Rybak gives final state of city address, looks to future of Minneapolis


Mayor R.T. Rybak began his final state of the city address Wednesday morning by envisioning Minneapolis in 2025, the Star Tribune reports.

In 12 years, "Nicollet Green" will have replaced Nicollet Mall, families will be moving en masse to North Minneapolis, streetcars and light rails are criss-crossing neighborhoods, a "Target Tower" is now part of the downtown skyline and the population has reached 450,000.

The area surrounding the new Vikings stadium, "Armory Yard," would include ropes courses and a skateboard park with a half-pipe shaped like a Viking ship.

About halfway through his speech, Rybak reverted back the reality of 2013 and offered advice on how to make his vision happen.

Managing money is a must, Rybak said. MinnPost reports during Rybak's 12-year tenure, Minneapolis has paid down $241 million in debt and cut spending by 16 percent. Target Center was also moved off the tab paid by property taxpayers, saving them $5 million a year.

The outgoing mayor emphasized keeping the city safe and renewed his call for gun violence.

Rybak touched on hopes for more public transportation. “We’re going to make it possible to live in this city without a car,” said Rybak.

MPR reports the mayor has already urged the City Council to come up with a funding plan for streetcars this year. Transportation planners are still exploring whether streetcars make sense along Nicollet and other major arterial streets, a prerequisite for pursuing federal funding.

As for education, Rybak addressed the academic achievement gap in Minneapolis schools and supports putting high-quality teachers in every classroom.

"The single most important school-related factor in student success is the quality of the classroom teacher," Rybak said.

Rybak is not seeking reelection. Five DFL candidates are vying for the job.

Rybak has denied rumors that he may be heading to Washington to be part of President Barack Obama’s second administration or running for governor in 2014. He formed his own political action committee (PAC) less than two weeks before his announcement about his mayoral future last December.

Next Up


Child hospitalized after drowning in Ham Like

Their current condition is not known.


Man dies after falling from pontoon, being swept under boat

Friends believe he struck the motor while under the boat.


Man drowns in St. Croix River at William O'Brien State Park

It's not clear what caused the 46-year-old to go under.


Man, 66, dies after his ATV was hit by a minivan on highway

It happened in Renville County Friday evening.

Screen Shot 2021-06-12 at 10.09.06 AM

Rochester suddenly shuts down recently opened parking ramp

Original plans for the parking lot included housing above it, but issues with construction prevented it from being built.

Mudcat Grant

Former Twins pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant dies at 85

Grant was a critical piece of the 1965 AL Championship team but did much more.

sprinkler water

Lake Elmo among latest MN cities to implement outdoor watering ban

The ban prohibits automatic or mechanical watering outdoors in an effort to conserve water during the period of extreme heat.

LRT trail in Hopkins.

Police: Suspect assaulted woman on LRT trail in Hopkins

They're asking for the public's help tracking him down.


Strib looks at 'Rybak Decade'

It's been exactly 10 years since Raymond Thomas Rybak took over leadership of his hometown. The Star Tribune looks at the highs and lows of Rybak's tenure as he works toward one of his most controversial initiatives to date: using millions in city money to keep the Vikings in Minneapolis.

Rybak to KSTP: "Wrong!"

KSTP says Minneapolis Mayor Mayor RT Rybak hasn't decided yet if he's running for another term. The Mayor however, says the station whiffed on the report.