Dan Gustafson has been a popular topic for me the last few months. In addition to the usual barrage of Burnsville related posts which mention Gustafson and his poor decision making, there have been posts solely about him and his poor personal business decisions and how those personal problems may play a part in how he acts as a Burnsville City Council member.
We have covered how Mr. Gustafson was accused of not paying an employee of his at a Burnsville council meeting which he did not attend, a related post about a Thisweek Letter to the Editor which mentioned that Dan Gustafson was not doing what he should have been doing when he didn’t pay his employee, or when Burnsville City Council member Dan Gustafson lied and said he was ill but was seen at a local restaurant, and most recently when I asked whether Gustafson should be able to lead the city on economic related matters when he’s hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. You would like to think that a Burnsville City Council member would jump at the chance to explain how and why they are worthy of their council seat but according to one Burnsville resident, that’s hardly the case with Dan Gustafson.
Beginning back on March 10th, the same day I asked what Burnsville residents thought about Dan Gustafson’s serious personal financial problems and how they may impact his work as president of the Burnsville Economic Development Authority as well as his general duties as a City Council member, one Burnsville resident contacted Mr. Gustafson directly asking for his side of the story. This resident was also interested in his thoughts on, “why these issues should not be a factor in your ability to participate in, and/or lead City economic matters.”
Three more e-mails went to Burnsville City Councilmember Dan Gustafson on March 17th, March 29th, and April 5th. The fourth and final e-mail was carbon copied to Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz as well as members of the local media. Within an hour and a half Dan Gustafson replied that he would be more than happy to speak with the resident over coffee. Another e-mail from the resident to Mr. Gustafson has gone unanswered for more than two weeks.
This most certainly proves that Dan Gustafson is literally, “out of touch.” Now, I understand the unfortunate position Mr. Gustafson has placed himself in here. It is very likely that he does not want to discuss his own financial hardships with the people who voted for him to handle the city’s own financial issues but ignoring 4 out of 5 e-mails over the course of more than a month seems downright disgusting to me. Does it really take carbon copying local media and the mayor in order for Dan Gustafson to speak to his constituents? What kind of public leader acts like that except one that has something to hide?
What do you think about Dan Gustafson’s general disdain for his constituents? Is it right for a resident to have to send more than one or two e-mails and carbon copy other city council members and the media for a response to be provided? Does Dan Gustafson owe Burnsville residents a public apology for the way he has treated this particular individual or is this to be expected when you are a public official? Should the local media, being that they were carbon copied, have interviewed Councilmember Gustafson about these issues or are they so weak that they cannot possibly ask the tough questions like traditional media should?
Whatever you have to say about Burnsville City Councilmember Dan Gustafson’s lack of communication with residents about problems which may have a direct effect on city business go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.