Wednesday, April 06, 2011 By Aaron Brown
- The Iron Range region, in accordance with Duluth and other nearby towns, needs to rejigger its approach to economic and community development.
- Whatever we don't do for ourselves will be done for us, less appealingly, by the legislature and other interests that do not and will not understand Iron Range history, culture or status quo politics. If the Johnson economic fund isn't raided this year, it will be next year or the year after.
I mentioned last night that regardless of your political stripe, and I know readers here run the gamut of ideologies, we share an enemy here on the Iron Range. As unique as we are, other places share the same enemy. That enemy is mediocrity. Mediocrity thrives when we wait for big talkers to fix our own problems for us. Whether those big talkers are big business developers or federal politicians, their ability to help us is fundamentally limited. The city of Duluth is doing better than it has in decades because of small, self-starting ideas and initiatives. The city of the Iron Range -- and we are a small city, similar in size to Duluth, stretched out over a long iron formation separated only by trees and tired attitudes -- must also generate and support new ideas. The change will start with a feeling, and will be followed by results.
From his comments last night, I can sense Commissioner Tony Sertich of the IRRRB knows that big things must happen soon. Legislators in St. Paul know they can't hold the line for much longer. This is a major moment in Range history. We must not waste our last, best chance. I predict a major push to fix our declining school systems and pour remaining resources into local development is on the way. I intend to strongly support such a plan.
I'll have more on the forum later. Off to work...