Steve Duske, of Watertown, recently announced his candidacy for Carver County Commissioner in the 4th District.
Following two tours in Vietnam, Duske has lived in Carver County for the last 38 years, where he raised four children and has 10 grandchildren. Duske has worked as a stonemason and craftsman for most of the last four decades.
In 2000, Duske was elected to the Watertown city council, where he represented the city for 10 years. During his 10 years on the council, Duske was involved with the Watertown Economic Development Authority, bonding, TIF, finance planning and personnel. Duske said much of his time on the Watertown council was spent working with the County Board on transportation, elderly housing in conjunction with the comprehensive plan, as well as working on the County Road 20 and Highway 25 projects.
"My goal was to see economic growth while maintaining fiscal responsibility so that taxpayer dollars were always protected," Duske said. "This is one goal that I will carry through if elected as County Commissioner."
Much of Duske’s campaign is built on his vision for the future, particularly in regards to mass transit. He said a great deal of money was spent on rehabilitating regional trails in the area through tarring and rebuilding of bridges. While Duske said the trails look nice and will see much use, he believes the trails could better be used for public transportation – such as natural gas or electric transit – that would better connect parts of Carver County with the Twin Cities.
"The remaining railroad bed is the boneyard of a once existing public transportation system and the key to a practical future," Duske said. "Years ago a Watertown resident used to take the freight train from Watertown to Minneapolis for 15 cents. If we look to this as our future, I feel that our investment will be more far-reaching to all Carver County residents."