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Former MnDOT official among finalists for Met Council opening

The three finalists for an open Hennepin County spot on the Metropolitan Council include Bob McFarlin, who served as acting commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation after Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau was ousted from the post by the state Senate.  

 The other finalists are William J. Guidera, a corporate executive, and Nancy Tyra-Lukens, former mayor of Eden Prairie.

They’re seeking an open seat from District 3, which includes the cities of Deephaven, Eden Prairie, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, Mound, Orono, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Wayzata, and Woodland.

Mary Hill Smith has resigned her seat, effective Dec. 31. Eleven people applied to fill her spot, and the three finalists were referred to Gov. Tim Pawlenty by the council’s Nominating Committee.

The Metropolitan Council consists of 16 citizens appointed from geographically defined districts in the seven-county metropolitan area and a chair.  All 17 members are appointed by the Governor to four-year terms.

Here’s a brief look at the three finalists, courtesy of the governor’s office:

• Guidera, of Orono, is a vice president with News Corp., where he leads the company’s state public policy initiatives. He has been an attorney and policy counsel with Microsoft and a legislative assistant in former Gov. Arne Carlson’s Washington office. Guidera is a member of the council’s Transportation Advisory Board and the Minnesota Zoological Board of Directors.

• McFarlin, of Minnetonka, is vice president of corporate, community and public affairs at Weber Shandwick in Bloomington. He held several positions with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, including acting commissioner, assistant commissioner for policy and public affairs and director of public affairs and chief of staff.

• Tyra-Lukens, of Eden Prairie, was mayor of Eden Prairie from 2002 to 2006 and a member of the Eden Prairie City Council from 1994 to 2002. She is an active community volunteer, currently serving on the Suburban Transit Association, Southwest Metro Transit Commission, Southwest Corridor LRT Policy Advisory Committee, American Cancer Society Midwest Division Board of Directors, Eden Prairie Foundation Board of Directors, and Eden Prairie Reads.

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