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Dayton, new MnDOT commissioner defend snow removal

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton and his new transportation commissioner say they understand Twin Cities residents are frustrated by slow snow removal but that government workers are doing their best in tough circumstances.

Dayton appointed Minneapolis businessman Charlie Zelle on Wednesday to lead the Department of Transportation. Zelle is longtime head of Jefferson Lines, a regional bus company.

Minneapolis and St. Paul residents in particular have been unhappy with the slow pace of snow removal since Sunday's blizzard. Dayton says he shares the frustration and would like to see snow cleared more quickly, but also says people must realize that budget cuts and staff reductions have consequences.

Zelle says workers charged with clearing snow have been working long, challenging shifts and that it's difficult to respond quickly to major weather events.

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