Council candidate profile: Jon RustenJon Rusten makes no bones about it. He noticed not long after he filed to run for one of two available seats on the Woodbury City Council that he is one of the two oldest of 16 candidates.
Jon Rusten makes no bones about it. He noticed not long after he filed to run for one of two available seats on the Woodbury City Council that he is one of the two oldest of 16 candidates.
Like the famous adage states, Rusten, 67, believes wisdom does come with experience. He’s hoping to lend some of both to the City Council.
“I think there should be more senior citizens involved (in city government),” said Rusten, a financial advice center manager for Thrivent Financial in Minneapolis. “We’ve got the time and experience to make an impact.”
Rusten, a grandparent of four with his wife Kay, believes his experience in the corporate sector as well as his past public service on church councils, chamber of commerce and planning commission in his former home of Park Rapids have provided him with perspective and knowledge necessary to contribute to pertinent issues affecting Woodbury, including healthy aging in the community and the budget process.
In managing a division of his company Rusten said he has used a zero-based budgeting approach he believes could be utilized by the city of Woodbury during its annual budget process.
“Just because last year’s budget was ‘X’ doesn’t mean it’s going to be ‘X’ again,” Rusten said. You have to start from zero and evaluate the whole thing every year.”
In terms of specifics, Rusten said the city may be able to save on yearly spending by extending the life of its vehicle fleet and other large equipment for various departments, instead of buying new as often as it does.
“I’m sure the city does a good job of getting the most of it’s dollar, but it’s important to look at every avenue.”
Rusten, who moved to Woodbury five years ago to be closer to his children and grandchildren the Twin Cities, said he plans to be “out and about” over the next few weeks in his red 1994 Chevy Corvette campaigning wherever he goes in the community.
“It’s hard not to be noticed in a bright red Corvette, so I figured why not campaign in it?” he said.
Occupation: Manager of Financial Advice Center at Thrivent Financial in Minneapolis
Family: Married, three adult children, four grandchildren
Woodbury resident: Five years
Civic involvement: past member of planning commission, industrial board in the city of Park Rapids