St. Paul, MN– State Representative Jon Koznick, R-Lakeville, issued the following statement reacting to a report from the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) regarding Southwest Light Rail construction management practices at the Metropolitan Council. The report found that the Metropolitan Council failed to enforce several key aspects of its contracts related to the construction of the $2.7 billion Southwest light-rail project. The project is billions of dollars over budget and has been plagued with construction issues and mismanagement.
“This report makes clear that the Metropolitan Council failed to adequately manage the construction of Southwest Light Rail from the beginning, resulting in billions of dollars in cost overruns and years of delay,” said Koznick. “It is past time to hold the Met Council responsible for their years of mismanagement of this project and many others. Minnesotans deserve leaders that respect their tax dollars and have a baseline level of competence. We need to reform the Met Council’s nominating process to make sure that we have qualified and dedicated members overseeing these projects so that we never see a boondoggle like this again.”
Koznick opposes an elected Met Council plan for many reasons and has introduced House File 3323 to reform the nominating process. The bill gives cities and counties more input into who is selected to serve on the Met Council.
He continued, “The council needs to be improved and reformed so that there is more transparency and accountability to the taxpayers and the communities it serves. As things currently stand, staff and bureaucrats run the show at the Met Council and the problems revealed by the SWLRT mess show that major change and accountability is needed.”