The Metropolitan Council shall appoint a regional administrator to serve at the council's pleasure as the principal administrative officer for the Metropolitan Council. The regional administrator shall organize the work of the council staff. The regional administrator shall appoint on the basis of merit and fitness, and discipline and discharge all employees in accordance with the council's personnel policy, except the general counsel, as provided in section 473.123, subdivision 8. The regional administrator must ensure that all policy decisions of the council are carried out. The regional administrator shall attend meetings of the council and may take part in discussions but may not vote. The regional administrator shall recommend to the council for adoption measures deemed necessary for efficient administration of the council, keep the council fully apprised of the financial condition of the council, and prepare and submit an annual budget to the council for approval. The regional administrator shall prepare and submit for approval by the council an administrative code organizing and codifying the policies of the council, and perform other duties as prescribed by the council. The regional administrator may be chosen from among the citizens of the nation at large, and shall be selected on the basis of training and experience in public administration.