Looking back, I’ve always had an interest in local government, and I have a passion to get involved. My first experience with Special Assessments came when my wife and I were in the process of purchasing a home. We were also looking at building, but we were finding that special assessments were limiting what we could do with our budget. I wanted to learn more about specials, and about the process. I felt there could be room for improvement. I saw the opportunity to apply to the Special Assessment Committee and I was appointed in 2018.
The first series of assessments I participated in were an interesting bunch. A mix of new development projects, road improvements and sewer/drainage improvements. Throughout that whole process I learned a lot. I wanted to learn more, so I started attending Planning & Zoning and City Commission meetings. I wanted to get better understanding of the projects, from start to finish, see how they changed over time, and get more information on the projects prior to them going to the Special Assessment Committee so I could make better decisions. I really enjoyed listening to what Residents had to say about the projects as well. I feel that that input is a very valuable piece of information that needs to be utilized more.
Going through this campaign, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a lot of Residents, which I really enjoyed. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a couple Residents from an area that was assessed in 2018. I learned that there was some additional information that was available but wasn’t shared with either the SAC or the City Commission at the time of the assessment. Had that information been made available, I know that I would have made a different decision.
It is very important to have as much information as possible. One thing that I am committing to as Commissioner, is to make sure I have as much information as possible to make decisions, which includes Resident feedback/input.
All in all, special assessments aren’t fun. Prior to my decision to run for Commissioner I saw a need for improvement in the process and special assessments in general. I have been in contact with our state representatives about specials and what can be done at that level. As a West Fargo City Commissioner, I feel like I can make an even greater impact to this process with the goal to see a fairer process and to seek out alternate funding sources.
I’d love to talk with you in person regarding this, or any other topic that is important to you, but in this time of social distancing the easiest way to reach me is through the contact page on my website (https://www.robenanderson.com/contact/), e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/anderson4wf)