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Lawmakers Aim to Make the Met Council Accountable

The Metropolitan Council still holds the title of the biggest, most powerful unelected regional government in the country bar none. But that would change under proposed legislation calling for local elected officials to replace political appointees of the governor as Met Council representatives. “This legislation brings more openness to the Metropolitan Council by aligning its membership with local elected officials, giving regular citizens more voice in the make-up of the council and the important policies it implements,” said Rep. Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake), author of HF 828. While the proposed legislative reforms were embraced by the agency’s critics as a step in...

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Obama Rule Expands Met Council Boundaries

The feds implemented a new rule in the federal register regarding metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) like the Metropolitan Council on the day before President Trump took office. The rule would officially extend the boundaries of the Met Council beyond the seven-county area for federal transportation planning (and related housing issues) only. We do not read the Federal Register just for kicks. We just got lucky. ...

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City Debates Turning Down Grant in Latest Met Council Flap [updated]

Shakopee could become the first city to reject a $32,000 Met Council planning grant this week in the latest sign of local governments’ mounting antagonism to the heavy hand of the nation’s biggest unelected regional bureaucracy over their affairs. “We are concerned about the direct connection of the Thrive 2040 Plan, Met Council’s housing policies and any housing goal plan, as it relates to the acceptance of this grant,” Mayor Bill Mars wrote in a recent email exchange with Met Council officials. Met Council staff have downplayed the rift. “I don’t think we have a ‘controversy,’ so much as a ‘clarification’ with the...

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Met Council Spins Controversial Race-Based Parks Plan

[caption id="attachment_5027" align="alignleft" width="180"] Met Council Chair Adam Duininck plans to divert tens of millions of dollars in Legacy Funds for protecting the parks' natural resources. [/caption] American Experiment has exposed the Met Council's plan to introduce onerous race-based attendance goals that critics view as de facto racial quotas at Twin Cities regional parks. But you'd never know it from the spin in the latest newsletter from the nation's biggest un-elected regional bureaucracy. In fact, the Met Council appears to be ducking any mention of the controversial plan to track the race and number of park attendees. Met Council Chairman Adam Duininck's October update carefully...

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Affordable Housing? Not For Twin Cities Families

The Metropolitan Council—the Twin Cities area’s regional government—has been telling us for years that we’ve got to change the way we live. “Thrive MSP 2040,” the council’s 30-year development plan, is intended to remake our region around transit; move us into high-density, “stack and pack” housing along fixed-rail lines; deplete road funding; and wean us out of our cars so we walk, bike or take public transit to work and leisure activities. But today’s Star Tribune provides powerful evidence that people here generally don’t want to live that way. The Met Council is pressuring the region’s municipalities to densify, but home builders...

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Met Council Wants Legacy Funds for Race-Based Park Plan

American Experiment flagged this issue a few months ago in response to news accounts about the Met Council's latest harebrained scheme of racial quotas for parks. The Metropolitan Council never saw any human behavior it didn’t want to change. It wants to change the way we get from one place to another, where we live, and where we work. It also isn’t happy with the way we use Twin Cities parks. The Star Tribune headlines: “Racially equitable use of parks is the goal, with big dollars at stake.” What, exactly, is “racially equitable use of parks”? Are members of some races barred from the...

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Met Council to Spend $25 Million to Monitor Race-Based Use of Parks 

A walk in the park may be just that to most of us, but not the Met Council. It all depends on who’s taking a walk in the park. A remarkable 47 million visits to regional parks were recorded last year, more than visit the Mall of America. Yet the Met Council staff has concluded that some racial groups aren’t using the parks as much as their numbers suggest they should–and local governments get the blame. “Missing from the throngs of visitors were people of color in numbers proportional to their share of the region’s total population,” according to the Met Council...

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New Report on Twin Cities Congestion Doesn’t Tell Half the Story

The Minneapolis Star Tribune highlights a report on highway congestion from the Minnesota Department of Transportation: A report from the Minnesota Department of Transportation out Tuesday found that congestion on metro area highways and freeways jumped by 2 percentage points in 2015, and predicted that roads are likely to get more crowded and slower. According to the Metropolitan Freeway System Congestion Report, the freeways in the Twin Cities were congested 23.4 percent of the time, up from 21.4 percent in 2014. The Strib characterizes the reasons for increased congestion this way: The report attributed the jump to a number of factors, including lower gas...

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