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R.T. Rybak: A Great Leader for a Great City Volunteer Contribute

Monday, February 14, 2005

Day in the Life: Feb. 14

Interesting lunch today: It was the third official meeting of the Metropolitan Mayors Assocaition, which is a group we have started with the Mayors of a group of cities around the metro area. We first started working together a couple years ago on the issue of affordable housing. After drafting that report we decided that we should expand our actions....knowing that the Legislature has had trouble getting across ideological divides to address issues like transportation, education, public safety, etc.
The chairs are Mayor Karen Anderson of Minnetonka and Mayor Elizabeth Kautz of Burnsville.....they are great regional partners and people who I can call to talk about any issues. The Mayors who have come to these meetings include from places like Anoka, North Branch, Chanhassen, Waconia. Randy Kelly was there today. So was Gene Winsted of Bloomington. Also joining the group is a great new Mayor, Jim Hovland of Edina...who is a real transportation expert.
During the lunch we talked about what issues we wanted to take on...a wide range...but agreed that in the next few months the key will be for us to move outfront on transportation. There will be all sorts of ideas coming around at the Legislature, but the key for our group is to articulate the inpatience of it all....Let's get something done and stop sitting in congestion...That's something that unites Mayors...be they from Minneapolis or anywhere else.
You will be hearing more about the group in coming months but it is really refreshing to know that in these times when the political debate seems so isolated there is a great forum like this that can cut across ideolgical and geographic divides.
Fun people, too.
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Short Valentine's commercial: Megan and I had dinner tonight at Bakery on Grand....at 38th and Grand Av. Growing up this was one of the great corner bakeries in town....now it's a wonderful neighborhood restaurant. I really want to encourage even more of these and, in fact, have actively encouraged it by signing a number of wine and beer licenses for places like the Birchwood in Seward, etc. and a new one in Longfellow. These corner restaurants just keep making this a cooler city.
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