Head of MnDOT lands top job at AAA Minneapolis

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 1, 2012 - 9:25 PM

Deputy commissioner succeeds him on an interim basis.

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EleanoreNov. 1, 1212:07 PM

Under his leadership outstate highway funds were used for projects within the metro statistical area (Hwys 212, 101 are examples). I can't express how unethical I think this is, or how ultimately the department head is responsible for it. I hope the next person in charge of MnDOT doesn't fall into the political trap that seems to have happened here, Minnesota is not better off because of it.

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dtmonkeyboyNov. 1, 1212:35 PM

what do you mean? ...The metro has been subsidzing out state roads for decades. I'm not complaining -just want to point it out.

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EleanoreNov. 1, 12 1:03 PM

'The metro has been subsidzing out state roads for decades. I'm not complaining -just want to point it out." - That's not the way states, like MN are set up. But you know that. So rather than argue semantics or "Mine" arguments with you, maybe outstate MN should just set up toll booths for all the goods and services that travel into and through the metro area via outstate modes. You can pay your way even more than you are now you know if you want to pretend that the metro area isn't part of MN.

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marknine59Nov. 1, 12 1:05 PM

Thanks to Tom Sorel for his excellent work. After two previous totally incompetent appointees by then Governor Pawlenty filling that position virtually destroyed our roads and the undercarriages of our cars and trucks, I recall with relief that within days of Sorel, a true professional(and not a political hack), moved into the position, and the enormous craters afflicting all of our highways were suddenly being filled and re-filled and kept filled. Subsequently he has continued to keep our roads in top condition. Many thanks and best wishes for your upcoming work with AAA. R. H. Colber, St. Paul

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uioplkjhgNov. 1, 12 1:12 PM

Must be nice to get a fat state pension and then go double dip until you really want to retire.

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EleanoreNov. 1, 12 1:38 PM

"(and not a political hack)," an opinion that facts as we have witnessed them (using funding dedicated to outstate projects for work on metro area roads like Hwy 101 and 212) does not sustain.

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smarterthanuNov. 1, 12 4:33 PM

The best of luck to you in your new endeavors, Mr. Sorel. Just like Pres. Obama, you inherited a huge mess caused by criminal incompetence and just like the president you have come a long way towards solving those problems. You will be missed.

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imin70Nov. 1, 12 7:05 PM

Construction on 694 on the NorthEast part of town is a waste of money and cost in commuting times of millions of riders.

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adamske20Nov. 1, 12 8:34 PM

Calling this commissioner a "hold-over from the Pawlenty administration" (which is a bit of a slight) doesn't seem to fit as a summary characterization. The rest of his biography, as supplied by the reporter, shows that up the time he become commissioner Sorel had had a sustained career as a highway professional. Quite a few professionals do develop substantial expertise over thier careers and get appointed into state jobs with large responsibility. So yes, Mr. Sorel, thank you for your service!

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Willy53Nov. 2, 12 5:45 AM

I agree that Sorel brought professionalism back into the department which was completely demoralized by the leadership of Molnau (who advocated the defunding and shrinking of transportation budget and politicized the entire department). However, Sorel was insane to support the St. Croix megabridge extravaganza whidh MNDOT concieved of in the 90's but had no relation to the transportation realities of the 21st century. That project, basically a funding hog with no discernable benefit for Minnesota, has elevated HW 36 to major freeway status which means 2-3 hundred million dollars of upgrades. This is in direct contradiction to MNDOT's insistance and 50-yr. that no more major highway transportation corridors be created. The magnitude of this decision will ripple through Minnesota's transportation funding crisis for years. Bad, bad,bad decision. I'm sorry he did not have the foresight and courage to oppose it.

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