Regent lives out of range

David Metzen has lived outside his district since the 2002 redistricting.

Matt Graham

Two years after promising to move to the district he represents, a member of the Board of Regents still lives in his old residence.

David Metzen, the former board chairman serving his second consecutive term for the 4th Congressional District, currently lives a few blocks outside his district.

Metzen was first elected to represent the 4th Congressional District in 1997. But the 2002 redistricting left him on the outside looking in when his term expired in 2003.

Unable to win legislative support in the 2nd District, where his home is now, Metzen promised to move to a new home if he was re-elected to represent the 4th District.

Dan Wolter, director of the University News Service, said the University’s administration works for the board and, therefore, cannot comment on Metzen’s status.

Members of the 12-person board are elected to six-year terms. The board features one member from each of the state’s eight congressional districts, and four from the state at large.

State legislators vote on the applicants from their respective districts. Candidates must also be approved by the Regents Advisory Council and the Joint Education Committee prior to appearing before the assembled Legislature for election.

The governor can also appoint regents in the event that the Legislature is unable to vote.

Metzen has said he would be willing to step down from his post if that’s what is called for.

But Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, of legislative District 54, which is within the 4th Congressional District, said such a move would be a little drastic.

“It’s not like this is scandalous,” he said.

Marty said he and other legislators would like to see Metzen make a serious attempt to move into the 4th District, but asking him to step down would be too much.

What really counts is the type of work that Metzen does, more so than where he lives, Marty said.

Metzen said he has been making an effort to move, but has had a hard time selling his house and is limited in where he can move because his wife, Leslie Metzen, a Dakota County judge, must remain in her district.

David Metzen also pointed out that he barely lives outside the boundary and can see the 4th District from his house.

“It’s just a driver and a wedge (away),” he said.

Ultimately, David Metzen said he feels he is a valuable and hardworking member of the board.

Mark Rotenberg, general counsel for the University, said the University is not legally liable for anything relating to David Metzen’s living status.

“It’s not a problem for the University, it’s a problem that arises from the Legislature’s selection of individuals, none of whom are currently (residing) in the 4th Congressional District,” Rotenberg said.