Katherine Kersten’s article about the Met Council, combined with this article, should stir Minnesotans to action. This is from Kersten’s article:
The Met Council is our regional government, but its 17 unelected members never have to face the voters. Gov. Mark Dayton appointed them all, and they serve at his pleasure.
The Council was founded in the mid-1960s to plan for efficient delivery of regional services, in essence, to make sure that roads and sewer lines meet up. Mission creep has been escalating for some time, but under Dayton, the overreach has reached a crisis point.
The Thrive plan is a power grab that will impose intrusive, top-down controls on 186 municipalities, neutering the power of local elected officials. The plan, wrapped in vague and noble-sounding goals, imposes a host of new, ideologically driven criteria for municipal development that will give the Council the raw power, unchecked by elected representatives, to dramatically remake our region.
This is from the Star-Tribune article:
The Met Council is a mammoth agency with an $890 million annual budget, 3,700 employees and a 17-member board. Its oversight ranges from transportation planning to affordable housing to wastewater management for the seven-county metro area.
What the Star-Tribune article didn’t mention is that the Met Council has taxing authority even though it isn’t an elected body. Read this, then ask yourself if you like the thought of unelected officials doing this:
The Met Council seeks to engineer “socioeconomic integration” across the seven-county metro area, but lacks the statutory authority to do so. As a result, its housing plan aims to strong-arm cities into meeting its goals by tying their receipt of vital, Council-controlled funds for roads (and other benefits) to how much their housing and zoning policies disperse regional poverty.
The term un-American is overused. In this instance, it’s the perfect fit. The day that an unelected board of unaccountable politicians has the tools to tell elected officials what they can and can’t do, that’s the day we stop being a constitutional republic. That’s the day we take another step towards banana republic status.
What’s especially troubling is the fact that the Met Council has transformed itself from a council that made “sure that roads and sewer lines” met to being top-down organization that a) isn’t accountable to anyone except the governor and b) imposes its ideology on elected city councils and mayors by withholding money from these elected officials.
The Met Council should be abolished. ASAP. If there’s a need to coordinate projects, let the various city and county governments put together that council. Even then, that council shouldn’t have taxing authority unless they’re elected directly by the people.
Any other form of government is un-American.