Reader’s view: IRRRB needs to look past dependency on miningAt an IRRRB “listening session” in Grand Marais, it was made clear to me that Minnesota politicians have developed a very unhealthy dependency on mining dollars, a relationship fostered by our early mining forefathers.
By: Staci L. Drouillard, Duluth News Tribune
At an IRRRB “listening session” in Grand Marais, it was made clear to me that Minnesota politicians have developed a very unhealthy dependency on mining dollars, a relationship fostered by our early mining forefathers.
Mining money collected by Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation is used as a form of constituent payola by these politicians, it seems to me. They seem to think of mining money as dollars they don’t have to find from other sources of revenue. At the Grand Marais session we were told to basically just take our medicine and be grateful for their money.
Trouble is, Cook County is a tourism-based economy and the IRRRB throws about 1.25 percent of its $20 million budget at what it calls “Cultural Resources and Tourism.”
Gov. Mark Dayton, U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, state Reps. Tom Bakk and David Dill, and even local commissioners all seem complicit in this — and they won’t stop until there’s nothing left but mile-deep sinkholes, a growing list of boomtowns-gone-bust and bright orange water flowing into Lake Superior.
Our elected officials need to please start thinking outside the box to help us break free of our lethal dependency on mining money. Our clean water and 30,000 Northeastern Minnesota tourism jobs are depending on them.
Staci L. Drouillard