BEST GUBERNATORIAL APPOINTEE - 1999
Mondale sputtered to a distant fifth in the DFL gubernatorial primary last September. But as things worked out, he wound up in a better place than Skip Humphrey. In January newly installed governor Jesse Ventura tapped Mondale to head the Metropolitan Council, a move that showed the self-styled Reform Party gov's politics are more complexly nuanced than the pundits gave him credit for. A former state senator, Mondale has always seemed to live in the shadow of his family. But with this job, he stands to leave his own mark. His mandate from Ventura is to boost mass transit, help contain urban sprawl, and strengthen core cities. A proposal in late March from Mondale and Department of Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg for a $25 million "Transit Mobility Fund"--drawn from motor vehicle taxes and dedicated to transit corridors--might finally be the start of an intelligent metrowide transit strategy.