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Leave Eveleth-Gilbert out of Virginia’s consolidation plan

Posted 5/7/20

[Note: This is a paid letter to the editor. The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not  reflect the opinions of the Timberjay.]

To the Editor:I am a taxpaying …

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Leave Eveleth-Gilbert out of Virginia’s consolidation plan


[Note: This is a paid letter to the editor. The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not  reflect the opinions of the Timberjay.]

To the Editor:
I am a taxpaying citizen in the Eveleth-Gilbert School District. For over two years now the Mesabi Daily News has catered to the Eveleth-Gilbert/Virginia Collaboration/Consolidation propaganda. These full-page ads are supposedly full of “FACTS”. The Fact is this information is NOT TRUE.
Who is paying for this propaganda and why won’t the Mesabi Daily News print letters to the editor with opposing views?
Dr. Schmidt’s latest “Guest Column” again warns of “Skullduggery”.
Definition: Underhanded or Unscrupulous Behavior.
Nowhere in that definition does it say “someone else’s opinion”!
Fact: There were several bids written up over the years to determine what needed to be fixed in the Eveleth-Gilbert Schools and how much it would cost. In the end, a bid was given to Kraus/Anderson who promised they could offer “more” for the money.
Kraus/Anderson works VERY closely with the IRRB. The Iron Range’s savings account. The IRRB was organized to collect tax dollars from the taconite companies for economic development and city projects because of the cyclical nature of the mining industry. Apparently, the IRRB and Kraus/Anderson now want this fund to be used for the economic demise of the Iron Range.
FACT: IRRB Commissioner Mark Phillips was formerly employed by Kraus/Anderson. Tom Bakk’s son-in-law is currently employed by Kraus/Anderson.
Don’t worry, no matter what happens, Kraus/Anderson will take their cut off the top and I mean millions. Dr. Schmidt please tell the people how much Kraus/Anderson will be paid.
Dr. Schmidt asks if residents want to cooperate together and consolidate all their services and systems; or do they want to keep some of the alliances and allegiances the same as before World War I. WHAT IS THAT?
Dr. Schmidt, no one knows what you’re talking about because in your quest for a better education, World War I AND World War II were never taught. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Greatest Generation do not have a clue about how Germany used propaganda, burned books and gassed millions of innocent people to try and take over the world!
FACT: There were election violations in the May 2019 election found after an investigation by the St. Louis County Attorney.
FACT: Neither Superintendent notified the board members or the public in any public meetings.
FACT: There was a violation in the proposal sent to the Commissioner of Education. This was reviewed by the Legislative Auditor.
FACT: The schools still DO NOT have a SITE. They have purchased (how many) millions of dollars of land? It was not stated in your proposal to the Comm of Ed to buy land and EVICT an established Charter School.
FACT: “Our kids need 21st Century Education.” What is that EXACTLY?
And if you know, then why did you send teachers to Colorado and Wyoming three times to figure out how to teach? The teachers don’t know what is expected of them, but they know they need bigger rooms.
FACT: Dr. Schmidt you insist that Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia need to get along, HOWEVER, YOU, YOURSELF are creating a very hostile environment not only between cities, but between neighbors and FAMILIES.
FACT: John Huenink, K/A, came to the Eveleth-Gilbert board meeting and stated that if the board did not sign the “intent to consolidate” paperwork that they were just handed, Virginia would MAKE ALL THE DECISIONS!
Sounds like a threat…
FACT: Dr. Schmidt you keep insisting that the districts will “need more money” if not consolidated. Have you told the public of your plans to hire 32 ADDITIONAL ADMINISTRATORS? Have you told the public HOW MUCH YOUR SALARY WILL BE? Have you told the public that Supt Jeff Carey will be in charge of overseeing the project? Sounds like a job for an engineer…
So, when Kraus/Anderson packs up and moves on to the next victim, with the blessing of the IRRB; will the crumbling walls, and shattered windows be Mr. Carey’s responsibility? Kraus/Anderson took NO liability in the “new county schools crumbling.” Their main function is to get paid a lot of money for “a positive outcome for a vote”, setting up phone trees, setting up Facebook to bash people, brainwash the weak and identify the opposition. Look at the positive outcome gained in creating the new Miner’s Memorial Complex. Yes, Kraus/Anderson was the master of that project too. Now, because of the economy and the Virus, Virginia is broke. Will this “OUT OF TOWN” company come back and help?
FACT: Ehlers Corp (the Bond People) did provide a booklet of outcomes and one of the pages stated that “if the STATE and IRRB are unable to fulfill their obligations, the burden will fall on the taxpayers.” OOPS! Lucky me, my home value would increase.
“Sadly, rumors will be started.” YOU have been printing outright lies and covering up data for years! “Inundating residents with false information at the last minute before the vote”. Even creating an almost IMPOSSIBLE voting situation in Eveleth in 2019.
Dr. Schmidt you are correct. YOU are using people’s worst fears against them. YOU came from outside the Range, YOU hired people (K/A) to come to the Range to “deliberately and intentionally destroy local communities by working in the shadows with last-minute fabrications and misleading data.” Then, after they are gone, a ‘community is in tatters.”
HOW DARE YOU refer to anyone you don’t personally know as ideological anti-public school, anti-government and anti-career academies followers!!”
Dr. Schmidt, there is a vocational technical school in the area that is designed specifically for “academy style” learning. The Range is very proud of the Mesabi Range College.
Dr. Schmidt how do you know there is no “other plan”. You and Mr. Carey don’t allow FREEDOM OF SPEECH at board meetings without being cut off. YOU don’t allow the Mesabi Daily News to print any thought-provoking articles on the subject.
Dr. Schmidt it’s time for YOU “to bury the hatchet”. Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia were getting along just fine till you strolled in!
Tell the truth, just this once, the Virginia High School is falling down. It was twelve years ago, but because your district has a severe spending problem, all of the levying and re-levying still couldn’t put a new roof on the building. Virginia had no other option than to tap into Eveleth-Gilbert tax dollars.
They tried this trick in 2013 with Mt. Iron-Buhl and Eveleth-Gilbert, but sadly Kraus/Anderson wasn’t there to go for the jugular. Ask Tim Riordon, he tried as hard as he could!
Take your referendum money, that the Virginia residents voted on, and build your castle. But leave Eveleth-Gilbert out of it!
The best thing we can teach our children and grandchildren is how to live within their means and beware of an outsider with a “once in a lifetime” (80-percent free money) deal that’s too good to be true!
Shame on you and shame on your hostile little lambs!
Sally Zamlen


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Steve Jacobson

The problem Sally is your a Homer! You want Eveleth/Gilbert to not consolidate with Virginia. The truth is that the conditions of the Eveleth buildings is what is driving this decision. They need the most repairs and were not economical to proceed.

Friday, May 8
Sharon Legg

Steve, that is not true...the issue with Eveleth-Gilbert is that they are maintaining too much property since the last consolidation that is not needed driving up the cost of maintenance.

Monday, May 11