Burnsville City Councilmember Dan Gustafson wasn’t lying when he told Thisweek he was broke following an accusation by one of his former employees that he wasn’t paying her. While we already knew Gustafson was in serious financial peril and discussed how it may affect his ability to do his job as a councilmember and president of the Economic Development Authority, at that point he still appeared to be trying to work his way out of the hole he had dug for himself.
As of today there is still an outstanding request by a Burnsville resident to sit down and discuss how Dan Gustafson’s personal financial history does not affect his ability to do his job as a councilmember and leader of the Burnsville Economic Development Authority. While Councilmember Gustafson agreed to do the sit down no further communication was provided to actually set an agreed upon time/date/location. Clearly the man has other priorities which are far more important to him such as:
Heading to Brit’s in downtown Minneapolis to watch the World Cup while he updates his Facebook status from his Android phone with what is likely an expensive data plan while he could be at home doing the same thing from his $120/month cable TV/Internet connection.
Why is this important? Well, as of June 10th, 2010 Dan Gustafson has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. What does this mean? It means that details of his financial issues are made public and shows exactly how deep in the hole he was–an astounding $1.28 million in debt (case #10-34290, US Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota — records available via PACER or basic information over the phone).
I seriously have to question how someone who claims his only income comes from his wife’s $140/month job as a concession worker at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, his $700/month income as a Burnsville City Councilmember, and his temporary unemployment pay can continue to pay for items which I consider a luxury such as Internet capable phones, cable TV (which I haven’t had for years), etc.
What does this tell me? The man who is responsible for making decisions which affect tens of thousands of Burnsville residents and the amount they must pay in taxes each year cannot make simple financial decisions of his own in order to save money so how can anyone trust him with Burnsville’s? His on-going refusal to speak with residents requesting a meeting to discuss his abilities to continue running the city even after agreeing to, his filing for bankruptcy protection, and especially his apparent inability to make simple cost cutting measures to his own personal budget show that he needs to step down as a Burnsville City Councilmember effective immediately.
We’ve talked about this time and time again but now that we are finally at this point do you believe it is time for the man to fess up, admit he cannot lead Burnsville effectively, and agree to step down from his seat because he is clearly holding on only because it pays him $700/month? Whatever you have to say about Dan Gustafson’s filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.