Dayton lauds Duluth’s vitality in tough economy

Gov. Mark Dayton said nice things about the city of Duluth Thursday, saying it has thrived in the face of tough economic times.

Of course, he was in town to accept a “Person of the Year” award from the Chamber of Commerce, and he did carry the region in the election, so maybe it’s not surprising that he was complimentary.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that Dayton said the city is “no stranger to triumphs over adversity” and its “demise was predicted” with the loss of a manufacturing economy that left the city a shell of itself. He said a now-vibrant downtown, Canal Park and other areas show that the city could “not only survive but thrive.”

Said the paper:

Dayton hit on themes popular with an audience of people with direct stakes in the economic vitality of the region. Duluth Mayor Don Ness spoke just before Dayton and said the city seems to be at a crossroads “year after year,” and he chooses to not be “paralyzed by pessimism” and takes an optimist’s look at problems.

Dayton said he admired Ness’ outlook in a “critical” time for the state, the paper said:

He said the “cut-cut-cut” side of the Legislature needs to stop putting burdens on local governments by cutting aid or adding to property taxes. He said the state also needs to put a focus on education. When people tell him the state “can’t afford” to invest in education, he says “we can’t afford not to,” Dayton said.

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