This AP article says that 2 people have emerged as candidates to replace Tom Sorel as the next MnDOT Commissioner:
One finalist is Charlie Zelle, the president and chief executive officer of Jefferson Lines. The regional bus company operates in 13 states from North Dakota to Texas and has a sister charter company as well.
Zelle is a former investment banker who returned to Minnesota to run his family’s company. He also serves as the chairman of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, giving him deep connections in the business community. He gained notice this summer for being among the Minnesota business executives to publicly advocate and contributing financially to the defeat of a constitutional amendment to permanently ban gay marriage.
The other finalist is Bernie Arseneau, the acting commissioner. He has worked at the department for three decades. An engineer, Arseneau took on a more visible role after the Interstate 35W bridge collapse by helping coordinate alternative traffic plans to compensate for the disruption of a key artery.
Based on recent news stories, the next Commissioner of MnDOT should expect to pay more attention to selling light rail construction and the subsidies that taxpayers will have to pay for the next half century.
It’s clear that environmentalists, including Gov. Dayton and Alida Messinger, don’t like people having the freedom of driving cars. Though Gov. Dayton has said he won’t push the 40-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase proposed by his Transportation Advisory Commission, he didn’t take the tax increase that would pay for light rail projects.
Light rail is a waste of the taxpayers’ money. Despite the progressives’ continuous sales pitch on LRT, LRT hasn’t caught on. What’s worst is that taxpayers will pay massive subsidies annually for the next fifty years on each of these policy excesses.
Any swing district DFL legislator that votes for tax increases that fund additional LRT projects must be defeated the next time they’re up for re-election. The taxpayers should take their frustration out on the DFL’s reckless spending on special interests’ projects.