Chair’s departure triggers shake-up at Metropolitan Council

Published 7:12 am Wednesday, June 28, 2017

ST. PAUL — The head of Minnesota’s controversial regional planning and transportation authority in the metropolitan area is stepping down.

Gov. Mark Dayton announced Tuesday that Metropolitan Council Chairman Adam Duininck would leave the post at the end of July for “a new professional opportunity.” He’ll be replaced by state rail director Alene Tchourumoff.

The Metropolitan Council runs bus and transit systems in the seven-county metropolitan area as well as housing and wastewater systems. But it’s become synonymous with the politically charged light-rail transit lines like a planned project between Minneapolis and southwestern suburbs.

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Duininck was elevated to become chair in early 2015 after serving on the council board for several years. Dayton appointed Tchourumoff to be the state’s first rail director to oversee train safety in 2016.