Jason Lewis’s Met Council Reform Bill is Wrongheaded; We need Elimination Not Reform

May 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm 1 comment


By Andrew Richter

Ah…..Minnesota; the cold weather California! Taxes and big government are simply here all the time with no end in sight. Political “leaders” simply don’t have the stomach to change that. And when they do propose something they almost make it worse. Nothing symbolizes that more that efforts to “reform” the Met Council.

Our opposition to the Met Council has been well documented on this blog and on our podcast. Republican politicians have long promised to rein this government monster in, yet they never deliver. They won’t this year and I don’t believe any of the governor candidates that say they will. And when they do have ideas, they almost make the situation worse.

This is the case with the “reform” proposal by  Minnesota Congressman Jason Lewis. First of, let me say that I’m a long time fan of Mr. Lewis going  back to his days on local radio here. I’d vote for him if I lived in District 2. But his proposal to reform the Met Council is wrong on so many levels it’s hard to see anything positive about it.

From Alpha News:

U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) is taking on the Metropolitan Council, proposing a provision that would require a majority of the governing members to be elected officials.

Lewis’ proposal, an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 2018, would end the noncompliance and require the Met Council to have locally elected officials on the governing board. Lewis highlights the Met Council’s independent authority to raise taxes, saying having local elections is a necessary step to increase the accountability of the governing board.

Now that all sounds great but there are several problems with this. First off, having locally elected officials “appointed” to be Met Council would be a disaster. These folks have been trained by the League of Minnesota Cities that “smart growth” is the way forward so look for the same polices to be pushed ; high density housing, transit, roundabouts, complete streets etc. there is little diversity of opinion.

Also this is not possible due to conflicts of interest. How does one represent their city or county and at the same time represent a regional board? How can you work for the Yankees and the Red Sox? You can’t serve two masters; either you are on a regional board and represent the “region” or you are on a city council and represent a city.

Lewis goes on to assure big government proponents that he has no interest in reining in the Met Council’s power.

Our amendment does not seek to change the operations or scope of the Met Council,” Carter Moelk, Deputy Press Secretary for Rep. Lewis, said in a press release. “It does not attempt to change the activities of the board. It simply requires that for a board to be in compliance they need to have locally elected official representation consistent with every other MPO in the country.”

In other words, the Met Council can continue to tax, have authority over local planning, and push their agenda to destroy suburbs and make every place the same with their new urbanism. If Mr. Lewis wants something to do how about you repeal the 1960’s laws that require regional planning boards? How about you refuse to give federal money to these boards? How about you get rid of the Department of Housing and Urban Development? No such luck there…..

This is not the right solution. Furthermore, I’m worried that this may take some steam out of the movement to eliminate this unconstitutional body. The Met Council needs to be eliminated. Hold the Republicans accountable if they fail to do this yet AGAIN!

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Entry filed under: Agenda 21, City Government, Community, County, Met Council, Taxation. Tags: , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Geoffrey Pitman  |  May 7, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    How can one represent a Congressional district at a national body? You don’t seem to like elected folks, but they are there for voters to remove if they aren’t happy with their performance. What oversight does the electorate have over the current council and its policies?

    Reply

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