITY "THE WALSH COUNTY PRESS WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2018 Page 5 Higher education in the interim By Gary Paur more of a minor expense rolled into the tuition ing a performance audit for later in the year Rep. District 19 bill for the students. In 1999 the federal gov- to look at the fee system and hopefully pro- BISMARCK, N.D. -- Between legislative emment began requiring that fees and tuition vide us with some accurate numbers. Accu- sessions, what we call the "interim," legisla- be reported separately to the U.S. Department rate numbers are essential if one is to make tom still do some work. We are usually on two of Education. There has been pressure on uni- good policy decisions and they seem hard to committees which study issues that the leg- versifies to keep tuition increases to a minimum find. islature does not have time for during the reg- so they have been using separate fees as a Whether this process ends in some leg- ular 80 day session. One of the committees that means to circumvent the restrictions, a com- islative action is, of course, unknown but just I sit on is the Higher Education Committee mon practice nationwide. Students are charged in investigating the issue it appears that much where we look at topics concerning our uni- fees such as: student activities, athletics, good has been done. I have worked with the wellness centers, building maintenance, and new Chief Financial Officer of the Universi- versity (college) system. The university sys- technology among others. Some of these ty System and she has changed several of their tem is constitutionally independent and is of- fees are voted on by students and many are not. practices. This will undoubtedly help, and in ten considered a 4th branch of government. All these rising fees, in addition to a rising itself has made my efforts worthwhile. They are, however, still subject to our laws and tuition, often place a financial hardship on par- The universities have a lot of autonomy and reliant on the legislature for approval of their ents and students working to pay for college, tend to keep their business close to their vests. budget and a considerable portion of their fund- The struggle to determine how much the fees This often makes it hard to see trends and pro- ing. The legislature naturally has an interest have risen in the last several years became not tect the interests of the taxpayers and the stu- in how the money is spent and managed, only a challenge for me but in the end prob- dents, but hard or not we keep digging some- One issue which I have been investigating lematic. It soon became apparent that hard body has to. is the mandatory fees charged students by the numbers were impossible to attain as various Editor Note: Paur is a Representative for universities. Until several years ago, fees sources provided various results and I turned District 19 in the North Dakota House of Rep- were not much of an issue because fees were to the State Auditor for help. He is schedul- resentatives. Tomorrow's Leaders, of the State By Chuck Damschen son, has been embraced by the ND sented to our committees over the der. And of course, none of the Rep. District10 DPI and hopefully will be offered years, we don't seem to be much changes the Govemor or any of us BISMARCK, N.D. -- I was often in the future, closer to a solution. But, some envision, are likely to happen very pleased last Session when The interim Human Serviceslight has been shed, and my per- ovemight. It will be interesting to Dawson Schetter, who initiated the Committee met on Jan. 4, 2018, sonal observation has been that the see how his approach to govem- "'Tomorrow's Leaders Today" at the capitol. The new director of tendency of our society to desta- ment succeeds. program, invited the District 10 the Department is still adjusting, b'dize the family unit is a large con- It is encouraging to see crude Legislators to participate in a it seems, as he also seems to be at- tributor to the problem. It's inter- oil markets rising somewhat and phase of the program. We would tempting to revamp the Depart- esting ho; often indicators of this maybe even stabilizing at some- ment under instruction of the surface in the discussion. I get a what higher prices. Remember meet with the group of high school students and simulate the Governor. I have felt for some bitwolTied when so manythings thata fairly small percentage of oil bill hearing process that takes time that some changes should be that aren't understood get thrown revenue goes into the state's gen- place in the Legislature, to the ex- possible in the Human Services into a category that becomes the eral fund. The real benefit for Department. However, I'm not so latest catch-all. I feel this is hap- ND's budget when oil booms is tent possible, sure it's the best plan to make ma- pening to some extent with "be- the increased personal income The meeting was at the Lang- jor changes while you're still get- havioral health." and spending by those employed don Research Center where Rep. ting oriented to a very complex de- I traveled to Minot for the in the industry This generates sales Monson and I, along with ND DPI partment that deals with a ton of Governor's State of the State Ad- tax, auto excme tax, etc. director Kirsten Baesler, greeted state and federal regulations. It is dress. He gave a very thorough re- Please continue to stay in touch a great group of students from sev- a monumental task that takes port and outlined much of his fu- by telephone or email. I always ap- eral District 10 schools. We had a more time and experience to ad- rare plan for the state. We all are preciate hearing from you all. great time and the kids got a dress than one person can dedi- aware of his success and confi- Until next time Rep. Chuck hands-on experience of how pro- cate. dence in technology as well as its Damschen posed legislation is screened by The committee is still dealing benefits. Of course, it's important Editor "s Note: Damschen is a legislative committees, Inciderl- with,the,behavi0ral,health issue, to have things to apply that tech- Representative for District 10 in tally, the ' tomorrow's Leaders To- for about the fourth interim. Of all nology to. I still think some mod- the North Dakota House of Rep- day" program, designed by Daw- the information we have had pre- eration and diversification is in or- resentatives. GRAFTON, N.D. -- In Regards to Walsh County Water Resource District, Walsh Coun- ty Drain #87: Public hearings have been held, ballots dis- tributed and returned, counts taken and results announced concerting the fate of the propos- al to construct the drain. Proponents argue that since this is not a bond issue, a simple majority, not 60% majority is sufficient to pass the is- sue. The issue did get a slim majority and was declared passed. This very expensive project and the recently issued tax statements bear tes- timony to the cost. Individuals have had thousands of dollars unwillingly assessed against their property. Grappling with how to. pay for this has now taken front and center stage among those being assessed. The have been informed that challenges to the project have been dealt with and attorneys have vet- ted the project, so it is a waste of time and mon- ey to far to oppose it! However- the project seems to have defied the laws for conducting elections as specified in the North Dakota Cen- tury Code of Laws. Laws goveming elections are set forth in the Century Code 2015 re- placement annotated Century Code Volume 3- C. Perhaps the opinions being started by the governing body are flawed! Page 76, Section 16-1-07-12 details the proper procedure for opening and counting ballots, voting or re- jecting ballots, and preserving ballots. The law says that collected ballots are not to be opened and counted until the voting is over. Theproblem seems to be that before the vot- ing was over, some proponents of the project had found out how certain individuals voted, had visited them and had pressured them to change their vote! This may or may not have affected the result, but many believe it was bla- tant tampering with the election process. No information has been given that any opponent of the project got access to ballots, visited af- fected people or attempted to get them to change their vote. This access to ballots be.fore the voting period was over may have unfair- ly affected the vote. Whether or not the vote was tilted in favor of those proponents of the project is immaterial. The concern of the le- gal community should be to respect the law and not try to circumvent it. The information procedure which many feel was done illegally. He suggested we go to the water board with the problem. We believe such flawed election process should invalidate the election. Perhaps another vote, done correctly, would be the cor- rect way to resolve the issue. This issue de- serves to be brought to public view via the me- dia, so we will be making efforts to do so. The office of the county States Attorney has also been made aware of the law's expectation con- ceming their role in the controversy. They are clearly expected to prosecute. We hope to con- tain the controversy to the county level, but we are prepared to escalate it into a state level by putting it before the Office of Secretary of State, A1 Jaeger. Another concern, not addressed, is the ef- fect of more water coming into the Park Riv- er east of Grafton. Downstream flooding is more likely and back u/9 flooding of the golf course and Grafton could occur. Of course the cost of this project is caus- ing may affected people to want to scrap the project. Also the method of allocating votes is bewildering and seems to be flawed. This project seems to raise the stakes, but does not provide assurance of solution. Taxed of around $25 per acre for the next 20 years is Election Day. How could it be known how an individual voted? Votes were not to be opened. We believe it is the duty of the county States Attomey to prosecute this wrong doing. Sec- tion 11-10-01 "Duties of the States Attorney, # 1 The States Attomey, is the public prosecutor and shall attend the district court and conduct on behalf of the state all prosecutors for pub- lic offenses." We believe that allowing votes to make public before the voting is complet- ed and allowing individuals to be pressured to change their vote is blatantly illegal and the Water Board needs to disavow such behavior. North Dakota Century Code Volume. 3-6 page 116 states, "Any person who intentionally vi- olates a provision of this chapter is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, and that appointment, nomination, election or as the case may be must be declared void! Perhaps the county au- ditor did not adequately provide information, nevertheless, the outcome achieved, as it was, is by law void. The fact that ballots were not kept locked in the ballot box nullifies all subsequent results. Again- Volume 3-C page 165 "While the polls remain open, the ballot box must remain locked.'" The opponents of this appalling miscarriage of justice did not become aware of the mis- an exceedingly grim prospect for affected deeds all at once. Time has gone by, but the landowners. After again reading and studying the North Dakota Century Code, Century Code laws gov- erning this issue we are here to ask you to scrap this project or have another vote on it done in strict accordance of the laws governing the vote and subsequent handling of ballots. This may seem to be an unheard of wild request but be- fore tuming it down, carefully consider the fol- lowing: Tampering with the election process: Pro- ponents of the project required information on how individuals voted before the voting was completed. Then they "visited" or "tele- phoned" no voters to pressure them to change their vote. Votes were changed. The secretary at the water board indicated that it was correctly put in writing and a record now should show that this was done. How this was done can eas- ily be accessed by subpoena and under oath questioning to get the necessary details. Vol- wrong remains. It is not too late to rectify this, even though the time suggested for correction has gone by, it is never too late to right a wrong. Page 397, 61-16-1-70 Water board Re- sponsibilities- Encourages landowners to re- tain water on the land to maximum extent pos- sible and share with downstream land own- ers the responsibilities for proper management. Increased amounts of water will come into the Park River, just east of Grafton from this proj- ect. Do the people downstream realize what is being sent their way? Has a study been made concerning benefits vs. adverse effects? Do the individuals being assessed realize that there can be foreclosure on their property for failure to pay the assessment? Have maintenance needs and costs been adequately addressed? Very likely silting will clot the drain within ten or more years from its completion. The expense involved with this drain will be ongoing and perhaps it has not been properly aired to the at what happened down in Sargent and the drift occurred. Remember, and Richland Counties last year you can do everything according with all the drift issues and that is the label and if everything works basically corn and soybean coun- right you can still get drift. I have try. I can't imagine what would seen it more than once. If you are have happened to our pinto bean going to use this technology get as crop if that had occurred here. educated as possible about it. This These producers applied according L is one case where ignorance can to the label as near as I can figure have a huge price. Veterans Affairs. these products hearing aids or Or, if your husband is a claim that they help heating. But Medicare recipient, about half of all these devices are very effective for Medicare Advantage plans offer at people with mild to moderate hear- least partial coverage or discounts ing impairment, and typically cost on hearing exams and devices. So, between $350 gnd $450 each. To be sure you check your husband's find a wide variety of PSAPs see as- insurance coverage to see if it of- sistive listening sites like Harris fers any type of hearing aid bene- Communications (Har- fit., or call 866-476- 9579). Shop Around To help you save money, con- sider shopping at Costco, which of- fers no-cost screenings at certain lo- cations, as well as very competitive prices. Hearing aids there range be- tween $500 and $1,500 each. You can also shop online at websites like and Audi-, which can save you up to $2,000 per pair. Then visit a local specialist to make any necessary ad- justments. Another option worth a look is over-the-counter personal sound amplification products (or PSAPs). Unlike hearing aids, the Food and Drug Administration does not reg- ulate PSAPs. And PSAP manu- facturers are not allowed to call Look For Assistance If your income is low, there is a number of national, state and in- dependent groups that can help you pay for hearing aids or offer dis- counts. To find them, visit the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association website at fundingresources. Or, call the Na- tional Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at 800-241-1044, and ask them to mail you their list of financial re- sources for hearing aids. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O Box5443, Normar~ OK 73070, or visit Savvy- Seniororg. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of "The Savvy Senior" book Saturday February 24th Registration starts at 1:00 PM Fishing from 1:30-2:30 PM Location Homme Dam Parks Recreation ALL CHILDREN RECEIVE A PRIZE!!!! Children 12 and under are free Come and enjoy a fun filled afternoon of ice fishing with the Parks and Recs Department. Holes will be predrilled. alleyes WALSH COUNTY- BLADE OPERATOR - PARK RIVER, ND LOCATION The Walsh County Highway Department will be accepting applications until the position i$ filled, for a blade opera- tor position, available in the Walsh County Highway De- partment, Park River, North Dakota. The position is under supervision of the Highway Superin- tendent, is responsible for performing general labor-type duties, hand and power tool operation, and advanced level truck and equipment operation on various road and bridge projects. Main responsibility is to operate motor grader to maintain gravel roads in safe condition. Must also be able to plow snow with motor grader or truck. Experience in road maintenance activities desired. Applicant must have a Class A driver's license and have background knowledge of the general maintenance of trucks and equipment. Re- quires a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED), a valid driver's license with no serious traf- fic violations, misdemeanors and/or felony convictions, two (2) or more years of experience in the operation of various types of heavy equipment, truck driving and maintenance duties of highway and road projects preferred. Must live within an approximate 30-minute response time to the Park River shop. Preference will be given to individuals living in Walsh County. Individual will report directly to Park River shop. Starting salary for the position is dependent on experience. Walsh County offers a full benefit package with health in- surance, retirement, life insurance, vacation time, sick time, holiday time and other miscellaneous benefits. Walsh County Highway Department employees are subject to ran- dom drug and alcohol screens. Successful applicant candi- dates must successfully complete a standard background and a criminal record check along with an alcohol and con- trolled substance test. Costs associates with these exams expressed here will be widely disseminated and ume 2-C Century Criminal Code deals with ones who will be suck with the cost of it. will be paid for by the County.r many will be watching to see how the legal es- consequences (penalties) for bribes on deals Corrupt practices includes electioneering Th, i,-,h minimum nu lifin tinn additinnal tablishment responds to it. Many believe made to secure and change from a no to a yes within the boundary ofan open polling loca- y%L.ff. X s' is a'Ad'"a6iiii[es that this flawed procedure should result in in- vote. Several times, correct handling of bal- tion. This also was done and is another reason validation of the election before further funds lots is set forth in the century code. One in- to void this vote. We would again ask the Wa- i vvlr l e are sunk into it. Whatever the final result is, dividual reported being telephoned six timebe- ter Board onbehalfofall theno votersto scrap J it requires that arriving at it must be done in ing asked to change his vote to yesl Perhaps this flawed idea before even more tax mon- J . " " "" "" " "" " "- Iti" " "r "to a o, vu,y uuu , accordance watla tlae law, wntcla we believe was me ctearest atrecnve concerning vote nanatmg ey put into s going to De to cea P Y J o,ND I -,-, " " - - " xec t- K,A/O.I LKJI I, A representative of the waish lt cieany states mat votes trom cast Wanots may ect, very exp P 'J r, "" '" "" E I = r I States Attomey's Office has been approached not be tallied and the tabulation reports may -Submitted by dohn Russum and Gary I uu y I of the controversy conceming the voting not be generated until polls have closed on Hove, Grafton, N.D.