Letter: Met Council chair says thanks to Washington County

To the editor:

As the new Chair of the Metropolitan Council, I want to say thank you to the Washington County board and staff, and the many mayors and city staff who graciously welcomed me in August as I kicked off my Seven-County Tour.

I believe in the mission and work of the Met Council, which is focused on efficient regional planning and delivering regional services like wastewater infrastructure, parks and transit. That work depends on strong, collaborative relationships with the seven counties and nearly 200 communities we are accountable to.

While the Met Council does already have many strong relationships around the region, I know there are many places where those partnerships can be fostered and strengthened.

In Washington County, I was thankful for the time I got to spend with the county board. I appreciated your feedback, your ideas for improvement and your willingness to take time to meet with me. I heard many concerns about water supply and water quality, something that I know is one of the major priorities of the Met Council. Please know I am committed to a partnership with the many stakeholders that focuses on solutions to the challenges we face.

Your pride in your tremendous regional parks was contagious. My tour of Lake Elmo Regional Park was great. I’m looking forward to taking my two boys there soon!

In addition to the Washington County Board, I enjoyed a tour of Hugo with Mayor Tom Weidt and a fabulous lunch at Rudy’s Red Eye Grill in White Bear Lake with Mayor Jo Emerson. I was so impressed by the water conservation efforts in Hugo, and the passion for transit in White Bear Lake.

We all have a role to play in projects and issues that improve the livability and prosperity of our region. I believe firmly that we can disagree on some issues and still work to find common ground to move us all forward. I look forward to many more opportunities for partnership, in Washington County and throughout our region.

Alene Tchourumoff
Chair, Metropolitan Council