Media

For Immediate Release                                                                
April 29, 2014 

                                                                                                    

John Gunyou Announces Re-Election Campaign

for Three Rivers Park Commissioner

 
Proven leadership, collaborative results, long-term stewardship, and fiscal responsibility
will be central themes to his campaign

MINNETONKA, MN — John Gunyou, Commissioner & Board Chair, announced his re-election campaign today to represent the 4th District of the Three Rivers Park District. The 4th District includes Minnetonka, Edina, Hopkins, Richfield, Excelsior, Shorewood, Deephaven, Greenwood, Tonka Bay and Woodland.

Commissioner Gunyou emphasized his continuing commitment to connect people with nature through Three Rivers’ extensive system of regional parks, trails and programs.

“We are better off as individuals and as communities when our parks, forests and lakes play a recurring role in our lives,” said Commissioner Gunyou. “I am proud of what we have accomplished over the last two years, and promise to redouble my efforts to insure these valued experiences continue to be available for us today, and for years to come.”

Under his leadership as Board Chair, Three Rivers has expanded its community outreach through creative partnerships with cities and school districts to improve access to popular regional parks, trails and programs, especially for children and seniors. Commissioner Gunyou emphasized these initiatives are being done by leveraging joint resources and realigning priorities, rather than by raising taxes and fees.

“I am particularly pleased that our partnerships are bringing Three Rivers’ exceptional recreation programs and natural resources classes to the students and residents of such communities as Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Richfield, which are farther away from our regional parks and facilities,” said Commissioner Gunyou. “I hope that come November, I am afforded the opportunity to build upon the great work we have started so that even more of our suburban residents can benefit.”  

Through his collaborative leadership, the Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail will be completed through Edina two years earlier than planned. Commissioner Gunyou’s vision and cooperative efforts also led to the development of world-class cross-country ski trails and a long-needed new ski chalet at Hyland Park Reserve in Bloomington.

“Nature and outdoor recreation have always been important in my life. I grew up camping, hiking and boating, and will never forget my first Boundary Waters canoe trip,” said Commissioner Gunyou. “The natural environment we enjoy today is a gift from past generations, and we honor their foresight by sustaining that legacy.”

Widely respected for his four decades of distinguished public service, Commissioner Gunyou was selected by his colleagues to serve as Board Chair, where he led initiatives to improve public transparency, responsiveness and long-term financial management. Under his leadership, operating budgets have been held flat and excellent service has been maintained, despite double-digit annual growth in usage at Three Rivers’ popular parks, trails and facilities. He pledges to continue this fiscally responsible leadership to sustain the affordable services users have come to expect.

“My Dad taught me years ago we don't plant trees for ourselves, we plant them for our grandchildren,” shared Commissioner Gunyou in response to a question about his commitment to long-term stewardship. “It was the most important lesson he ever taught me - living my life today as if the future matters. The year Dad passed away, my own children joined me on Arbor Day to each plant a tree in his memory. More recently, I planted another tree in a park for my first grandchild. Those trees reconnect my family with nature, and leave a living legacy for generations to come.”

Commissioner Gunyou’s Campaign Steering Committee for the nonpartisan re-election campaign includes Hennepin County Commissioner Jan Callison, Minnetonka Mayor Terry Schneider, Edina Mayor Jim Hovland, Hopkins Mayor Gene Maxwell, and Richfield Mayor Debbie Goettel.

Commissioner Gunyou lives in Minnetonka, on Three Rivers’ Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail. His wife Kim and their five adult children actively enjoy Minnesota’s parks, trails, recreation and natural resources. His extensive background, accomplishments and positions on issues are available on his campaign website at www.johngunyou.com Here's the PDF version of this announcement.

Three Rivers Park District serves million people every year at 27,000 acres of natural areas, twenty regional parks and reserves, five nature centers, and 300 miles of trails maintained throughout the western suburbs.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

 

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For Immediate Release
June 28, 2012

 

John Gunyou Receives League of Minnesota Cities’ Highest Honor

Former city manager recognized for decades of outstanding public service

MINNETONKA, MN — Former Minnetonka city manager John Gunyou has received the League of Minnesota Cities’ highest honor for appointed city officials. Gunyou, who served as city manager for 12 years, was chosen as this year’s sole recipient of the 2012 Leadership Award. The award is presented annually in celebration of individuals who have demonstrated outstanding and exemplary public service.

“Since announcing my retirement this spring, I have been overwhelmed by the support, recognition, and friendship of so many colleagues, friends, and neighbors,” said Gunyou. “Being recognized by such a respected organization is humbling; I am honored to accept this award.”

“Through all my years in public service, there has not been a challenge I have faced that couldn’t be resolved by working together, having the courage to think differently, and having the persistence to see a job through to the end,” Gunyou said. “I hope to bring that same cooperative approach to the challenges and opportunities facing the parks and trails that make our communities great.”

The Leadership Award was presented to Gunyou at the League of Minnesota Cities’ Annual conference in Duluth on June 21. LMC officials cited Gunyou for being an “…outspoken advocate for innovative thinking in the public sector, from public-private partnerships to cooperative agreements between cities.”

Among Gunyou’s many accomplishments cited by the League over his 30-year career in public service was working with the City of Minnetonka’s senior leadership team to implement a significant restructuring of city departments to streamline service and reduce costs. It is that innovative approach to smart, responsible governance that Gunyou hopes to bring as a Three Rivers Park Commissioner.

Prior to serving as Minnetonka city manager, Gunyou served as Minnesota’s Finance Commissioner, was the first finance director for the City of Minneapolis, ran Minnesota’s original and largest Internet company, and was an executive with Minnesota Public Radio. Gunyou was also a partner with the largest economic consulting firm in the Rocky Mountains, has taught at several universities, and has degrees in finance and economics from the U.S. Air Force Academy, UCLA and University of Colorado. 

Gunyou has served on numerous state and national boards, including the DNR Parks and Trails Legacy Funding Work Group, Minnehaha Creek Corridor Coordinating Committee, US EPA Financial Advisory Board, MPCA Citizens Board, and Minnesota State Arts Board. He has received many honors, ranging from Best City Finance Officer in the Nation, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Allies Award and WCCO Good Neighbor Award.

Gunyou lives in Minnetonka, on Three Rivers’ Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail. His wife Kim and their five adult children have been long-time users of the district’s extensive park, trail, recreation and natural resources.

For more information, please contact John Gunyou at (952) 237-7499 or john@johngunyou.com. Gunyou's campaign website can be found at: www.johngunyou.com.

 

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For Immediate Release
April 24, 2012
 

John Gunyou Announces Candidacy for Three Rivers Park Commissioner

Trusted, respected public leader would devote lifelong passion for the outdoors to West Metro-area parks


MINNETONKA, MN — Long-time Minnetonka resident John Gunyou announced his candidacy today for the Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners. Gunyou, who is widely regarded as one of Minnesota’s foremost public administrators and a leading expert on fiscal policy, said the privilege of serving on the Board offers a unique opportunity to continue to improve the quality of life in our communities and leave a positive, lasting legacy for future generations.  

“My father once told me that we don’t plant trees for ourselves, we plant them for our grandchildren,” Gunyou said. “I take those words to heart, and have tried my best to live by them throughout my 40 year career.”

“Great parks for today and tomorrow,” he said. “If elected to serve on the Three Rivers Board, that is my pledge to our communities, our children, and our grandchildren. Through careful stewardship, strong leadership, and a steadfast commitment to responsible decision-making, we can and must guarantee the health of our cherished parks for decades to come.”

Parks and natural areas have always been important in Gunyou’s life. Gunyou noted that he and his wife Kim were even married in a park, as was their oldest daughter.

“Growing up, my family always went camping and boating; and I will never forget my first Boundary Waters experience as an Eagle Scout,” Gunyou said. “From a young age, I have always had great respect for our natural resources. Having the opportunity to continue to protect and preserve our local creeks, rivers, forests, and recreation areas would be a great honor.”

Gunyou emphasized his career has always been dedicated to responsible stewardship and long-term vision. “The natural environment we enjoy today is the legacy our forefathers and foremothers left for us,” he said. “We honor their foresight by sustaining those investments in our quality of life.”

Retiring soon as Minnetonka’s city manger, Gunyou is proud of his leadership over the years that has permanently preserved acres of open space, forests, lakes and wetlands, and provided the parks, trails and natural areas that make our communities special.

Long known for his responsible financial leadership, Gunyou stressed the benefit of cooperative partnerships and community outreach to get things done in today’s challenging economy, and to provide good service value for every taxpayer dollar. “Long ago, I learned how to play well with others,” Gunyou said, “We do things best when we do them together.”

Gunyou is running for the District 4 seat currently held by Dale Woodbeck, who recently announced he will not be seeking reelection. Woodbeck is supporting Gunyou’s candidacy, as is Three Rivers Parks Chairman Larry Blackstad. District 4 includes the communities of Minnetonka, Edina, Hopkins, Richfield, Shorewood, Excelsior, Deephaven, Greenwood, Tonka Bay, and Woodland.

Gunyou’s Campaign Steering Committee for the nonpartisan election includes Minnetonka Mayor Terry Schneider, Edina Mayor Jim Hovland, Hopkins Mayor Gene Maxwell, Richfield Mayor Debbie Goettel, Shorewood Mayor Chris Lizee and Hennepin County Commissioner Jan Callison. Equally significantly, Gunyou has already received numerous endorsements from such respected leaders and former officials as Congressman Jim Ramstad, Governor Arne Carlson and House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

Prior to serving as Minnetonka’s city manager for the past dozen years, Gunyou served as Minnesota’s Finance Commissioner, was the first finance director for the City of Minneapolis, ran Minnesota’s original and largest Internet company, and was an executive with Minnesota Public Radio. Gunyou was also a partner with the largest economic consulting firm in the Rocky Mountains, has taught at several universities, and has degrees in finance and economics from the U.S. Air Force Academy, UCLA and University of Colorado. 

Gunyou has served on numerous state and national boards, including the DNR Parks and Trails Legacy Funding Work Group, Minnehaha Creek Corridor Coordinating Committee, US EPA Financial Advisory Board, MN PCA Citizens Board, and MN State Arts Board. He has received many honors, ranging from Best City Finance Officer in the Nation, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Allies Award and WCCO Good Neighbor Award.

Gunyou lives in Minnetonka, on Three Rivers’ Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail. His wife Kim and their five adult children have been long-time users of the district’s extensive park, trail, recreation and natural resources.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. If more than two candidates are running, a primary will be held Tuesday, August 14, 2012. 

For more information, please contact John Gunyou at (952) 237-7499 or john@johngunyou.com. Gunyou's campaign website can be found at: www.johngunyou.com.

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John Gunyou
Three Rivers Parks Board Chair