January 11, 2021 - Red Wing, Minn.

The Great River Rail Commission has chosen officers for 2021. Reelected to the posts were Mark Vaughan, city council member from Hastings, and Paul Drotos, Goodhue County commissioner, who each begin their third year as chair and vice chair, respectively. The Commission is made up of officials from 18 cities and counties along the Mississippi River between Saint Paul, MN and La Crosse, WI. It advocates for the TCMC Second Train to increase passenger rail and freight shipping capacity between the Twin Cities and Chicago, and increase economic development in Minnesota.

Mark Vaughan has been a city council member since 2014. He has worked for 25 years for the city of Eagan in the parks and recreation department and is currently the facility manager. Vaughan has been a volunteer member of the Hastings Parks and Recreation Commission, Hastings Planning Commission and the Hastings Charter Commission.

Paul Drotos has been a commissioner in Goodhue County since 2016; he has been vice chair of the county board since 2019. He has served as environmental officer for the city of Red Wing and has been involved with many local groups.

About the Commission

The Great River Rail Commission is one of the leading voices on passenger rail in Minnesota. The Commission advocates for the development of the Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) Second Train project, a daily round trip passenger train between the Twin Cities and Chicago. The Commission’s long range vision is that the Second Train demonstrates additional demand that leads to further investment in faster, more frequent passenger train service. The Commission is seeking $10 million from the state legislature that would result in $40 million in rail infrastructure improvements in Minnesota.

Pioneer Press - January 8, 2021

In St. Paul, Jane Prince is thinking of upgrading an antiquated city fire station tucked into a working class corner of the city’s East Side. Station No. 7, which hasn’t housed a working fire engine since mid-2018, maintains a ladder truck and medical team but no overnight accommodations for female firefighters.

Prince, a St. Paul City Council member, has other long-unfunded hopes and dreams too, such as adding a second Amtrak train from the Twin Cities to Chicago, and building “deeply affordable” housing for the very poor.

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