Residents Met to Discuss How Superior Can Move Forward and Better Itself
By Felicity Bosk
15 community members met on Oct. 27 to discuss how Superior could better move forward. This was the third and final input session of the Better City Superior initiative, a privately funded economic development non-profit cooperation established by Mayor Bruce Hagen. They asked those in attendance a variety of questions to get an idea of how Superiorites think the city could be improved, and what they think about the city right now.
First attendees were asked why they agreed to be part of the discussion. Answers included people wanting to do more for the youth, wanting to be a positive influence on the community, and wanting to help the environment.
Attendees were given a controller with which to vote on a series of polls. The first poll asked people to agree or disagree to the following: “as a community we control our future.” 43 percent somewhat agreed, 36 percent agreed, and 21 percent strongly agreed.
Next they were asked “in Superior our current trend is…” ‘Growth’ received 25 percent of the votes. ‘staying the same’ received 33 percent and ‘Getting smaller’ received the most votes from those in attendance with 42 percent.
Questions got more specific. “What should our priority be?” 25 percent said ‘Growth’ (A), 33 percent said ‘staying the same’ (B) and nobody said ‘declining’ (C).
During a short discussion one person in attendance said “B will lead to A. We need to focus on what we have, clean it, fix it, and lift quality up. Growth follows that.”
Next they were asked “looking to future we should…” 100 percent of people answered ‘be productive and aggressive’ while no body answered ‘wait and see what happens.’
92 percent of the group said citizens and local organizations should move the city forward, while 8 percent said businesses, and no body said large employers or city government.
Via a ranked choice vote on where Superior should place its focus, improving housing came in first, things to do recreationally was second, and good high paying jobs was third.
There was discussion on what sorts of things should there be more of to do. People expressed there are not enough facilities for sports and that there should be more concerts, events, cultural entertainment and arts. A largely agreed upon complaint is that there is no organized forum keeping track of events happening in Superior.
Looking at development, attendees were asked “what type of development is most important for Superior?” 43 percent answered ‘things to do’, 36 percent said ‘residential development’, and 21 percent said ‘commercial development’. Once the results of the poll were up, people discussed and agreed the city should be reutilizing buildings.
There was a series of questions about Superiors downtown area and waterfront, one of which asked “who is the downtown and waterfront for?” 8 percent said visitors and tourists. The other 92 percent said local residents.
“Duluth can have their tourists,” said one attendee. “If you want the small town feel that I like, come to Superior.”
The discussion was moderated by Mark Scholl, who works for Flint Group. He asked the open ended question “should Superior compete with Duluth?” Out loud everyone said “no”, and one person said “we can’t.” Another said “Superior should be able to stand on its own.”