Sertich New IRRRB Commissioner

By KBJR News 1

January 11, 2011 Updated Jan 11, 2011 at 7:15 PM CDT

Chisholm, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Representative Tony Sertich was named commissioner of the Iron Range Resource Board earlier today.

The agency looks to diversify the range economy, something Sertich says he is excited, and ready to help with.

When deciding where to formally announce his appointment as the new commissioner of the Iron Range Resources, Tony Sertich said he wanted to be on the Iron Range.

"This is a calling I believe I have had for quite a while," said Sertich.

After serving as representative for district 5B for the past ten years, Sertich will officially take office as commissioner of the Iron Range Resource agency on Friday and says he plans on being a very active commissioner.

"You will see me all over the region, all over the state nation and world being a champion for bringing jobs to northern Minnesota," said Sertich.

One of the goals Commissioner Sertich says he has as the new head of the Iron Range Resources is to better clarify the role of the agency, something he says is sometimes misunderstood at the state and regional level.

Sertich says the Iron Range Resources has been charged with helping diversify the range economy.

The agency is made possible through the collection of production taxes from Iron Range mines. The agency then oversees the distribution of those funds for various purposes throughout the region.

"It should go to improve our communities whether it be through infrastructure, whether it be in our school districts, but also the very last portion of it is set aside to help diversify our economy because taconite is a non renewable resource," said Sertich.

Sertich says expanding the reach of existing range businesses is one of the ways he hopes to continue to vary the range economy.

"We can try to find a company that will relocate from another part of the state or world for 100 jobs, but if we help out 50 local businesses hire 5 people each, we're going to have a better impact for our communities," said Sertich

As for the position he's leaving behind, his district 5B constituents say his successor will have some big shoes to fill.

"I think hey should be looking for somebody who is as dynamic as he is, some body to is as well informed and is accessible to the public as Tony has been throughout his terms as a representative of this area," said Mark Casey, city administrator for the city of Chisholm

Sertich will resign his Legislative seat on Thursday.

Governor Dayton will call for a special election to fill the seat.

The primary election will be February 1st with the special election to follow on February 15th.