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Staggered council terms rejected (vetoed)

Published (5/30/2008)
By Brian Hogenson
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Legislation instituting staggered terms for members of the Metropolitan Council received a veto from Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Sponsored by Rep. Sandra Peterson (DFL-New Hope) and Sen. Kathy Saltzman (DFL-Woodbury), the legislation would have provided that the 17 council members serve staggered four-year terms, as was the case prior to 1994.

Under current law, members are appointed by the governor and serve terms that end with the term of the governor. Sixteen of the 17 members represent a district and the chair serves at-large.

“This structure was the result of reforms intended to increase Met Council accountability, and this bill reduces that accountability,” Pawlenty wrote in his veto message.

According to its Web site, “The Metropolitan Council is the regional agency of government serving the Twin Cities seven-county metropolitan area. The council establishes regional growth policies, and it plans for transportation, aviation, water resources and regional parks and open space. It also provides essential regional services, including bus and rail transit, paratransit services for people with disabilities, and wastewater collection and treatment.”


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