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The Forum, Opinion Section (republished with permission from The Forum)

The bad news is that Cass County Commissioner Darrell Vanyo is no longer on the County Commission after three terms of distinguished service. So much for the wisdom of term limits.

The good news is that Vanyo will retain his spot on the F-M Diversion Authority board, where he has been an effective, intelligent and focused chairman.

Vanyo’s 25 years of public service has included stints as West Fargo city commissioner, a member of the Fargo Dome Authority and a member of the executive committee of the tri-city economic development corporation. He’s done good work for a long time.

But in recent years, he’s been at the helm of what arguably is the most important public works initiative in the region’s history: the diversion project. His steady hand has helped steer the authority through waters made rough by strident, nasty and often uninformed, self-serving opposition to the project. He’s stuck with it – and intends to stick with it – because he understands that only the diversion can guarantee long-term permanent flood protection for Fargo-Moorhead and the metro’s immediate environs.

Vanyo is not one to seek the spotlight. He’s the first to recognize that serving on a public board is not a one-person show. In that regard, Vanyo’s leadership on the Diversion Authority has been complemented by authority members Clay County Commissioner Kevin Campbell (just re-elected), Fargo Commissioner Tim Mahoney, Moorhead Councilwoman Nancy Otto and others who have worked tirelessly to advance the project. They have persevered even as their work has been unfairly criticized, and they have been personally vilified. No one knows that better than Vanyo.

Nonetheless, his style of leadership, which is informed and, when necessary, firm has been pivotal in keeping local sponsors of the vital project on task. Vanyo and the authority are on the right side of history. When completed, the project will stand for decades as an example of the extraordinary work of visionary leaders.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.

Link to original editorial: http://www.inforum.com/opinion/3633587-forum-editorial-diversion-leadership-stays-solid

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