Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak announced last week that he will not run for a fourth term.
"I've also realized that doing this job the way I've chosen to do it requires a lot of sacrifice," he said at a news conference last week at the Midtown Global Market, "and after 11 years I believe it is time for me and my family and those around me to get more balance in our lives."
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Minneapolis has undergone a dramatic transformation since Rybak was first elected in 2001. New sports stadiums for the Minnesota Twins and University of Minnesota football team have been built, mainly with outside money, and third stadium project, for the Minnesota Vikings, is on the way with the help of city financing championed by Rybak.
Light-rail transit returned, and two more lines connecting Minneapolis with the rest of the region are in the works.
Tragedy also hit on Rybak's watch, most notably in August 2007, when the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed during rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring 145 others. The mayor took a front-and-center role in consoling the affected families and planning a replacement span and a memorial to the victims.
Rybak, a former reporter, got his political start as a community activist. He gained notice by fighting for noise mitigation around Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
He became mayor by defeating incumbent Sharon Sayles Belton.
Rybak will join The Daily Circuit Thursday, Jan. 3 to talk about unfinished business, his legacy and what the future holds.
READ MORE ABOUT RYBAK:
Photos: Mayor Rybak's busy 2012 (MPR)
On way out, Mayor Rybak eyes a few more deals (Finance & Commerce)
A look back at Rybak's 11 years (Star Tribune)
Next Minneapolis mayor will inherit challenges (Star Tribune)