Exclusive: Fargo City Commissioner, Mayoral candidate Arlette Preston continuing focus on housing, communication

Photo by: City of Fargo
Photo by: City of Fargo

(Fargo, ND) -- The race for Fargo's next mayor is winding down, but a current City Commissioner is continuing to push forward with her platform to improve the city if elected.

Arlette Preston, who stopped by WDAY Midday as part of the 'Last Word: Fargo Mayoral candidate series' to talk about her run for mayor in the waning days of the election cycle, says her main focus continues to be tackling the housing issue across the city.

"I keep going back to housing because I think it's an issue that's not only here in Fargo but nationally," said Preston. "We're seeing housing prices jump and wages aren't keeping up with that. Even though we're seeing wages increase a bit, it's just not going up at the same pace." Preston added that being able to focus on the needs of those 'in the middle' when it comes to wages and livability in Fargo is a key part to success of the city moving into the future.

The current City Commissioner also says steps have been taken on another key pillar of her platform, that being bolstering more communication with community members to find out what truly challenges them in today's climate.

"It's just really helpful for someone in an elected position to be able to have that feedback directly," said Commissioner Preston. "I think it also is an opportunity for the public to feel like they're being heard." She added that forums like the one organized on street racing should be more prevalent in the city, and will help continue to address newer issues that pop up and may be 'under the radar' for local leaders.

Preston also touched on the growing discussion over special assessments in the city, and why there may be some confusion as to 'which' kind of assessments are really hurting homeowners and taxpayers in Fargo.

"You've got to have an option that would be a substitute funding source," said Preston when talking about the possibility of ending all assessments in Fargo. "Whether that's a dedicated mill levy, if we re-allocate some of the sales tax revenue that have been taken away from roads and infrastructure." Preston did say that eliminating all special assessments just doesn't appear to be feasible at this juncture in Fargo, but is open to plans and conversations on how to keep certain infrastructure and improvement plans in place.

You can find out more about Arlette's campaign, as well as all your June 2022 election information by clicking here.

Original Air Date: 
Thursday, June 9, 2022