Mining digs at Superior Days unityAfter almost three decades, the citizen-lobbying group “Superior Days” says it’s going to have to change to survive.
By: By Mike Simonson/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
After almost three decades, the citizen-lobbying group “Superior Days” says it’s going to have to change to survive.
There was wide spread disagreement during the trip to Madison last month because iron ore mining was on its agenda.
Douglas County Board Chairman Doug Finn’s been on all 28 of the annual Superior Days trips, and he thought the mining issue belonged on the agenda. But he says people were divided, and Superior Days is about unity.
“In Ashland, there was some division between elected people and some of the economic development people. Why should we mention mining? Should we re-look at the process? I think we should,” Finn said.
Ashland City Councilor Kelly Westlund didn’t register as a Superior Days delegate because of the mining issue.
“It was never my intention to damage the reputation of Superior Days,” Westlund said. “When I said it’s the gold standard, I really mean that. It’s so important for every citizen to engage their government and this is a good opportunity to do that. But one of the things I’d like to see is when that final language, before it goes through, before it goes to print, take it to the delegation and ask them for an up or down vote.”
But State Rep. Nick Milroy, D-South Range, says some soul-searching is needed. He says this was the most contentious Superior Days he’s seen, but he says it isn’t in danger … yet.
“I don’t think we’ve crossed that bridge but if we continue to fail to address the concerns of people who bring up those concerns, that’s not going to bode well for the future of Superior Days and I think a lot of people recognize that,” Milroy said. “They’re willing to sit down and make the process better.”
More than 200 citizen delegates and 65 students from about a half dozen northern counties made up Superior Days this year.