Walz names Met Council appointees

Gov. Tim Walz on Feb. 25 announced the final list of 16 metro-area residents he plans to appoint to the Metropolitan Council, including three new members who will each represent a portion of Minneapolis.

Walz’s Minneapolis appointees include Lynnea Atlas-Ingebretson (District 6), a consultant and nonprofit administrator who currently serves as chief of staff at Juxtaposition Arts; Native American Community Development Institute President and CEO Robert Lilligren (District 7), a former Minneapolis councilmember; and Awood Center Executive Director Abdirahman Muse (District 8), previously a senior policy aide to former Mayor Betsy Hodges.

Walz previously appointed Nora Slawik to chair the Met Council. The former Maplewood mayor and seven-term state representative was sworn in Jan. 9.

A regional planning and policy-making body established in 1967, the Met Council promotes economic development throughout the seven-county metro region and coordinates the delivery of services, including wastewater treatment, affordable housing, parks and transit. It leads major regional infrastructure and transit projects, including the $2 billion Southwest Light Rail Transit project.

More than 200 people applied for seats on the Met Council. A 12-member nominating committee selected 79 finalists who were interviewed at a series of public meetings held earlier this year.

The Met Council said Walz’s group of appointees represents the most diverse group in the board’s history.

Walz’s appointees become official only after confirmation by the state Senate. A swearing-in ceremony was scheduled for March 6.