City council actions

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January 31, 2011
By: Nick Halter
Nick Halter
City Council makes case for a hybrid Metropolitan Council board

The Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution that recommends that the Metropolitan Council board be made up of elected officials from metro cities and counties.

Under the council’s current structure, the governor appoints 17 members to the board, 16 of which represent a geographical district and a board chair that serves at-large. Those board member are not elected officials.

The City Council is recommending that the Minnesota Legislature change laws so that the majority of the Metropolitan Council be made up of mayors, county commissioners and city council members. The governor would still appoint a minority of the members.

The council, formed by the Legislature in 1967, is in charge of transit, wastewater, land planning and airports in the seven-county metro area.

The resolution that was passed on Jan. 13 states that the Metropolitan Council be restructured in order to “provide more direct accountability to voters and local government.”

City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden (8th Ward) authored the resolution.

Gov. Mark Dayton has already appointed Susan Haigh as chair of the council.

The deadline to apply to be a Metropolitan Council board member was Jan. 21. Dayton has announced a seven-member committee made up of current and former government officials to nominate people for the council. Public meetings will take place in February.

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Firefighters show Kenyans how to use donated fire truck

Minneapolis firefighters in January flew to Eldoret, Kenya, to teach city workers there how to operate and maintain a fire truck Minneapolis donated to the city last year.

Eldoret is a Minneapolis sister city of about 220,000. Prior to the donation of the 1988 pumper truck, Eldoret had just one fire truck that was confined to its airport.

Eldoret paid the travel expenses of all Minneapolis staff members.

When the truck arrived in Eldoret after a long journey, city residents held a parade.

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Residents will get property value notices through mid-February

The city began sending out property value notices in mid-January to residents letting them know the value on their property to which they will be taxed in 2012.

If residents do not agree with their property values, they should first call the phone number labeled “Valuation Questions” on their statement to discuss the value with their assessor.

To appeal the property valuation to the city’s Board of Appeal and Equalization, call 673-3358 for an appointment. The deadline to submit appeals is April 30.

Reach Nick Halter at nhalter@mnpubs.com.