Editorial: Governor off to good startThe Press welcomes Gov. Jack Dalrymple to his new seat in Bismarck in what should be a smooth transition.
The Press welcomes Gov. Jack Dalrymple to his new seat in Bismarck in what should be a smooth transition.
About a month ago Dalrymple took time to tour western North Dakota and got more of a feel for what is going on in oil country.
Among his stops was a visit with the local business sector and also with The Press staff. He introduced himself, shared insight and took input.
The challenges of an oil boom were a significant part of the conversation at The Press office. And he likely didn’t just hear it here. Road and housing concerns likely came up from hosts on a number of his visits that day and he will continue to hear about these issues.
His first budget address Wednesday evening imposed no new taxes and has beneficial proposals for oil country — for items that need to be addressed sooner than later.
Dalrymple proposed $958 million toward the state’s 17 oil and gas producing counties, with $371 million from the permanent oil tax trust fund for road improvements. Yes, road improvements.
That’s a good start and beyond that, we urge the new staff and elected officials to look at the big picture. We are in the middle of this oil boom and something needs to be done with more than roads but housing and all that comes along with that — sewers, health care, other infrastructure, water needs, schools and a population influx of who knows how many.
At the same time, there are many other valuable resources that need to be protected. Take a look down the road at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
This massive growth brings many changes and these changes can not be piecemealed. On the flip side, preparations need to be in place in case of — dare we say it — a bust.
The new governor is a straight shooter who is willing to take input, but will also give when needed. He has a keen business sense which has taken not only him and his family, but hundreds, far.
He took over the family farm years ago and in looking for ways to become more profitable he grew the Dakota Growers Pasta Co.
Not only did he become successful, he helped hundreds of families build a $40 million state-of-the-art integrated durum mill and pasta processing plant.
His deep passion for agriculture will only continue to benefit North Dakota.
His business sense, knowledge and passion for agriculture and genuine interest in the well-being of the Peace Garden State are refreshing.
We appreciate his visit to Dickinson to introduce himself and we hope he stays this open and accepting of input throughout his term.
The Editorial Board meets weekly to discuss issues of importance to the community.