ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Candidate's View: Who’ll represent Range next on County Board?

Seasoned advocate what county residents desire [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1196331","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"120","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"88"}}]]Government has grown complex since our na...

Tom Rukavina
A gubernatorial candidate in the spring of 2010, Tom Rukavina delivers a speech during the DFL Convention in Duluth. Rukavina is now seeking a seat on the St. Louis County Board. File / News Tribune

Seasoned advocate what county residents desire
Government has grown complex since our nation’s founding. Even our county, St. Louis, spends $315 million of taxpayers’ money each year. I have come to believe the most important part of a local elected official’s job is to be an advocate for citizens when they deal with the new reality of complex government. People need a passionate advocate and a person who has the experience to help them resolve complaints, stick up for their rights, and work to ensure their money is spent wisely and productively for the public good. I would like voters to please consider my experience and record as they decide for whom to vote as their St. Louis County Commissioner in the 4th District. I’m Tom Rukavina, and let me tell you my story. When I was 12, my dad’s run for the state Senate was inspirational as I heard him talk about public service. His passion for community rubbed off on me in my college years and as a steelworker at Minn-tac. I got involved by winning a seat on the Virginia School Board at the wise old age of 22. I learned a lot more about government during my three years on the School Board than I did at the University of Minnesota Duluth - and I found the same passion as my dad for community service. I went on to serve as a Pike Township supervisor and was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, where I had the honor of serving the people of the Iron Range for 26 years. I was entrusted by my colleagues to chair the State Government Finance and the Higher Education and Workforce Development committees. I oversaw budgets of more than $1 billion. That experience, along with living simply in a great area of Minnesota with hardworking people, provides me with the experience to be an effective county commissioner. We have a big county, folks, and it spends a lot of our money. We all know there remains real needs in this county: Our infrastructure is stressed and needs attention; many young families, seniors and veterans depend upon county programs; and there remains pressure on our property taxes. If elected, my goal would be to squeeze the most benefit for our citizens from our current budget by getting input from citizens and county employees and by working together with our local elected officials. I think it is fair to say people know I’m not afraid to take a stand, to tell them the straight story and to stick by what I believe. If you want a silent County Board and a don’t-rock-the-boat style, pick someone else to be county commissioner. If you want an advocate who will question and try each day to push our government to do a better job responding to the changing needs of the people, consider my candidacy. I think I bring a young person’s passion, a working person’s common sense and a senior’s wisdom to problem-solving in government. I also have a track record of solving problems by working across party and ideological lines in order to get things done for our citizens. I am hopeful you agree that my experience, passion, and abilities will bring the creativity we need to improve conditions for county residents. I appreciate your consideration, and with your help in November we can do good things for our St. Louis County community. Finally, if anyone has concerns or ideas related to county issues, please feel free to call my home number, (218) 749-5690, and I promise to return your call. Tom Rukavina of Virginia is running to replace 4th District Commissioner Mike Forsman on the St. Louis County Board. He wrote this at the request of the News Tribune Opinion page.Seasoned advocate what county residents desire
Government has grown complex since our nation’s founding. Even our county, St. Louis, spends $315 million of taxpayers’ money each year. I have come to believe the most important part of a local elected official’s job is to be an advocate for citizens when they deal with the new reality of complex government.People need a passionate advocate and a person who has the experience to help them resolve complaints, stick up for their rights, and work to ensure their money is spent wisely and productively for the public good. I would like voters to please consider my experience and record as they decide for whom to vote as their St. Louis County Commissioner in the 4th District.I’m Tom Rukavina, and let me tell you my story.When I was 12, my dad’s run for the state Senate was inspirational as I heard him talk about public service. His passion for community rubbed off on me in my college years and as a steelworker at Minn-tac. I got involved by winning a seat on the Virginia School Board at the wise old age of 22. I learned a lot more about government during my three years on the School Board than I did at the University of Minnesota Duluth - and I found the same passion as my dad for community service.I went on to serve as a Pike Township supervisor and was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, where I had the honor of serving the people of the Iron Range for26 years. I was entrusted by my colleagues to chair the State Government Finance and the Higher Education and Workforce Development committees. I oversaw budgets of more than $1 billion.That experience, along with living simply in a great area of Minnesota with hardworking people, provides me with the experience to be an effective county commissioner.We have a big county, folks, and it spends a lot of our money. We all know there remains real needs in this county: Our infrastructure is stressed and needs attention; many young families, seniors and veterans depend upon county programs; and there remains pressure on our property taxes. If elected, my goal would be to squeeze the most benefit for our citizens from our current budget by getting input from citizens and county employees and by working together with our local elected officials.I think it is fair to say people know I’m not afraid to take a stand, to tell them the straight story and to stick by what I believe. If you want a silent County Board and a don’t-rock-the-boat style, pick someone else to be county commissioner. If you want an advocate who will question and try each day to push our government to do a better job responding to the changing needs of the people, consider my candidacy.I think I bring a young person’s passion, a working person’s common sense and a senior’s wisdom to problem-solving in government.I also have a track record of solving problems by working across party and ideological lines in order to get things done for our citizens. I am hopeful you agree that my experience, passion, and abilities will bring the creativity we need to improve conditions for county residents. I appreciate your consideration, and with your help in November we can do good things for our St. Louis County community.Finally, if anyone has concerns or ideas related to county issues, please feel free to call my home number, (218) 749-5690, and I promise to return your call.Tom Rukavina of Virginia is running to replace 4th District Commissioner Mike Forsman on the St. Louis County Board. He wrote this at the request of the News Tribune Opinion page.

What To Read Next