Officials: Some listen, some don’t

Two events covered by Minot Daily News reporter Jill Schramm last week yielded comments that caught our attention.

On Tuesday, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp brought to Minot Michael Botticelli, acting director for the White House Office of Drug Control Policy, to talk about stepped up enforcement efforts in North Dakota. Botticelli also heard from local authorities what the additional needs are.

Lately, all three members of our congressional delegation, and especially Heitkamp, have been serving the state well by getting federal officials away from the noise of Washington, D.C., and bringing them out here so they can witness the oil boom first hand – and listen.

According to Schramm, Botticelli “got the message.”

“We hope to take back what we hear today to continue our efforts,” Botticelli said. “The federal government does best when we listen and understand.”

Who hasn’t been listening became evident at another event covered by our reporter – a regular meeting of the Ward County Commission, where hitting up taxpayers more for the new jail was the center-ring act.

Putting a measure on the ballot in November was discussed but new cost estimates are still being tallied which could delay a vote, perhaps until January.

“Commissioners also indicated that the November election isn’t desirable because voters already have a large number of measures on the ballot to educate themselves on,” Schramm reported.

Right, commissioners, it’s not even Labor Day and our heads are already hurting. So put the vote off to January, if you will, but remember that new property tax bills come out in December. Just sayin’.