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Rybak gets national Urban Land Institute fellowship

A busy, busy Minneapolis Mayor R.T.

A busy, busy Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak — up for re-election as mayor this fall and already campaigning around the state for a run for governor next year, not to mention running a city of 380,000 people — has been named a fellow of The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use.

The fellowship program of the Washington, D.C.-based group seeks to “provide city leaders with the insights, peer-to-peer learning and analysis they need to successfully build and sustain their cities.”

Three others from Minneapolis are part of Rybak’s local fellowship team:

  • Barbara Sporlein, director of planning. She joined the Planning Division of the Minneapolis Department of Planning and Economic Development in 2004. Sporlein has served as deputy director of the St. Paul Public Housing Agency and as a city planner for the City of St. Paul, among other positions.
  • Gary Schiff, City Council member since 2001. Schiff is currently a board member of the Twin Cities Family Housing Fund and a member of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Housing Finance Board.
  • Steve Kotkem, director of Public Works and city engineer. Prior to his 20 years working for the city, Kotke worked as a consulting engineer in the private sector.

Also named to the fellowships were teams led by the mayors of Nashville, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

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Over the next year, the Minneapolis team will work with experts in real estate development, finance and land use as they tackle “complex land use issues facing each community.”