Hansen elected president of Metro Cities

Eagan City Council member will advocate for local control

Gary Hansen
Gary Hansen

Eagan City Council Member Gary Hansen was elected president of Metro Cities, the Association of Metropolitan Municipalities, at the organization’s annual meeting in St. Paul earlier this month.

He said in an email that he appreciates the members’ support and the opportunity. He served as vice president over the past year, so he feels prepared.

His overriding goal for Metro Cities is to continue to represent the shared interests of its members before the Minnesota Legislature and Metropolitan Council.

He wants to empower local governments.

He said Metro Cities often advocates against legislation that would restrict local control.

He said legislation that would restrict local law enforcement along with a city’s ability to enact ordinances and fee structures, would negatively affect a city like Eagan.

Among them are proposals that would “allow unfettered access to public rights of way and eliminate a city’s ability to manage them,” Hansen said.

“Such proposals would negatively impact local officials’ ability to perform their responsibilities and their ability to appropriately address local needs,” Hansen said.

A Metro Cities Board member since 2014, Hansen has been active on the Governance, Metropolitan Agencies, and Transportation and General Government committees. He also serves as a Metro Cities appointee to the Transportation Advisory Board, which coordinates regional transportation and transit initiatives with the Metropolitan Council.

“Through the work of the Transportation and General Government Committee, of which I am a member, Metro Cities is advocating for comprehensive, dedicated long-term funding of transportation and transit in the metro region,” Hansen said.

Metro Cities represents 91 member cities, comprising more than 90 percent of the region’s population, before the Metropolitan Council, Legislature, and Governor’s Office. Metro Cities provides a forum for bringing city officials together to share ideas and experiences, and works to foster open lines of communication among city officials and officials at the state and regional levels of government.