Embattled RAMS settles on four candidates for top job

Word NEWS in Old Typewriter Typebar Letters Isolated on WhiteThe Range Association of Municipalities and Schools (RAMS) has announced four candidates for its long vacant position of executive director. The position drew significant controversy earlier this year when the RAMS board named State Sen. David Tomassoni to the position, presenting a widely-perceived conflict of interest for Tomassoni and the group that lobbies St. Paul on behalf of Iron Range cities, townships and school districts. Tomassoni withdrew from the position, though still to this day does not believe he was in the wrong. RAMS has since carried on with a new “office manager” position handling day-to-day duties, which are minimal without a lobbying operation in place.

A Mesabi Daily News story, complete with thinly-vieled umbrage, explains a little bit more about how we got here. As many readers know, I dropped an umbrage bomb myself a few months back. The hope would be that a new director would successfully lead the loosely structured organization into an era of relevance.

The candidates are as follows:

Steve Giorgi, Assistant Director of AFSCME Council 65 in Nashwauk.

Matthew Hill, director of Aitkin County CARE, a program connecting older adults to the services they need; also a business owner.

Trent Janezich, president of Advanced Minnesota, a customized training school operated by the Northeast Higher Education District in partnership with area community and technical colleges.

Tim Riordan, current RAMS office manager, former RAMS board president, and Virginia School Board member voted out in 2014.

The candidates will be interviewed on June 25 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the boardroom in the Northeast Service Cooperative building in Mountain Iron, according to the Mesabi Daily News.

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