November 12, 2020 Speaker: Deb Barber


Presentation: Deb Barber, Metropolitan Council Representative for District 4

Dan Keyport introduced Deb Barber our District 4 Representative on the Metropolitan Council.

The Metropolitan Council is the regional policy-making body, planning agency, and provider of essential services for the Twin Cities metropolitan region. Its mission is to foster efficient and economic growth for a prosperous region.  The 17-member Metropolitan Council is a policy-making board that guides the strategic growth of the metro area. Elected officials and citizens share their expertise with the Council by serving on key advisory committees. Their priorities:

  • Create a financially sustainable 21st century transportation system.
  • Promote housing opportunities for all.
  • Invest in infrastructure that supports economic development.

Deb Barber has served Governors Dayton and Walz, and chairs the Transportation Committee.  Her first speaking engagement after being appointed was at our Rotary meeting in July 2015. She described her coverage and interactions with the 15 cities and 7 townships in District 4 and noted she has never received direction in her role from either governor. Instead, Deb has prioritized understanding the needs of District 4, with its diversity of needs and resources.

With a very fast-paced slide presentation, Deb described the Council’s operations, guiding documents, planning and funding processes.  She paid particular attention to the Transportation Committee’s work, its legislative mandates, the funding and input it receives, and how it interacts with SouthWest Transit and similar agencies. 

Our charts and graph quota for the month were expertly satisfied when Deb explained the pandemic’s effects on bus and rail ridership and the related revenues.  The impact of working from home and the future model of work and transit concluded the formal presentation.  Deb continued to answer questions from us for another 20 minutes.

Deb is a resident of Shakopee and is a partner of Georgiann Keyport, Dan’s wife, working at Canopy Medical LLC.

To contact Deb:

Address: 390 Robert St. N., Saint Paul, MN 55101. 

Phone: 612-819-0848; email deb.barber@metc.state.mn.us

Met Council website: https://metrocouncil.org