Adam Duininck named new chair of the Metropolitan Council

Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed Adam Duininck as the new chair of the Metropolitan Council.

Duininck will replace Susan Haigh, who announced in November that she was leaving to devote full-time to her job as President and CEO of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.

In a change from previous Met Council chairs, Duininck will be a full-time head of the agency, which is a policy-making body, planning agency and provider of essential services for the Twin Cities metropolitan region. It has 4,200 employees and an $890 million annual operating budget.

He’ll be paid $145,000 a year as full-time chair. Haigh, as a part-time chair, was paid $61,414.

Duininck, of Minneapolis, is an appointed member of the Met Council, representing District 8. Most recently, he’d been Executive Director of Win Minnesota, a non-profit organization that works to advance progressive causes in Minnesota.

Previously he’d been legislative and political director for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49. He worked in construction after studying political science at the University of Minnesota. According to the Star Tribune, he didn’t graduate from the U.

Duininck’s wife, Jaime Tincher, is Dayton’s chief of staff.

In announcing the appointment, Dayton said:

“Adam Duininck will bring both extensive experience and fresh perspective to the Council. His expertise in transportation and his working relationships with leaders throughout the region will be essential in building the transportation systems needed for its continued population growth and economic progress.”

And Duininck said in a statement:

“Our region is growing rapidly. That growth presents a variety of complex challenges. But it also presents important opportunities to strengthen our local economies, renew our regional infrastructure, and improve the quality of life enjoyed by all our residents. I am extremely grateful for the chance to serve the people, communities, and businesses of this region; I can’t wait to get started.”

The 17-members of the Met Council — 16 from area districts and the chair — are appointed by the governor. There’s been much discussion over the years about whether they should be elected.

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