With encouragement from around the community, I am running for a position on our city council. One had to be careful going around town because of the COVID-19 situation. I went to every home within our city limits and main entrances of all apartment buildings and left campaign items. I was able to meet many nice people. We social distanced and discussed many things.
I am a graduate of the Mountain Iron schools and went on to earn BS and MS degrees in industrial engineering from Bemidji State University. I have several related licenses and certificates. I retired after 40 years as a high school and adult industrial vocational education instructor.
Some of my community activities include being a long-time member of the Mesabi Humane Society and a 30-year Merritt Days Committee member. I am also a lifetime member of the Virginia Area Historical Society and a part-time instructor at the USW/USS Career Development Center in Mountain Iron.
My previous Mountain Iron city government experience includes 24 years as an elected city councilor. During that entire time, I attended every regular and special meeting. I was also a 15-year city council-appointed Housing and Redevelopment Authority and Economic Development Authority member. I attended every regular and special meeting.
The purpose of city government is to provide essential services and take care of many needs throughout the community. The following are some ways to make things better.
So, we are all informed on what is happening, the city should use local papers and publish all city council and board and commission meeting agendas before any meetings. The channel 7 format on Mediacom, Facebook, and the internet can also be used. Then, citizens would know if something of personal interest will be covered. They could then attend to hear any discussion, ask questions, provide input, or maybe even contact a city official about any concerns they may have. Afterward, the city should publish all meeting minutes.
Mountain Iron has 20-plus neighborhoods. The city council should schedule individual neighborhood meetings to discuss what people like or would want changed in their areas of town.
These are some specific requests that have already been made to me. Construct a pedestrian sidewalk with a curb on the west side of Nichols Avenue (County Road 109) between Nichols Town Hall and Highway 169, have Voss Road (County Road 372) paved for the 16 places along that route. The road width is fine. An asphalt surface is wanted. Erect some sort of information system so people know, two days ahead of time, when Old Highway 169 in Kinross and Parkville Road in Parkville will be closed for Minntac blasting. Then residents can plan alternate routes. Many residents in Westgate would like the ditch drainage system in that area upgraded to catch basins and buried pipes. Citizens want to know the pros and cons of a potential merger of the Mountain Iron and Virginia fire departments.
We can all work together to keep Mountain Iron a great place to live.