Editor’s note: This is in response to Gov. Mark Dayton’s Op-Ed “Dayton to Range: State government is on your side” published Friday.


Thank you for the offer of friendship and support. After careful consideration, we’d prefer you leave us alone.

In your letter you compared our proud, pristine communities to Flint, Mich. If you and your metro friends had your way, we would be like Flint, Mich., for reasons other than our water quality, the economy would be bankrupt. Our economy is literally on shaky ground, and you have the audacity to shame our employers?

Governor, you must’ve forgotten that it was a little over a year ago KeeTac was called back. Thankfully, market conditions changed just enough so some of our community members could be called back. We know well the perils our employers face, and your most recent veto for a water quality standard you called obsolete and outdated isn’t helping.

Under your reign, state government has been no friend to northern Minnesota.

First, it was your objection to the badly needed sandpiper pipeline. Then, you insisted Pres. Barack Obama withdraw the mineral leases for the exploratory Twin Metals project.

Now, we face more uncertainty with the badly needed replacement of the 70 year old Line 3, unnecessary costly wastewater infrastructure upgrades, and an uncertain future for our 130-year old iron mining industry.

Our employers have stood shoulder to shoulder with us, while you’ve continued to dish out an uncertain future for northern Minnesota.

Thank you for your offer of “support” and “friendship,” we’d prefer you left us alone to live our high-quality lives.

Manage your own house, and we will keep managing ours.

Andrew Hjelle,



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