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Community needs to be vigilant if another project

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It seems to me that one of the biggest problems with the United States nowadays is the lack of good leaders. Most seem to follow their own agenda or the agendas of those who have gotten them elected through money, power or influence. They appear to believe that what's good for them is best for everybody. I think we are seeing this fact locally with the building of the event center.

Construction of the event center has begun with many costs and little hope of making a profit for a long time to come. The city sales tax is meant to pay for this; if not enough, it is my understanding that property owners countywide could be taxed to provide additional funds. If this happens, I feel property owners living outside the city limits will be getting taxed without representation since they weren't allowed to vote on the 30-year sales tax extension and original approval of the event center idea. Isn't this one of the reasons why early American fought the Revolutionary War?

I think Beltrami County voters will need to be vigilant when future projects are proposed as to whether they will benefit a majority of the people or those truly in need and not special interests. For one of the poorest areas of the state, with many pressing needs, our local officials must feel that everyone living here has deep pockets; at least deep enough to pay for what they want!

Mark Thompson

Bemidji

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Bemidji Regional Event Center is a city of Bemidji obligation. Beltrami County property taxpayers are not financially responsible for the event center. The sales tax, to pay for construction cost, is levied on any shopper in Bemidji, from any county, state or country. State law prohibits a vote on the tax other than city citizens, who voted in favor.

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