THE PROBLEM Regional “government” is broken, out of control Broad mission and statutory power of appointed council Failure of legislative oversight
OUT OF BALANCE: Efficiency and local control Government planners pick winners and losers An agency run amok Escalating power grab and assault on local control
CONSEQUENCES OF FAILING TO CHECK THE COUNCIL’S POWER Urban planners know better than citizens Two vital questions Thrive MSP 2040
THRIVE MSP 2040 UNPACKED Planning mission reframed in terms of five sweeping, subjective outcomes Four goals: Impose TOD, empower bureaucrats, allocate poverty and redistribute wealth Based on dubious claims about shifting preferences
THRIVE MSP 2040 HOUSING PLAN Goal is social engineering Uses power over transportation funds to strong-arm cities on housing Opens the way to federal control of land use in our region Densifies our region to remake it around transit
THRIVE MSP 2040 TRANSPORTATION PLAN Misallocates resources by funding planners’ priorities, not citizens’ needs Favors fixed-rail transit over roads Favors urban center over suburbs
REACTION FROM COUNTIES AND CITIES Five suburban counties charge Thrive ignores their needs and interests City councils denounce the Thrive plan
WHAT IS AT RISK? WHAT IS AT RISK? Region’s and State’s standard of living and economic competitiveness Region’s and State’s standard of living and economic competitiveness The twilight of local control The twilight of local control Escalation of overreach, rule by planners Escalation of overreach, rule by planners
WHAT IS TO BE DONE? Summary of the Problem To act regionally or not to act regionally “The first step toward reform should be to address the composition of the Metropolitan Council” Legislative Auditor James Nobles
WHAT IS TO BE DONE? Only Legislature can fix this Mistakes we have made over and over “The current situation has resulted in large part from the Metropolitan Council’s lack of credibility among elected officials and other regional stakeholders.” Legislative Auditor James Nobles Sound policy says regionalism does not work
WHAT IS TO BE DONE? If politics say we are stuck with it Add greater accountability and local control “While several approaches are possible, we recommend a Council with a mix of gubernatorial appointees and elected officials from the region.”” Legislative Auditor James Nobles
RECOMMENDATIONS Declare victory. Shut it down. Immediately limit the Council to areas of statutory authority. Immediately limit the Council to areas of statutory authority. In January, appoint a new Council with elected officials. In January, appoint a new Council with elected officials. Reject “Thrive MSP 2040”. Declare moratorium on all light rail. Reject “Thrive MSP 2040”. Declare moratorium on all light rail. Identify operating revenues before spending capital. Identify operating revenues before spending capital.
RECOMMENDATIONS LCMC takes over Council’s budgets. Any redesign keeps the body in check and accountable. Any redesign keeps the body in check and accountable. Staggered terms for stability and local control. Reject the Livable Communities Program. Transfer housing to HFA and local programs. Cease redundant program authority.