Appeal Tribune Candidate Questionnaire — City of Silverton   November 2012

 

-          How long have you lived in Silverton?

I have lived in Silverton 64 years.  

 

-          Tell us a little about yourself: family, age, work, education, interests?

Victoria (my significant other) and I have lived at the James Street house (Bolognia Hall) since 1988. We enjoy shopping at Goodwill and thrift stores. We have five cats that allow us to live here as long as we feed them and see to their every need. I work as a freelance software engineer and operate the Palace Theatre 7 days a week. I graduated with an ASEE from Chemeketa Community College (then Salem Tech) in 1968 and subsequently worked for a number of high-tech ventures in the area. I have many varied interests – I do precision metalworking, collect handcuffs and indulge in the occasional home improvement project.

-          Do you have a website where voters can learn more about you and your campaign? If so, please include the URL.

www.StuRasmussen.com

-          Is this your first time running for office? What other city government positions have you run for or served in?

I was first elected to the Silverton City Council in 1984 and have served a total of 24 years in elective office here in Silverton. This includes 20 years as mayor or councilor and 4 years on the library board.

-          What leadership positions have you held outside of city government in Silverton?

I have concentrated my political activities here in Silverton where my heart is. In my business (Palace Theatre) I am the co-owner and general manager of the enterprise. I have also managed or led engineering task forces on various software and hardware projects for a variety of high-tech manufacturers in the area.

-          In your most recently-held leadership position, what have been your achievements?

Most recently I have been concentrating on bringing the Palace Theatre literally ‘back from the ashes’ of a fire in April. Although it was a team effort I believe that without my willingness to step up and lead the restoration the Palace would have closed permanently and Silverton would have lost a ‘star player’ in the downtown. It would have been easier to walk away and retire, but that’s not my style.

-          Why are you running for mayor or city council?

This is a critical time for local government and our local economy. As a fiscal conservative it has shocked me to watch as a majority of our council squanders our precious tax dollars on wasteful pet projects while ignoring the coming revenue shortfall. We desperately need cool heads with ‘common’ and business sense and fiscal responsibility to carefully manage and preserve our tax dollars. Frankly, if the community re-elects me as Mayor and also elects known wastrels to other council positions then we are in big trouble. As Mayor I do not have veto authority over wasteful spending – a small majority of the council can spend Silverton tax money like there’s no tomorrow.

-          Why are you qualified to be mayor or city councilor?

I have over 40 years experience owning and operating entrepreneurial businesses in Silverton plus 24 years as an elected official. In my opinion that’s the best experience and qualifications of any candidate running.

-          What are the issues that matter to you most in this election?

Maintaining Silverton as Silverton without trying to turn it into some sort of ugly California clone. This is a classic community that residents and visitors fall in love with just as it is – we don’t need artificial ‘improvements’ that only cost us money for no benefit other than ego gratification of the promoters. We need to concentrate on the core issues that affect everyone in Silverton – maintaining public safety, providing pure water, adequate wastewater treatment and maintaining our streets and sidewalks.

-          What would be your first priority if elected to office?

-          Working with the newly elected council to review and re-prioritize the current plans for various public projects and bring them in line with the fiscal reality of our time. Review city programs and eliminate unnecessary or redundant city functions to save taxpayer dollars.

-          What do you hope to accomplish during your term as mayor or city councilor?

I will balance city spending with income and not rely on savings or reserves to operate into the future. We already owe enough on the ‘credit card’ without going further into debt. I expect to explore alternative ways of providing city services that will maximize benefit to our community while maintaining critical emergency response capacity.

-          In your opinion, what characterizes the city of Silverton? How do you think it should look in 5, 10, 20 years?

Silverton is ‘40 miles and 40 years from Portland’ and we like it this way. A classic time capsule with modern amenities and 21st century technology – A great place to live and raise a family. We have the best of both worlds and I hope people years in the future will feel the same way because of the proactive steps we take now to keep it this way.

-          If your qualifications, opinion or actions were challenged in public (e.g. at a City Council meeting), how would you respond?

It has been my experience that my qualifications, opinions and actions are regularly challenged in public. After 24 years of successful public service I have acquired a thick skin and first consider the qualifications, experience and opinions of the person questioning me before responding. I’m good at what I do and I have clear, logical and verifiable factual information to back it up. I maintain my sense of humor and know that it is the empty bucket that makes the most noise.