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Mayor Rybak, Mayor-elect Hodges meet for first transition session

The two agreed at Tuesday’s session on top agenda items, work to finish — and a smooth transition.

Rybak and Hodges both attended AchieveMpls' Education Partners Luncheon on Tuesday.
MinnPost photo by Joel Kramer

Big surprise. Mayor R.T. Rybak and Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges both expect a smooth transition from his administration to hers.

“I don’t see anything where there is a difference in values or views, which to me is incredibly conforming,” said Rybak after the two met privately in the mayor’s office for half an hour Tuesday afternoon to talk about work that needs to be finished by the end of the year, and the technical and personal aspects of being a mayor.

“There is a lot of work to get done between now and the end of the year,” said Hodges. “Passing a budget and making sure we can do all of that work while transitioning is a significant undertaking.”

Running down the work list for the weeks ahead shows that the two agree on establishment of a streetcar line and that design work on Nicollet Mall and the project’s bond sale are moving ahead.

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They also have agreed in the past that freight trains and the Southwest Light Rail line should not both run at ground level in the Kenilworth Corridor.

“Give the mayor-elect a break,” said Rybak to the assembled reporters and photographers. “I told her frankly to take a break.”

Hodges said it is much too early to talk about who might be appointed to her staff or if she is considering any of the staff who now work for Rybak.

“I came in [to office] desperately wanting to be liked,” said Rybak. “I leave wanting to be respected.”

Asked to give Rybak a grade for his time as mayor, Hodges quickly replied, “A-plus.”

Responded Rybak: “I give myself an incomplete, ’cause I ain’t done yet.”