Tony Gehrig: Who Knows Best For Your Kids, You Or The Fargo City Commission?


As a candidate for Fargo Commissioner, I have made defining the role of local government a focal point in my campaign.

It has been my contention that our Commissioners have lost sight of their role, and ventured off into areas they have no business in. Usually, the issues I stress are mainly cost related. However, the newest proposal regarding your children and the intrusion of local officials illustrates that overreach is not limited to wildly spending your money.

The Fargo Commission is in the process of making it law that your child will have one hour of physical activity each day when at your chosen daycare.

I am a parent. My son Jackson is 16 months old. My wife and I moved him from one daycare to another because we didn’t like some ways that daycare was run.

As reported by the Forum, Grant Larson, director of environmental health for Fargo Cass Public Health, said that a majority of daycares in Fargo do provide enough physical activity but it is going unrecorded. I say that is absurd.

Every day when I pick up my son my provider tells me all about his day. His activity is reported to me directly. Must we really mandate that we report this to our local government? They are not the authority on my child’s wellbeing, his mother and I are.

As a parent you are responsible for your child’s development, not some elected official. If your daycare isn’t performing, use the free market solution…fire them. If enough parents are paying attention then that daycare will be replaced with a better one.

Predictably, and as if the Commission could sense the criticism from the fiscally responsible crowd coming, they claimed it will be cost neutral. But as anyone can see, these decisions made by our Commission don’t come without a price tag.

Did anyone bother to ask, who will set these new standards? Who will enforce if the standards aren’t met? Who will define “physical activity”? Who will answer the phone when a provider has questions? How will they report? How often? And so many more questions. And for all those questions it will cost the city money and it will cost the daycare money. Who pays both of those bills? We do.

Fargo, we need a voice on the Commission that will challenge the current ideology that our local government knows better than you, and can fix all if enough is spent. On June 10th, I am that candidate.