A reminder on why you can never sleep on the Met Council's efforts to undermine democracy.
Met Council Chair Adam Duininck declared in July 2015 (PDF) that "The Metropolitan Council will not commit the 10% state share for the [Southwest Light Rail Transit] project without support from the Legislature." (See screenshot below.) In other words, he agrees the state needs to authorize paying for the state portion of the transit project.
Yet now Duininck seems to be threatening to renege on that commitment, stating "we are talking with our project partners, including the cities, CTIB and Hennepin County, on any possible ways to fill the remaining gap [to fund SWLRT]."
Which is it, Adam? Do you and the Governor intend to abide by basic principles of democracy in this country, or do you intend to try a bogus end-around on the process?
The July 2015 exchange points to one way the Met Council might try to do this. In essence, the Council would auction off the Motor Vehicle Sales Tax money it receives, bundle up that cash and use it to pay for its pet project, all without any approval from anyone. Specifically, Duininck and gang would have the Met Council issue "Certificates of Participation" as a way to raise the cash that the Council can then use however it wants - in this case to pay for the state's part of Southwest Light Rail.
It seems almost certain that this type of bogus scheme is being conjured up by the Met Council and Governor Dayton as part of negotiations for a special session that would ram through funding for the controversial SWLRT.
Are we going to let the Met Council - 100% appointed by Governor Dayton - go nuclear and drop this Adam Bomb on the democratic process?
Let your legislators and Governor Dayton know that this will not stand, and that this is just one more indication as to why the Met Council needs fundamental reform on all levels. And what we definitely do NOT need is to give unelected, scheming officials another $280M a year in tax funds to use however they would like.
Sure, e-books have a place in the world. I just prefer real ones, in order to make the job a bit harder for any real life Winston Smith who might be out there.