Gov. Mark Dayton met with three members of the Minneapolis City Council this morning to talk to them about their support for a stadium.
Dayton said Mayor R.T. Rybak, council president Barb Johnson and two other city council members attended. City officials identified them as Sandy Colvin Roy and Kevin Reich, although neither has returned a phone call to their office seeking confirmation.
“There are a couple that are carefully considering their position,” Dayton said of council members.
Reich said earlier this month that he believes city’s voters need to approve the proposed $975 million stadium plan in a referendum. Rybak, though, said the same day that he didn’t consider Reich a “no” vote.
Colvin Roy last month cited similar reasoning in voicing her reluctance to supporting a stadium plan: that 1997 charter amendment that requires a referendum on stadium spending over $10 million.
The two are part of what are reported to be a majority “no” bloc on the council, and part of the reason Rybak has said he hasn’t been able to offer tangible proof of the city’s support for his stadium plan. And if Reich and Colvin Roy are in fact the swing votes on the plan, Dayton offered little indication that he’d swung them.
“Well, they’re open to considering their position,” Dayton said. “I don’t know that either of them have taken a firm position. I don’t know that for a fact one way or the other. But they both indicated they were willing to consider their position.”
Dayton touched on another facet of the stadium debate as well: whether the council can vote on a stadium before the Legislature acts.
“I’m not a lawyer. Some say the council can’t actually by law vote definitively until after the Legislature enacts the legislation. So I think what the Legislature’s looking for is a letter, that’s clear that at least a majority of the Minneapolis City Council support the project, and ultimately assuming that the terms stay relatively the same, would support it.”
But Dayton also added that he still considers the stadium alive. “I’m still hopeful,” he said. “We didn’t get any final commitments, but we didn’t ask for any final commitments, either.”