LENORA CHU, Pioneer Press
Date: October 25, 2003

Both candidates for Roseville mayor are sounding themes of "restoring civility" to city government after four tumultuous years under Mayor John Kysylyczyn.

Tammy Pust, a former assistant attorney general, speaks of ushering in a new perspective while Craig Klausing says his city leadership experience will help him restore citizens' faith in the City Council -- the site of several tempestuous disputes during Kysylyczyn's term.

"My experience gives me the tools to run those meetings in a professional manner," said Klausing, 47, who was appointed to fill a council vacancy in 2001 and was later re-elected.

A senior assistant director for the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, an agency of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Klausing said that once he's brought order back to council meetings he'll pursue initiatives designed to maintain the vitality of this first-ring suburb of 34,000 people.

"Preserving and reinvesting in the housing stock" helps sustain strong neighborhoods, Klausing said. He said he also would work to build an environment that attracts businesses to Roseville.

Pust, 45, like Klausing, seeks economic vitality for the city. She said she'll pay particular attention to the city's aging population and its transportation and housing needs.

Pust, who now runs her own employment law practice, highlighted her experience serving as assistant commissioner while the state education department went through two rounds of budget cuts. "I know I have the proven experience in identifying waste and reducing public budgets," said Pust, referring to the need to address Roseville's loss of $1.4 million in state aid.

Pust also said she'll take "the real power of government" out of the hands of elected officials and give it back to citizens. "Roseville has suffered in the past with ineffective leadership that has not been respectful of citizen input," she said.

Born in Montana, Pust attended Concordia College and later the University of Minnesota law school before settling in Roseville in 1988.

Klausing, a lifelong Roseville resident who graduated from Alexander-Ramsey (now Roseville) High School, received his bachelor's from the University of Minnesota and his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law.

Should he win the mayor's office, Klausing said he would support passing a city ordinance to fill his vacant council seat by special election as soon as possible.

However, because state statute deems the council "shall" fill the vacancy by appointment until then, Pust has urged Klausing to immediately call on the council to specify a time frame for such a special election "so that the person who is appointed serves for the shortest period of time possible."

Klausing said he'd like a special election to be held "at least a year sooner" than November 2005, the next general election in Roseville and the time cities often choose to hold special elections.

Mayor Kysylyczyn's attempt to remain in elected office failed when he lost a primary bid for the City Council to Amy Ihlan and Dean Maschka.

Ihlan, a business litigation attorney, said her concerns about the city's Twin Lakes development project prompted her to run for office. She aims to make city government more "open and functional."

A financial planner and 12-year member of the council, Maschka said he plans to focus on development issues, Roseville's aging population and the city's $1.4 million budget shortfall.

Lenora Chu can be reached at or 651-228-2109.

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