Graciously welcomed

To the editor:

As the new chair of the Metropolitan Council, I want to say thank you to Rosemount Mayor Bill Droste and the Dakota County Board and staff for graciously welcoming me during my visits in August.

I am in the midst of a seven-county tour, meeting with elected officials from each of those seven counties the council works with on a range of issues.

I believe in the mission and work of the Met Council, which is focused on efficient regional planning and delivering regional services like wastewater infrastructure, parks, and transit. That work depends on strong, collaborative relationships with the seven counties and nearly 200 communities we are accountable to.

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.

In Dakota County, I was thankful for the time I got to spend with the County Board. I appreciated hearing about its priorities, ideas for improvement, and willingness to take time to meet with me. I heard many concerns about the future of transportation funding; I also heard a lot of excitement about projects currently in the works, including the Orange Line bus rapid transit project, which will connect downtown Minneapolis with Burnsville in Phase One and Lakeville in Phase Two.

In addition to the Dakota County Board, I enjoyed a tour of Rosemount with Droste and the City Administrator Logan Martin. I was impressed to see the innovation in workforce and affordable senior housing that the city has taken on.

The Met Council and the communities we serve all have a role to play in projects and issues that improve the livability and prosperity of our region. I look forward to many more opportunities for partnership, in Dakota County and throughout our region.

Chair, Metropolitan Council