Ness looks to Duluth's bright future in his final State of the City address

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Duluth Mayor Don Ness gave his final state of the city address Monday, detailing why he is optimistic about the city's future.

Ness announced last fall he would not seek a third term, saying if he thought it was necessary to the city's success, he would run again. And according to his speech Monday, he sees a bright future for the North Shore city.

"In the past Duluth has not had the luxury to look ahead," Ness said, according to MPR News. "We were in survival mode."

He detailed how far the city has come since he took office in 2008, leaving behind a budget deficit, environmental problems, and the cynical view people had on the city, FOX 21 notes.

"We have proven our ability to solve massive problems. And we have now begun to use that same energy and passion for our community to grow a more prosperous city for us all," Ness said, MPR News notes.

It wasn't all nostalgia Monday night. Ness also laid out goals for his final 10 months in office, including his dream of seeing a new state-of-the-art downtown library on First Avenue East and Superior Street, the Duluth News Tribune says, asking the council to allow voters to weigh in on the idea this fall.

Ness also detailed his plan to invest millions to improve the St. Louis River corridor following the 2012 floods, WDIO reports, including promoting recreation and tourism at the parks, making improvements to the Lake Superior Zoo, and growing the network of trails, the Duluth News Tribune notes.

He also hopes to improve the city's relationship with the Fond du Lac Band and develop more affordable housing in the city, FOX 21 says.

"Today, we have the ability and the privilege to look ahead — to practice our city's capacity to think big," Ness said, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

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