ST. PAUL – First-term Rep. Jim Nash (R-Waconia) has been appointed to serve as vice chairman of the newly-formed House Subcommittee on Metropolitan Council Accountability and Transparency.
“We are forming this subcommittee to hold the Met Council accountable and ensure they are meeting the needs of people in the metro area,” said Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown). “This unelected board has grown more powerful over the decades, and legislators want to ensure that the Met Council is listening to the needs of all its constituents both in the cities and suburbs, providing the services for which they were given authority.”
Nash, a former mayor and city councilman of Waconia, will be part of the committee’s leadership.
“I'm honored to be named vice chair of this very important subcommittee. The Met Council is in need of reform, and I am hopeful that we can generate initiatives out of our subcommittee that will provide reform and oversight to this unelected board,” said Nash. “Minnesotans living in the seven-county metro area know that there is great need for reform, and I am optimistic that we can achieve broad bi-partisan support in order to accomplish that.”
Rep. Tim Sanders (R-Blaine), chairman of the State Government Operations and Elections Committee, appointed Nash to serve as vice chairman.
“The formation of this new subcommittee gives elected leaders, constituents and the Met Council the opportunity to holistically work together to create policies that well-serve the seven-county metro area,” added Sanders. “Minnesotans demand a government that is both answerable to the people and transparent in policy, and it’s the job of this committee to ensure Met Council is meeting those expectations.”
The new subcommittee will be chaired by Representative Linda Runbeck (R-Circle Pines).
“Our goal is to rightfully put local governments back in charge of their local planning,” said Runbeck. “Over 50 years of mission creep, the Met Council has been taking on more and more responsibilities that should be handled by local elected officials who are accountable to the citizens they represent. Citizens have no recourse when an unelected body like the Met Council is imposing its will. This has become a more powerful agency, sidestepping government officials.”
Other members of the subcommittee include Rep. Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake), Rep. Kelly Fenton (R-Woodbury), Rep. Laurie Halverson (DFL-Eagan), Rep. Carolyn Laine (DFL-Columbia Heights) and Rep. Yvonne Selcer (DFL-Minnetonka).