Et Cetera …

Mall makes comeback

We congratulate Five Lakes Centre (the mall) in Fairmont for seemingly doing the impossible, namely enjoying a rebirth. The mall is almost entirely full these days and apparently thriving under the new ownership of Security National Properties.

Longtime tenants appreciate their newer neighbors, which include a hardware store, two restaurants and a shoe store. Overall, the mall includes a mix of major retailers, like JCPenney and Dunhams, smaller shops and government offices, such as the post office and Social Security office. We wish them all continued success together.

Mayor inspires others

We add our kudos to Fairmont Mayor Randy Quiring who is back to promoting his hometown and working to ensure its future success. The mayor also has a compelling personal story that is inspiring to others.

Quiring is recovering from ocular melanoma that resulted in the removal of one of his eyes. That is an incredibly harsh thing for anyone to face. His response? To be positive and rely on his family and faith, all to be a stronger, better person.

Life has hard lessons for all of us. What we do with those circumstances directs our future course, for good or bad. Quiring shows us that we can choose to live in a way that disdains bitterness and self-pity.

Those who benefit pay

We can sympathize with Fairmont property owners who say they live in a rundown area and should not have to face full assessments for street repairs. We’re not sure how far our sympathy extends, though.

Several citizens appeared before the City Council this week to object to their assessments. They say major street and utility improvements along North Elm Street are not likely to raise low property values, but will hurt low-income taxpayers.

There is a court process for residents to follow to seek relief from assessments. They certainly should do so. But it is also true that without the street and utility work, the value of the neighborhood would be far lower. The city’s assessment system includes having those who directly benefit from fixups pay a portion of the bill. That seems fair.