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Janice Rettman named new chair

January 8, 2015 (Red Wing, Minn.) – The Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission named Janice Rettman, Ramsey County Commissioner, as its chair for 2015. Janice Rettman succeeds William J. Spitzer who did not seek reelection as mayor of St. Charles, Minn.

"The possibility of expanded passenger rail service will benefit every community along the River Route, and I look forward to playing an expanded role in making it happen," Rettman said. "I would like to thank Mayor Spitzer and former Mayor of Winona Jerry Miller for their service as chairs and as a members of the commission."

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is working with Amtrak on a study of the feasibility of adding a second daily Amtrak train between the Twin Cities and Chicago. The study has been completed and will be released after review by the participating freight railroads. MnDOT is also working on a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement for the 340-mile Twin Cities to Milwaukee corridor. The commission partners with MnDOT to provide information about the project to corridor residents.

The process will most certainly be complicated. Fortunately, the Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission has a strong foundation in place, a network of informed and energetic elected officials representing 18 governmental agencies. This group is serious about sharing information about the proposal in an educational campaign to raise awareness, engage communities and proactively communicate toward successful advocacy of the River Route.

Biographical information:

Janice Rettman has served as an elected official since 1986: first as St Paul City Councilmember in Ward 5 from January 1986 until April 1997, when she was elected as the Ramsey County Commissioner serving District 3. Janice was recently re-elected to the Ramsey County Board. The area she represents includes Falcon Heights and several Saint Paul neighborhoods including Como Park, the North End, and part of the Eastside, Frogtown, and Midway.

“Serving on the HSR Commission is one of the roles I enjoy so much,” said Rettman. “The counties and communities along the Great River Corridor are dynamic and vital in every way!”

Janice serves on numerous boards and committees on behalf of the Board and will be seen working tirelessly with and for the residents and businesses in the neighborhoods she represents. The history of trains traversing through the area she represents is over a century old and she well knows the economic prosperity trains bring and what passenger travel adds to the tapestry of community vitality.

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