Pioneer Press Editorial
September 3, 2003

One positive thing to say about the four years of discord and dysfunction in Roseville city government: It sure did persuade a thoughtful and experienced crop of citizens to run for mayor and City Council.

Roseville voters have a wealth of qualified candidates to pick from in the Sept. 9 primary. The two top vote-getters in each race will square off in the November general election.

Among the candidates for mayor -- two council members; a citizen activist; a former assistant commissioner for the state Department of Children, Families and Learning; and a local businessman -- Councilman Craig Klausing stands out for his experience in city government and vision for the future.

Klausing, 47, a lawyer who was appointed to fill a vacancy in early 2001 and elected to the seat that fall, has often disagreed with current Mayor John Kysylyczyn. He said if elected he would work to restore respect in city government and its interactions with citizens. That would certainly be a welcome change in a city where City Council meetings too often devolve into shouting matches and have become an embarrassment.

Klausing is former chairman of the city's Planning Commission and a former member of the Roseville Charter Commission. A lifelong Roseville resident, he is well-schooled in city issues and lays out a compelling vision for its future. He would work to diversify the city's aging housing stock and give residents who want to stay in the city more home-ownership options, push for more business development and look for ways to keep the inner-ring suburb attractive and competitive.

Councilman Tom Kough, 71, is a former Austin, Minn., mayor and alderman. He brings a great deal of experience in municipal leadership to the race. As deputy mayor in Roseville, Kough frequently sided with the current mayor and sees nothing wrong with the way the council currently operates. "People are going to disagree," he said. That may well be true, but we are concerned with his defense of the city's current state of affairs. Civil disagreement is one thing; disrespect and discord entirely another.

Tam McGehee, 59, a 24-year resident of the city, is an earnest and involved citizen. She would like to bring civility back to city government and seek more public input before major decisions are made.

Lawyer Tammy Pust, 45, a former assistant commissioner for the state CFL and one-time Golden Valley city attorney, is also well aware of the issues facing first-ring suburbs. She, too, would like to restore civility to city government and would bring her mediation and management skills to bear on the problems facing city government. She is a strong and credible candidate, but lacks Klausing's in-depth experience in Roseville city government.

Dan Roe, a 34-year-old sales manager for an industrial equipment company, said his experience as a business leader would serve him well as mayor. He said that he is an "ideas and process" person who would find a way to make the governing process work again in Roseville.

The five mayoral hopefuls all have strong qualities to recommend them. Klausing has the edge in experience and his vision for the future of Roseville.

2003 St. Paul Pioneer Press and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.