Leaders say no to Duluth merchantSuperior city and business leaders pulled out the “Not Welcome” to Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Superior city and business leaders pulled out the “Not Welcome” to Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson.
In fact, Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen took it one step further and invited Carlson to take this opportunity to move out of the city.
But Carlson said city and business leaders are misunderstanding his intent in looking for a new location.
However, it doesn’t matter what kind of business Carlson intends to open, city leaders say his business is still not welcome in Superior.
“We’re not going to take very kindly to any proposal or interest ... for this kind of activity in Superior,” Hagen said. “We will make sure that this does not happen in Superior. Mr. Carlson is not wanted in our community ... I would be happy if he got out of our community. We don’t need that type of resident in this community.”
Carlson said he wasn’t looking at Superior for the sale of incense, commonly referred to as synthetic marijuana.
“I’ve just heard a lot of complaints from being over there because of the road construction,” Carlson said of the Tower Avenue project. “They really hammered a lot of stores the way they did it.”
Carlson said he has talked to people about becoming a partner with them — after all, he’s looking to diversify his business interests.
“If he opened a bridal shop, I would oppose it; I don’t believe he has honorable ... intentions,” Hagen said.
“It would be very difficult to believe that he is going to do something different when his history says something completely different,” said Dave Minor, president and chief executive officer of the Chamber of Superior-Douglas County.
Hagen said Carlson preys on people with a substance that causes great bodily harm to people.
“If anyone provides the structures to rent to him, we will come down on them with everything we’ve got,” Hagen said. “They will be known; they will be recognized and they will (not) be condoned in this community.”
Superior, like Duluth, has adopted an ordinance that requires licensing of any operation that intends to sell synthetic drugs.
Douglas County is working on developing one.
Douglas County Board Chairman Doug Finn said he would consider presenting the board with a resolution that would place a moratorium on the sale of synthetic drugs while that work is ongoing.
“I would do whatever I have to do to keep Mr. Carlson from doing this,” Finn said.
Superior Police Chief Charles LaGesse said any effort to open a business that sells synthetic drugs in Superior without an approved license will be enforced immediately.
And business leaders are concerned about the impact on the businesses investing and growing in Superior.
“We are certainly for free enterprise and for businesses opening up in our community,” said Kaye Tenerelli, director of the Superior Business Improvement District. “But sometimes it’s just not the right business. This is not what we want in our community ... This will not help us.”