The following article by Eric Roper was published in the January 12, 2016 edition of the Star Tribune.
Opponents of Southwest Route Win in Quest for Met Council Documents
Behind-the-scenes Metropolitan Council communications with local officials and others are fair game in a lawsuit claiming the agency prematurely locked in a route for the Southwest light-rail line, a federal magistrate ruled Monday.
The oral ruling was a victory for the Lakes and Parks Alliance (LPA), a group of opponents of the line’s path through western Minneapolis who sued the Met Council in 2014. The regional planning agency sought to block the LPA’s request for a wide range of communiqués, including Met Council correspondence with City Council members, local government employees and prospective contractors about the project.
“This is what we wanted, and we were pleased that the court granted it,” said Lewis Remele, an attorney for the LPA. The ruling remains subject to appeal.