Met council pay renews debate

Daily Editorial Board

After seemingly having cut a deal in February, Met Council chairman Adam Duininck is reported to be making almost $123,000 annually. Because this salary is double the amount the previous chair received, many are up in arms over Gov. Mark Dayton’s apparent dismissal of a deal that was supposedly worked out. 
 
Under the previous compromise, established by Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Dayton, it was generally agreed that the raises would be implemented in July. Soon thereafter, the Legislature would likely repeal the governor’s ability to be involved with cabinet pay.
 
Adding fuel to this gubernatorial fire, it has been revealed that “Duininck is married to the governor’s chief of staff and for years ran an outside political group that raised millions of dollars to back DFL candidates, including Dayton’s 2014 re-election,” the Associated Press reported on Tuesday
 
While Dayton has yet to address this situation specifically, in the past he has maintained that pay raises are necessary to attract the best talent. 
 
Once again, we reiterate that this issue is a distraction from more important political discussions, but it needs to be addressed, given the relation between Duininck and Dayton. 
 
It does not sit well to have a governor back down on his word — especially with regard to administrative pay. We urge the Legislature to consider revoking the governor’s ability to have discretion over pay raises and get rid of this issue for good.