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Ramsey County Manager Ryan O'Connor will leave his role with the county next year for a job as the Metropolitan Council's regional administrator.

The Met Council announced O'Connor's appointment to the top staff job with the regional agency on Monday.

As regional administrator, O'Connor's duties will include leading the Met Council's 4,000 employees and development of policies and programs, and advising Met Council members and the chair on regional policy.

"Given Ryan's extensive background in successfully leading regional government, I am confident he's the right choice to lead the organization," Met Council Chair Charlie Zelle said in a statement.

Mary Bogie, appointed regional administrator in 2021, retired earlier this year. Phil Walljasper has been serving as interim.

O'Connor joins the Met Council at a time when the regional policymaking organization, led by a 17-member appointed board, has come under fire for what some see as a lack of accountability in its handling of the Southwest Light Rail project, which has seen cost overruns and delays.

O'Connor's last day with Ramsey County will be March 1. An interim county manager will serve in the job while a recruitment firm conducts a national search for a permanent replacement.

O'Connor has worked for Ramsey County since 2013 and became county manager in 2018. He saw the county through the COVID-19 pandemic and three biennial budgets — the most recent of which was approved by the County Board on Tuesday.

At Tuesday's meeting, County Board Chair Trista Martinson thanked O'Connor for his work.

"We are really excited to see Ramsey County values be displayed at the Met Council and beyond in the region, and are really excited to see what you do there," she said.

The Met Council is expected to approve O'Connor's appointment on Wednesday.