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Letter: City Council should stick to city issues

Pipeline protesters in Duluth in October, 2016. (Photo by Richard Thomas)

I would just like to express my disappointment with the actions of city councilors regarding their discussion of the pipeline protesters and the activities of Polymet.

To spend 15 minutes or a half hour discussing these matters is one thing, but to spend at least four hours discussing matters they cannot regulate is an abdication of responsibility to the citizens and taxpayers of Duluth. Neither the protesters nor those opposing Polymet are going to solve this city’s problems. We have only city staff and duly elected councilors to represent the citizens and taxpayers, to find solutions and to guide this city forward.  

We have serious issues that need to be addressed in this city but they were ignored for four hours. Where is the discussion on how to replace our water distribution infrastructure? Where is any discussion on how to resolve the poor maintenance and ugly sight of foot high weeds of college rentals for which the neighbors and passersby are subjected? Where are discussions with the University of Minnesota Duluth to build more dormitories on all that land between the University and Arrowhead Road, or to let others build dormitories there? When will this city’s streets be brought up to good condition? Who is going to solve these problems, the protesters?  

Many years ago city councilors ignored pressing problems, as witnessed by taxpayers today having to pay for the financing of $39 million of holding tanks because sewer problems were not properly dealt with. All other communities surrounding Duluth resolved those problems over 20 years ago. Is this kind of mismanagement going to continue?  

Let’s hope that councilors have now gotten some of their Utopian ideas out of their system and will now address the issues which only they can solve.

Ted Chura