Veteran Ramsey County Commissioner Janice Rettman is the new chair of the Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission, which is working to get a new, fast passenger rail line between Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul.
She takes over after the previous chair, William J. Spitzer, left the commission when he didn’t run for reelection as mayor of St. Charles.
The rail commission is made up of elected officials from 16 local governments. The commission favors a route in Minnesota along the Mississippi River.
Rettman, who had been a St. Paul City Council member for 10 years before being elected to the county board in 1997, serves on the rail commission as the elected official from Ramsey County. She’s known as a fiscal conservative who has often been the only “No” vote on budget items.
After her appointment as chair, Rettman said:
“The possibility of expanded passenger rail service will benefit every community along the River Route, and I look forward to playing an expanded role in making it happen.”
In addition to the planning for a high speed rail route, state officials are also exploring, with Amtrak, the possibility of a second daily passenger train between the Twin Cities and Chicago, the rail commission said.