Readers Write (Jan. 23): Development, Gail Dorfman, transit options, airport gambling, Edward Snowden

  • Updated: January 23, 2014 - 12:36 AM

Aesthetics are open to interpretation in Dinkytown projects, but quality is not.

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DEVELOPMENT

Responses to letters on Dinkytown, Lakeview

A Jan. 22 letter criticizing Doran Companies’ student housing properties in Dinkytown, while fair in one respect, was terribly uninformed in another. We respect the right of observers to debate the artistic or aesthetic value of the exterior designs of our properties. However, to refer to the materials used as “penny-pinching” is unfair. Materials such as metal, brick, glass, stone and fiber cement come in many different styles and levels of quality. But just as important as the lasting quality of the material is a commitment to its maintenance. Indeed, unlike with many of the student housing properties near the University of Minnesota, we are a local company that develops, constructs, and continues to own and manage our buildings with an understanding that we have an obligation to ongoing maintenance, not only to keep our buildings fresh, but also to keep them structurally sound.

KELLY DORAN, Bloomington

The writer is the founder of Doran Companies.

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Referring to the Jan. 20 Letter of the Day stating that new homes built on the Lakeview golf site in Orono will not sell at million-dollar prices, one of the writer’s reasons was their location in the Westonka School District. Those of us living in this district point with pride to our schools’ accomplishments. The 2013 test scores were among the state’s best.

Grades four and five were No. 1 in the state in both reading and math.

New owners would be privileged to enroll their children in the Westonka schools.

PHYLLIS JESSEN, Mound

GAIL DORFMAN

Nothing inappropriate about early departure

Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman isn’t doing a bad thing by retiring 10 months earlier than she would have if she had completed her term (Letter of the Day, Jan. 22). If she had waited longer, the seat could have been vacant for up to six months, similar to when two other commissioners left early. This way, it will be vacant for three months, and the special election will provide a good opportunity to debate issues such as the light-rail controversy.

Also, Dorfman certainly is not leaving for a higher-paying job. Her salary as executive director of St. Stephen’s Human Services will go up only $3,000 from her commissioner’s salary, to $105,000. She probably could have gotten a CEO job at one of the nonprofits with the unconscionable salaries reported in December by the Star Tribune.

GARY FARLAND, Minneapolis

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