An interim St. Paul City Council member is facing reprisals for changing his mind after promising not to run for the seat.
Kassim Busuri has been removed from a council work group on public safety, less than a week after he announced that he was running in the November election.
Council President Amy Brendmoen will replace Busuri in the work group, which also includes Council Members Mitra Jalali Nelson and Dai Thao.
Brendmoen said the decision was the result of Busuri's decision to run for a full term after pledging not to during the interim council member application and interview process.
"The membership in those work groups is a privilege," she said.
Busuri's name also was removed from Wednesday's Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) agenda, where he'd previously been listed as a sponsor for a housing development in his East Side ward.
Council Member Chris Tolbert, who chairs the HRA and replaced Busuri's name on the agenda with his own, would not say whether the change was related to Busuri's decision to run.
"They're just really important projects that the city has been working on for the last two decades," Tolbert said, explaining why he replaced Busuri. "I just thought it was important that we pass those today."
Busuri said he learned of both changes Wednesday.
"The public does not appreciate a small group of insiders telling them who should be in charge — especially on the East Side where people feel like city government ignores them most of the time," he said.
Other council members, as well as some of Busuri's fellow candidates in the Sixth Ward race, have called for him to either resign his position or suspend his campaign. He has said repeatedly that he will do neither.
Emma Nelson • 612-673-4509