A long-stalled bike trail extension moved ahead, a convention demonstration policy was tweaked and a historic fire chief appointment was confirmed Friday at the Minneapolis City Council.

The meeting was disrupted before it began by protesters who disagreed with the council's proposed restrictions on police conduct during the Republican National Convention. One attempted to read a petition during a small ceremony before the meeting but was escorted out by police and told not to return.

The Cedar Lake Trail moved closer to an extension after the council approved arrangements with the Metropolitan Council and the state. The pedestrian-bike trail, dating to 1995, has been stalled on the west edge of downtown.

The new route would follow the east edge of the Burlington Northern rail line through downtown and under the new stadium mezzanine to West River Parkway. The current trail connects downtown with St. Louis Park and Hopkins.

Meanwhile, the council also finished a 29-point policy statement intended to govern police behavior during the Republican National Convention, most of which police said was already contained in their procedures.

The council also confirmed Mayor R.T. Rybak's appointment of 27-year veteran Alex Jackson as fire chief, the first black to head the department.

Council Member Ralph Remington said he's looking forward to when more minority people head other city departments.

"Mayor Rybak, there are many in the heavens and the ether that are joining me in my appreciation today for the promotion of not just one man but the promotion of a people. For them I say, thank you, thank you, thank you," Remington said.

The council also directed that an outside consultant be hired to look at the city's relationship with Meet Minneapolis, the convention and visitor bureau responsible for drumming up business for the city's Convention Center. The center has been losing increasing amounts of money on operations, and the city contract with the bureau ends at the end of next year.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438