Press Pubs' Answers

Rich Dujmovic

Age: 49

Address: 15 Black Lake Road, North Oaks

Occupation: Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Boston Scientific Corp.

 

Background/Related Experience

As a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, I served as a KC-135 Instructor Navigator and Mission Employment Flight Commander. I presently lead a Regulatory team securing global approvals for life-saving/sustaining medical devices. I am running for City Council because I want to serve this community I have come to love, and engage its citizens and stakeholders in a respectful and collaborative manner. I see North Oaks as a peaceful haven in an often stress-filled world, and I want to nurture the unique spirit we have inherited, partnering with residents to cultivate that spirit into our bright, collective future.

Three most recent/significant roles in Civic involvement:

  •  Board of Directors - STARBASE MN - 501(c)3 TEKNE Award winning nonprofit focusing on educating and inspiring underserved 4th-5th grade youth in a unique, space-themed, hands-on STEM program – I love working with youth, and cherish these opportunities to encourage them to aim high and pursue their dreams!
  •  Executive Sponsor for BSC Veteran Employee Resource Group supporting a number of regional service projects including MACV Volunteering - Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans- a 501(c)3 serving homeless and those at risk of homelessness within the MN veteran community.  I am humbled by the opportunity to give back to those who have given so much for us.
  •  American Heart Association Heart Walk (BSC Arden Hills Campus Chair) and HandsOn Twin Cities volunteer – Coordinating fundraising and charitable service is so motivating and engaging… it helps strengthen existing bonds and builds new ones.  Introducing team members to service opportunities energizes me!

 

 

Top 3 priorities for the City:

  • Reverse the policy which disallows citizens from speaking on topics on the City Council Agenda.  The Government serves the citizens - Make it clear that the City Council welcomes all perspectives and wants to maximize engagement with all North Oaks residents.  Establish a City Council culture built on respect and civility. 

 

  • Fair, comprehensive review of development proposals founded on the governing documents of the PDA, its amendments, the Comprehensive Plan, and the Environmental Assessment Worksheet.  Our predecessors worked hard to secure the future of this community and they codified the foundational principles of that future in these powerful and comprehensive documents.  Complying with them is our responsibility to those who went before us.

 

  •  Respectful and collaborative engagement with other North Oaks stakeholders, the NOHOA and the NOC.  We share so much, and we have incredible talent and creativity within our community.  Working together, we can realize a mutually beneficial future. 

 

If elected, how would you involve the public in making major decisions?

We live in a Republic; a Republic means that the power resides with the people... it is a “public matter,” not a private matter of the ruling class.  I encourage all citizen involvement.  Our citizens are remarkable and bring energy, creativity, and a strong belief in this unique experiment that is North Oaks.  Our city is literally loaded with experienced, subject matter experts in every field.  We should: 1) Engage citizenry to tap that expertise, 2) Have respectful, civil discourse to reach mutually beneficial agreements across our stakeholders, 3) Focus on those areas we have in common (and they are many), and build from there.  I would propose the immediate and complete abolishment of all city policies aimed at limiting voices or frequency of voices or limitations on what topics can and can’t be discussed.  I want to hear from all citizens on all topics, at the time of their choosing.


What can the City Council do in the next five years to help the city prosper?

How does North Oaks define prospering?  Based on discussion with hundreds of residents, I believe the common elements of prospering are peace, respect, safety, security, privacy, quietness, living in harmony with the wildlife/natural resources of North Oaks, and an inviting community spirit. How the City Council can help... 1) respect for and partnership with NOHOA 2) more fully engage the Natural Resource Committee in decision making 3) partnership with our law enforcement resources and equipping them to perform their duties 4) financial discipline and planning to prepare the community for this final phase of development 5) welcome our new residents, introduce them to the legacy of North Oaks/involve them in our community early, and 6) Post Covid-19, initiate an annual community scavenger hunt, recurring community service projects, children’s talent show (taped and shared with our friends at Waverly Gardens), community athletic competitions (winter and summer), and other community bonding activities.

 

If you could change one thing about the city, what would it be?

Foster a sustainable City Council culture of respectful engagement – being sensitive to Open Meeting Law, create bonds between City Council membership, City Staff, and partner stakeholders through team service projects we can do together, getting to know each other deeper. Become a more unified team, stronger than the individual members and charters.  Establish zero tolerance for personal attacks and mischaracterizations - treat people with respect and show them this through actions and not just policy. As a team, be tough on the challenges, but professional and respectful to the people. We too often have let differences of opinion get in the way of respectful dialogue and action. We are better than that. Our city deserves better; our predecessors deserve better respect for their legacy. Set an example as a City Council that makes our city proud. Together, let’s ensure North Oaks remains a place you’d move to all over again. 

 

Photo by R. Dujmovic

 
Photo by R. Dujmovic

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