Met Council Chair talks Anoka County partnerships

To the Editor:

I want to thank the Anoka County Commissioners and Columbia Heights Mayor Donna Schmitt for taking the time to meet with me in August. As the newly appointed chair of the Metropolitan Council I am meeting with elected officials from each of the seven counties the council works with on issues ranging from transit and transportation, wastewater treatment, regional parks and even long-range planning. The future we are building for the region has to have a foundation made up of good partnerships and strong working relationships.

While the Met Council does already have many strong relationships around the region, I know there are many places where those partnerships can be fostered and strengthened.

One of the biggest concerns I heard in Anoka County is the need for funding for important transportation infrastructure. While everyone agreed that we need to continue investing in better roads, bridges and public transit, determining how to best fund those priorities needs to involve frank and meaningful discussion.
I appreciated hearing about the productive partnerships already at work between the Council and Anoka County. And I look forward to additional tours in the future to see more of the work that needs to be done.

I was also pleased to join local officials for the groundbreaking of the 105th Avenue Reconstruction Project in Blaine. Thank you for the invitation. It is always exciting to see the way partnerships in county, city and state government can support great reconstruction projects that will enhance the road but also improve safety for both drivers and pedestrians.

Survey after survey has named the Twin Cities region as one of the best places to live in the nation, with a thriving economy and a good quality of life. The partnerships we are able to build across city limits and county lines are one of the many reasons for that success.

Alene Tchourumoff
Chair, Metropolitan Council