Posted by: suek2001 | November 4, 2015

A mayor’s legacy….

As most of my loyal readers know, I spent many weekends of my youth coming to Duluth with my family…

I would tell them over and over that I would move here some day…

My Aunt tried to dissuade me..saying “There’s nothing here to make a living for..and people who do live here have a tough life”….

Something drew me here..whether it was a fascination with Lift Bridge or Lake Superior, something drew me here…

Truth is, this is a hard town to call home sometimes…weather-wise, the cold weather and icy hills can break you…and there are few months when grey is the only color you see…yet, there’s hope…there’s a spirit….a “never say die” spirit..a pride that we survive every winter…

My Aunt was right though..at the time I declared my love and desire for residency for Duluth, it didn’t offer a lot…I was blinded by love at the time but years later I would find this amateur video and see how dirty and almost dumpy this town was…right around 1984..

Yet,this is the town I fell in love with….and it got a Mayor that loved Duluth…his name was John Fedo…Now, granted I am not familiar with all of what happened during his term but as a tourist I noticed how the city changed…

Canal Park was cleaned up…a lakewalk was constructed..and the Rose Garden expanded…the city had more flowers and pristine streets…and then other mayors would build upon that legacy…and then the city became a “happening college town”…

The verve of the city became youthful and the city remade itself into an outdoor paradise….

A lot of people would take issue with the way Duluth developed into a tourist town but that is how the city took hold of me…and I know it’s done that for others…

With all this growth, jobs came with it….tech jobs..hospital jobs…and national prestige…

A lot of the growth has happened under Don Ness..our outgoing mayor….

I met Don about 12 years ago…when I first moved to Duluth..He was head of a group called The Bridge Syndicate..a group aimed at keeping young professionals from leaving the city, as was their habit…

He was a great guy..and loaded with charisma. He had a special way of conveying a practicality of what could be done in Duluth…with what should be done…and in his rise through the ranks of City Council, he displayed a love for the city and it’s people that remain unmatched..

Don Ness also personally improved my life here…I had moved to Duluth in 2001..on the hopes of a radio job…and a dream for a life here…the job fell through but I stayed anyway….I knew this was home..but I knew no one..and had no family here…

I went to Bridge Syndicate one night..and was chatting with a great lady and she laughed at one of my jokes….She stared at me, “I know the perfect guy for you”..based on one joke…a few months later, I would meet my best friend through this woman…and essentially through Don Ness…

So, for me…that is his legacy….and I am forever grateful….I wish he decided to run again….but I understand why he won’t..If he ever runs for Governor or President, he has my vote….

They say to make an impact on someone or something is to leave them better than you found it…Don Ness did that in eight years….

Here’s proof..a recent drone tour of Duluth…compare this to the footage from 1984:

Well done, faithful public servant..well done!

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