Lately CBC has conducted a number of on-air interviews with people from the town. And these have been received with mixed reviews by people in the community – some welcome the attention while others see it as a narrow window on a bigger set of issues.
First up was Donald Pharand talking about his quest to get to the bottom of the CAO exit/rehire events. He’s sure that this costly exercise is hinky and to help us clear it up he wants to get some higher level of government to come in and find out. Now if that costs us lots of time, expense and angst it would appear that it’s just too bad for us. But not so much for him seeing as he does not live in the town and therefore will not bear the increased tax burden.
After the revelation, at the May 25 meeting, that council has asked the court to disqualify one of their own CBC had another hot topic to follow up on.
First they talked to Councilor Butler. Of course she defended her position and feels she has done nothing wrong.
Then they talked to our Mayor, Frank Konrad. You can hear that on their SoundCloud archives here: https://soundcloud.com/cbc-daybreak-south/mayor-refuses-to-explain-turmoil-in-grand-forks
For a large part of the interview he fends off questions that he cannot answer with the standard replies: It’s in camera information and I cannot talk about it. But at the end the host gets past the mayor’s filters and our mayor gives his opinion on things. At 7:37 into the interview you can hear him say the following:
It’s destroying the community. That part I can tell you. If this city wants to have any economic development or business growth, boy I tell ya, we’re sure going about it the wrong way. And we just seem to be in the news always about bad things. It doesn’t look good for the city. And, you know, as Mayor I look at it as being really, really sad because I think Grand Forks is a wonderful place to live, we’d like to encourage people to come here and live. Under these circumstances Would you move here? Would you move here under these circumstances with all this controversy? Would you move to a community that has so much controversy? (and he ends the interview with a laugh)
Now I don’t know about you but I’m given to understand that one of the elements of being the Mayor of a place is also being the Face of the place to the outside world. The town’s Biggest Promoter. The primary salesman for the town. In this area of his job performance I give the mayor a big fat F!
These words should never come out of the Mayor’s mouth when he is talking to a media outlet from out of town! There are diplomatic ways to say things but our Mayor appears to lack a sense of diplomacy. Does he care that his words carry a negative connotation to the people and businesses that might have considered relocating to our town? Does he care that he’s helping tarnish our image out there in the world? Does he even realize what he is doing when he says things like this to something like the CBC?
We’ve all heard other politicians talk about controversial subjects that are being fought about in their bailiwicks before. When they are doing the job of the Regime of the Day they are defensive and try to Not say bad things about their town/state. When they are the opposition they do everything they can to point out the bad things and lay them at the feet of those who are in power. The mayor acts like he is the opposition – if that’s so then who is he opposing? Well behind closed doors that might be clear but out here in the public it looks like he’s fighting all of us.
What a strange world we have come to – those who say they are fighting for the town are actually dragging it down.
Shame on you Mr. Mayor. You do our town damage. You set back the clock on efforts to attract people and businesses to our town.