CMAL Updates Position on Metropolitan Council

The Council of Metropolitan Area Leagues of Women Voters (CMAL) announces its updated position on governance of the Metropolitan Council.  Based upon the report of its study committee, members of all local leagues across the metropolitan area overwhelmingly voted to support the following:

  • Appointment of Metropolitan Council members and its Chair by the Governor,
  • Fixed staggered terms for Metropolitan Council members with removal only for cause, and
  • Metropolitan  Council members should have a regional perspective, knowledge of regional issues, reflect demographic diversity and be able to meet the time requirements to serve effectively.

Members of all 19 chapters of the League of Women Voters in the 7-county metropolitan area participated in the voting process in January and February 2019.

In 2018, League members interviewed over 50 municipal and county elected officials and staff across the metropolitan area, asking a series of questions regarding their satisfaction with the Metropolitan Council. The respondents expressed high levels of satisfaction with the sewer system, transit and transportation, planning resources and technical expertise. The areas cited most often for improvement are its communication and interaction with cities and  need to streamline the comprehensive planning process.

The CMAL committee launched its study after last spring’s legislative bill to replace the appointment of citizens by the governor with the appointment of local elected city and county officials to the regional agency. CMAL in its 50+ year history had not addressed the issue of whether local elected officials could or should be appointed to serve on the Metropolitan Council.  There was little support among participants for the appointment of local elected city and county officials to the Metropolitan Council.