I promised my wife that after leaving union politics I would stay on the porch, calm down and “let it go.” Sorry hon. It’s time to call it as I see it.

Let’s start with NAFTA. The concept was envisioned by Ronald Reagan,negotiated by George H.W. Bush, signed into law by Bill Clinton and negotiated by the proceeding Bush and Obama administrations. Under Trump, after all the chest beating fanfare, has it really changed in a meaningful way?

Mayor, you weren’t the only elected official at the meeting with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, who by the way hails from Stillwater, Minn. I had a brief conversation with him and explained that in the early 80s when he was leaving town to begin his career, I left a very depressed Iron Range to start a new job working at a marina in Stillwater.

I didn’t want to leave, but after one trip to the food shelf for a block of government cheese, I had to get out and find something better. Mayor, you talk about the working class suffering significantly when Obama and Biden were in the first term and prosperity in the last part of the second term after steel tariffs were put in place.

Again let’s look at our history.

In Obama’s first term he took the reigns of a country that was absolutely in economic shambles. The Big Three automakers were on the verge of bankruptcy, with GM and Chrysler accepting huge government bailouts and Ford bailing themselves out. Every big industry in this country, including steel, was on the brink of disaster. It took time for the country to recover thanks to the many relief packages the Obama-Biden administration enacted.

Let’s not forget President Bush was at the reigns for two terms prior. As far as “Roaring back” I would say that is far from reality with one mine is still down with approximately 300 on lay-off status and the rest of the mines holding on.

Fact is the steel industry is operating at just over 60 percent capacity. I don’t disagree that fossil fuels will be the source of energy for the foreseeable future as the world transitions to a cleaner-renewable energy source. Coal has fallen out of favor not only because of emissions but also the availability of cheaper natural gas.

Biden is and has been a proponent of fracking, which is the reason for its abundance. The mine I work for has been burning biomass in four of its kilns for at least 25 years as a primary heat source.

Pandemic? How about the president start with the truth. Sounds like a simple concept. Gather the country’s best science and medical professionals, lean heavily on their expertise and keep the country up to date with the latest facts based on their findings.

Crank up domestic production for the needed items the experts have recommended. How about using the Pandemic manual based on what the previous administration had learned from Ebola and SARS outbreaks in other countries.

The truth is a hard pill to swallow at times but it doesn’t require endless corrections and backup truths.

Mayor I don’t remember seeing you at precinct caucuses in all the years that I’ve been attending them. I would think the mayor of a city of our size would spend more time with the affairs of the city such as looking to attract new industry and business, police protection, roads and infrastructure.

Maybe you could give the taxpayers an update on the biomass project in your own backyard that cost the taxpayers millions to build and operate.

I would think Personal politics would take a back seat.


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