Roseville / City hires Ramsey development chief
Officials praise Trudgeon despite project disasters during his tenure
BY SHANNON PRATHER
Pioneer Press
Article Last Updated: 10/26/2007 11:39:36 PM CDT

The city of Roseville has hired away the city of Ramsey's community development director.

Patrick Trudgeon starts as Roseville's community development director Nov. 26. Trudgeon leaves Ramsey as the city is struggling to resuscitate an ambitious plan to create a downtown and housing development off U.S. 10. Much of the 322 acres remains undeveloped following the bankruptcy and death of the primary developer, Bruce Nedegaard, who envisioned a $1.3 billion, 2,800-home mixed-use project.

A Pioneer Press series this summer chronicled how the Ramsey Town Center's collapse included questionable financing, hundreds of thousands of dollars in Swiss bank accounts, and federal investigators looking for answers. Creditors lost millions of dollars.

Roseville's city manager and the mayor said they knew about the Ramsey Town Center project but still felt comfortable hiring Trudgeon.

"Whatever problems are plaguing that project are not all of Pat Trudgeon's doings," said Roseville City Manager Bill Malinen, who ultimately made the hiring decision. "Involvement in a project of that size is good experience."

Roseville Mayor Craig Klausing said he was interested in Trudgeon's role in the flagging Ramsey Town Square development. Trudgeon served as one of Ramsey's lead liaisons to the developer.

"I was aware of it," Klausing said. "I felt comfortable in talking to him that he had attributes and skills and could do a good job in Roseville. What happened in Ramsey was
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more of a product of things outside of his control."

Roseville conducted a regional search before hiring Trudgeon. Two panels of city staff, residents and community development professionals from neighboring cities interviewed Trudgeon and three other candidates.

"I am looking forward to the opportunities in Roseville," Trudgeon said in a prepared statement. "It is a unique City whose citizens have a lot of enthusiasm and interest in its development. I look forward to making Roseville a better community."

He did not return calls for comment.

Trudgeon, 40, holds a bachelor's degree in international relations and a master's in urban and regional planning from the University of Wisconsin. Trudgeon worked for Ramsey for seven years. Prior to that, he served as North Branch's planning and development director, a City Council member in Beloit, Wis., and a lobbyist in Wisconsin.

Trudgeon replaces John Stark who recently left the city for a similar position in Richfield. Trudgeon will be paid around $96,000 a year.

Malinen said Trudgeon will delve into planning for the redevelopment of old truck terminals in the Twin Lakes area along Cleveland Avenue and County Road C.

"I see him helping move that project forward," Malinen said.

Officials in Ramsey said Trudgeon led the Anoka County city through tremendous growth.

"The community owes him a tremendous debt of gratitude," said Kurt Ulrich, Ramsey city administrator. Trudgeon made roughly $92,000 a year in Ramsey, he said.

Dave Orrick contributed to his report.

Shannon Prather can be reached at sprather@pioneerpress.com or 651-228-5452.

2007 St. Paul Pioneer Press and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
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