Providing a nonpartisan model for generating and sharing          

    essential information on public issues and proposed solutions              

Shining a light on Minnesota public policy since 2005

                                                                                                  About Civic Caucus   l   Interviews & Responses  l   Position Reports   l   Contact Us   l   Home  
 Response Page - Peter Bell Interview - Transit Financing & Met Council Member Selection   

These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Peter Bell interview of 04-18-08.

The questions:

1. __5.5 average__ On a scale of (0) strongly disagree, to (5) neutral, to (10) strongly agree, how do you feel about Bell's concern that new sales tax funding might be too generous for rail projects at the expense of regular bus service?

2. (please check one) Which of the following options most closely resembles your view about who should serve on the Metropolitan Council?
__13__ appointees of the Governor (current approach)
__8 __ individuals directly elected by the people
__4 __ representatives of city and county government

Glenn Dorfman (10) (2)
1. 10, but it is what the authors intended.

2. Elected, or repeal authority of Met Council because it is an unnecessary layer
of benign government.

"How do I feel?" or "what do I think?" I feel badly that how I feel matters more
than what I think. This is a particularly disturbing midwestern/Minnesota form
of political correctness speak. Most people "feel" something about almost
everything but think little about the solutions to the problems of the age.

Finally, focusing on feelings makes it more difficult to resolve civic problems
since we are preoccupied with how what we think makes others feel as opposed to
making difficult choices that will make the "losers" feel badly.

Don Fraser (5) (2)
Perhaps some modified election system. Combinations of elected and appointed folks might be worth considering- for example, if each of the county boards appointed one (presumably not one of their colleagues or staff) and the rest were elected. Or an election that was based in part on some at-large members, with other members being elected from some sort of district. These are not well-thought through, but might illustrate the kind of possibilities I had in mind. I don't like the governor running everything.

David Broden (0) (1)
The appointed process as is--is the only way for this group to stay even close to being objective and not pulled by various interests. If the appointment process is working effectively, quality people will be appointed and results will follow.

Wayne Jennings (5) (1)
I'm uncertain on these issues.

Sally Olsen
(7) (1)

Pat Lichty (5) (1)
My only concern about appointments by the governor has to do with the history of severe, uncompromising and partisan stances Pawlenty has taken towards transportation issues. In spite of Pawlenty's record, I continue to believe that truly regional government in this area is best so continue to support governor appointments.

Lyall Schwarzkopf (9) (1)

Charles Lutz (4) (2)

Chuck Slocum (5) (1)
When a governor takes interest, the Met Council can bring about positive change, ala Governors LeVander and Anderson.

This was an interesting discussion and I admire Peter. The use of buses is critical to the region but the longer view must include transitways as well. The 50% federal match is something to consider. I believe that the Met Council should be more responsible for metro area transportation and view the country oversight as less able to integrate a regional transportation. I also believe that the Minnesota governor should take more interest and leadership within the metro region through the council.

Greer Lockhart (0) (2)
The Metropolitan Council has failed to live up to the high hopes we had for it, and I believe that is directly related to the fact that the Council has been appointed by the Governor and not elected by the people as we originally recommended. I could go on and on, but the best argument for an elected council is the relative ineffectiveness of the appointed council to date.

Clarence Shallbetter (8) (1)

Al Quie
I have always had a high regard for Peter Bell and as a citizen, I would be more confident in his judgment on these matters than my own.

Larry Baker (?) (2)
Why isn't he advocating more taxes to pay for a transit system that includes both? How much longer can we wait?

John R. Finnegan, Sr. (4) (3)
Rail service needs funding now; buses will get their required support as needed.

Pam Ellison (0) (2)
Metropolitan Council is a great organization, but as long as they have the ability to take one dime in taxes from the public, they need to be elected by the people for the people.

Ray Schmitz (7) (1)
I see both sides of the election/appointment argument, taxation without election is a problem, is there another model. Perhaps linking them more to the governor, that is he has to approve their plans would make it more acceptable. That being said they have functioned for this long with minimal issues so why fix what may not be broken, that is except in the minds of recently new on the scene county commissioners who are feeling their oats.

Robert J. Brown ( 7) (1)

Steve Alderson (10) (2)
It is time for an elected council. I must say as a former regional transportation planner that I am impressed by Bell's conversation with you. He has a good grasp of the issues and a realist grasp of transit potentials.

Scott Halstead (0) (2)
I think a metro area income tax would be a much better and fairer source of funding transit than the sales tax. The Legislature through its optional sales tax is making a poor system worse. Transit needs to effectively serve urban and suburban communities, and our first two light rail systems do nothing to provide suburban residents with a transit option. If there aren't major changes, we will have more similar local transit projects and gridlock on our highways.

Jay Kiedrowski
(6) (3)

Paul Hauge (3) (1)

Tim McDonald (7) (1)

Malcolm McLean (7) (1)
I found Peter Bell's comments extraordinarily interesting. I think all of us know there are many complexities in government but his recital of different funding sources, various judicatories, a large number of significant tasks for the Met Council, etc. were impressive. I learned something from it.

Carolyn Ring (8) (1)

Larry and Ann Schluter (9) (3)

Carolyn Ring (8) (1 & 3)
A combination of governor's appointees and representatives of county and, perhaps, city government might be a good idea.

Ray Ayotte (5) (3)



The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions, reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  Lee Canning,  Charles Clay, Bill Frenzel, 
Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  Wayne Popham  and  John Rollwagen.  

The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
8301 Creekside Circle #920,   Bloomington, MN 55437.
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

contact webmaster



Hit Counter