Letters to the Editor supporting John!


John Gunyou for Three Rivers Commissioner

schneider.jpgIt is my honor to serve as chairman of John Gunyou’s campaign for Three Rivers Park Commissioner.

As an At-Large councilmember and now Mayor of Minnetonka, I worked with John for the twelve years he served our community as city manager. When he recently retired, John left behind a legacy of responsible financial management, service innovation, respect for the natural environment and exceptional leadership that will stand for years to come.

John guided our city through difficult fiscal challenges by structuring a sustainable financial plan to insure our capacity to provide the excellent public services our residents and businesses have come to expect – both now and for years to come. He restructured departments and permanently reduced ongoing costs to moderate the burden on our taxpayers.  While positioning the city for long term financial stability, John understood the value our citizen’s place of the unique natural resources in our area, and placed a priority on preserving and enhancing those natural resources.

Recognizing the need to leverage our limited resources, John formed award-winning cooperative agreements for highway improvements, shared services, parks and trails and most notably, the ongoing preservation and revitalization of the Minnehaha Creek corridor that is creating a premier natural resource that our residents and future generations will enjoy for years to come.

I am proud to call John Gunyou my friend, and encourage you to vote for him as our Three Rivers Park Commissioner.

- Terry Schneider, Minnetonka

Schneider is Minnetonka’s Mayor


Gunyou is a leader who can get the job donehovland.jpg

I am strongly supporting my colleague and friend John Gunyou for Three Rivers Park Commissioner.

As Mayor of Edina, I have had the pleasure of working with John for much of the past decade. I was extraordinarily pleased when John shared with me his decision to run for the Three Rivers board, because I know first hand what a positive difference he has made for people and communities in improving their quality of life during his many years of public service.

Throughout over 40 years of public work, John has proven himself, time and time again, as a leader who can get the job done. John is a collaborative leader who is deeply committed to our environment, with a proven history of preserving and protecting the regional parks and trails and improving the park system and natural amenities of the City of Minnetonka.

I also know that John is dedicated to finding sustainable solutions for the financial challenges faced by all public agencies. I fact, I have often sought his advice on such issues, and look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role as a park commissioner.

John is a trusted, respected leader in responsible fiscal management and environmental stewardship, and the communities served by the Three Rivers Park District will benefit greatly from his continuing efforts to improve our quality of life and to leave a positive, lasting legacy of environmental stewardship for future generations.

I hope you will all join me in voting for John Gunyou on November 6, 2012 for Three Rivers Park Commissioner.

- Jim Hovland, Edina

Hovland is Edina’s Mayor


John Gunyou for Three Rivers Park Commissioner

lizee.jpgAs Shorewood’s mayor, I had the opportunity to work with John while he was Minnetonka’s city manager for the past 12 years. I highly value our working relationship and friendship, and was so pleased when he decided to trade in his well-deserved retirement to continue his long career in public service. Our community will benefit greatly by John’s election to the Three Rivers Park Board.

I have always been particularly impressed that John never takes the easy way out. John is thoughtful and seeks collaboration with others.  He consistently makes decisions for the long-term, always keeping the future in mind. It is important to me that he cares deeply about the natural environment we are leaving our children and grandchildren.

John is widely respected throughout the region and state for his responsible financial leadership, and I know that he will be a strong advocate for the parks and trails that serve our community. He is committed to preserving our valued natural environment, and has the track record to prove it. He is a leader we can trust to get things done.

I am proud to call John Gunyou my friend, and will be even prouder to vote for him on November 6th.  Please join me!

- Chris Lizee, Shorewood

Lizee is Shorewood’s Mayor


Gunyou is a proven servant-leaderRamstad.jpg

During my three decades of public service, I had the opportunity to work with many great leaders throughout our country, state and community.  John Gunyou is one of those great leaders.

John is a proven leader, and one of the most widely respected financial experts in Minnesota, if not the nation.  Whether balancing our state’s budget with Governor Arne Carlson or insuring that our community continues to have the affordable, quality services residents expect, John has always been a committed and passionate public servant.

I take great pride that I was consistently endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters in my elections to Congress. I know that John shares my vision of protecting our environment and open spaces, and we both have a proven track record of achieving that vision.

It has been my privilege to work with John to achieve pragmatic solutions that benefit out mutual constituents.  We need more servant-leaders like John Gunyou who approach public policy in a bipartisan, common-sense and cost-effective way.

We are fortunate that John has chosen to continue his commitment to public service, and I hope you will join me in voting for him as our next Three Rivers Park Commissioner.

- Jim Ramstad, Minnetonka

Ramstad was a Member of Congress from 1991 to 2009

Lakeshore Weekly News, October 23, 2012

Sun Sailor, October 25, 2012



Carlson.jpgFor decades, we have taken pride in our quality of life pointing to our standing in education, healthcare, safety, etc. But central to this feeling has been our commitment to protecting and enhancing our physical environment. For instance, here in Hennepin County we have a superb park and trail system. It is truly outstanding and plays a major role in our daily lives and more so for our children.

Others before us had the wisdom and courage to protect and enhance these lands. That took leaders with vision and commitment and now we need to do the same. I strongly support John Gunyou for the post of Three Rivers Park Commissioner. He is truly one of the most gifted public servants I have ever known. As my finance commissioner, he put together the plan to get our state out of a $2.3 billion deficit and restore our AAA bond rating. He went on to excel as city manager of Minnetonka.

But his true love is the outdoors and, believe me, we need leaders who will protect our magnificent outdoor quality of life. With his knowledge, sense of humor, and ability to work well with people, he will be a solid commissioner.

- Arne H. Carlson, Plymouth

Carlson was Governor of Minnesota  from 1991 to 1999

Lakeshore Weekly News, October 9, 2012



I am delighted to endorse John Gunyou for Three Rivers Park Commissioner. John’s vast experience in financial management, his effectiveness in working with a variety of government units, his passion for environmental causes and community service – these are just a few of the considerations that make him a rare and uniquely qualified person for the position. 

The Three Rivers Park District has an exciting and challenging future ahead in meeting the recreational needs of our community.  John’s track record shows that he will be a fiscally sound, skilled advocate for our district’s residents and parks.  His experience serving both the public and private sectors, his talent as a facilitator of sustainable solutions to the issues facing our recreational and natural resources, and his dedication to providing a true environmental legacy are unmatched by any other candidate.  

- Woody Love, Shorewood

Love is former Shorewood Mayor & Minnehaha Watershed District Board

Lakeshore Weekly News, October 30, 2012


Support for John Gunyou

mayer.jpgI am writing to encourage you to vote for someone who is running for Three River Parks Commission – John Gunyou.

I have come to know John through his wonderful daughter Emily Gunyou Halaas, and his interest in the arts community – primarily through his service on the Minnesota State Arts Board, and now as Treasurer of that board. John has been a strong and effective supporter of the arts, and I have no doubt that he will continue to bring that same passion and expertise to his other life-long interest - our parks, trails and natural environment.

John has a 40 year track record of responsible financial and environmental stewardship. Please check out his website at  www.johngunyou.com  We are fortunate that he is willing to continue his legacy of public service to our communities.

John has been endorsed by such notables as: Congressman Jim Ramstad, Senator Dave Durenberger, Governor Arne Carlson, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, and all the mayors of the cities his district includes: Minnetonka’s Terry Schneider, Edina’s Jim Hovland, Hopkins’ Gene Maxwell, Richfield’s Debbie Goettel, and Shorewood’s Chris Lizee.

I hope you will please join your many friends and neighbors in voting for John Gunyou on Tuesday to be our next Three Rivers Park Commissioner.  Thank you for your consideration!

- Scott Mayer

Mayer founded the Ivey Awards


John Gunyou will bring innovation, solutions to Three Rivers Parkshorner.jpg

There are a handful of people who define Minnesota’s well-deserved reputation for innovation in public policy. John Gunyou is one of them. Throughout his career, Gunyou has been in the forefront of creating and managing new and effective solutions in the private sector and in local and state government.

Gunyou now is offering his enormous talents and thoughtfulness as a candidate for the Three Rivers District board of commissioners. This is a position with enormous implications for all Twin Cities residents. The Three Rivers Park District includes nearly 27,000 acres recreational facilities in the western suburbs. 

Members of the board need the financial expertise and administrative excellence that Gunyou has demonstrated throughout his public service career. Beyond these qualities, Gunyou will bring to the board of commissioners his passion for the outdoors. Few metropolitan areas have the kind of resources we enjoy in the Twin Cities. It was the foresight of previous generations that created and preserved our regional parks and recreation facilities. It will require the expertise of people like John Gunyou to assure that they are there for generations to come.

I hope voters will join me in electing John Gunyou to the Three Rivers board of commissioners.

- Tom Horner, Edina

Horner was 2010 Independence Party Candidate for Governor

Sun Current, October 9, 2012


Gunyou gets nod for optimism, experience

slocum.jpgHaving lived here since 1978, I have come to increasingly appreciate the outdoor services offered mostly free of charge by the Three Rivers Park District. The staff and board must, in the coming years, continue to guide strong preservation strategies in a fiscally challenging environment.

Several weeks ago I attended a lively picnic where a board candidate for the open District 4 seat made some compelling arguments as to why he was seeking election. I have learned, too, that he has the necessary experience to do the job.

That’s why John Gunyou gets my vote on Nov. 6.

John, a former City Manager of Minnetonka, and wife Kim have pledged to visit all of the Three Rivers facilities which include some 38,000 acres of carefully maintained parks, trails, lakes and several golf courses. The active Gunyou campaign has already engaged several hundred volunteers.

In this often divisive political season, it is refreshing to have a positive choice in electing a committed, qualified and optimistic person to such a position of public responsibility.

- Chuck Slocum, Minnetonka  

Slocum is former Executive Director of the Minnesota Business Partnership

Sun Sailor, October 17, 2012



This letter indicates my support for John Gunyou to be elected as the District 4 Commissioner of the Three Rivers Park District.  John has a wealth of experience in both the private and public sectors.  John’s enthusiasm for parks and the environment combined with his governmental experience at the state and local level make John an unusually well qualified candidate for the park commissioner role. 

John demonstrated his leadership, foresight and budget management expertise when he served as Minnetonka City Manager.  John repeatedly demonstrated an ability to anticipate budget challenges, and he took (or recommended) action that minimized their impact to the City of Minnetonka,  John’s expert and conservative budget management skills are one of the factors that enabled Minnetonka to maintain its AAA bond rating.  In challenging budgetary times like these, having a commissioner who can navigate “troubled waters” will be of true benefit to the residents who use Three Rivers Parks. 

I urge you to vote for John Gunyou on November 6th

- Brad J. Wiersum, Minnetonka

Wiersum is a Minnetonka City Council Member

Lakeshore Weekly News, October 16, 2012




I am honored to add my name to the list of friends and neighbors endorsing John Gunyou for commissioner of Three Rivers Park District.

I have worked with John for the last 12 years, during which time he proved invaluable in guiding our nonprofit organization and even personally helping us with community projects. He was there for us through tough economic stresses and always had time to add his thoughtful insights and valuable suggestions.

I know John as a dedicated steward of natural as well as fiscal resources. Like him I have spent much of my young life in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters and on trails and in parks. In fact, I count those experiences as lifesaving in some ways because I was protected from the devastating polio epidemics that struck a number of neighbors during my early years. The beauty of nature is among my greatest blessings, and now I am able to share some of my very special experiences with my grandson.

John is a sterling example of planting a legacy for our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Minnesota’s parks, wetlands, forests, and lakes will remain a centerpiece in his life and work, and we can all be assured that he understands that the quality of life we share goes well beyond sewers and blacktop. Thank you, John, for all you have done to preserve beauty to our world.

Please join me in electing John Gunyou to this important position.

- Roger Satrang Hoel, Minnetonka

Hoel founded the Music Association of Minnetonka

Lakeshore Weekly News, October 9, 2012




We're so fortunate to have John Gunyou running for the Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners for District 4. John's experience, expertise and leadership skills proven during his tenure as Minnetonka city manager will serve us well in this new position. We'll all benefit from his representation as he applies his passion for parks and open spaces to the Three Rivers Parks decisions.

As mayor of Minnetonka, I worked with John for six years and greatly appreciated his talents in financial management and city administration.

When the economic crisis caused many cities to make painful cuts in services, John planned for the future and presented solutions to the city council that prevented drastic cuts. During his years as manager, the city maintained a sound financial foundation, kept tax rates low, preserved acres of land, renewed city parks, and strengthened environmental controls for wetland and woodland protection. All of these proven talents will be valuable assets as a Three Rivers Park Commissioner.

During the past few months, John and his wife Kim have visited many Three Rivers Park facilities and talked to visitors and park employees to learn about what's most important to them. It's another demonstration of John's passion for parks and his ability to represent us in district decisions.

I'm certainly voting for John Gunyou for Three Rivers Park Commissioner District 4. Please join me.

- Karen J. Anderson, Minnetonka

Anderson was Minnetonka’s Mayor from 1994 to 2005

Lakeshore Weekly News, October 2, 2012



blackstad.jpegAs the current chairman and 4th District commissioner, we are both supporting John Gunyou for Three Rivers park commissioner.
Like all public agencies, Three Rivers faces the challenges of continuing to provide the excellent facilities and services our users have come to expect. With over 40 years of public service, John has proven himself time and time again as a creative and committed leader who can help us meet that challenge of financial and environmental sustainability.

John will be a great addition to the board, as we all work to preserve and protect the great parks, trails and natural areas we have grown to love and expect - far into the future. Based on our past working relationships with him over the years, we are confident that John will get the job done.

Please join us in supporting John Gunyou for Three Rivers park commissioner.

- Larry Blackstad, Minnetonka

Blackstad is the current Three Rivers Chairman

- Dale Woodbeck, Shorewood

Woodbeck is the current Three Rivers Vice Chair & District 4 Commissioner

Lakeshore Weekly News, October 2, 2012


Gunyou’s proven leadership an asset

I write you to place my support for John Gunyou who is running for the Three Rivers Park Commissioner. I believe strongly that John has demonstrated over his 25+ years in government entities his ability to run an operation in a physically responsible way.

In his various capacities he still maintained a high level of service by using physically responsible practices, forecasting future needs and creating funds for those needs. Through his vision, he would help us change our future with a good foundation such as the Minnehaha Creek Corridor.

It is with a great respect and appreciation for his expertise that I recommend for all voters to cast their vote for John for the position of Three Rivers Park Commissioner.

- Paul Ansolabehere, Minnetonka

SunSailor, October 3, 2012



burnet.jpgIt has been my honor to serve with John Gunyou on the Minnesota State Arts Board for the past year, and I was very pleased that he was recently elected to serve as our treasurer. Considering his proven track record of over 40 years experience working with public funds, I am confident that his financial leadership and stewardship will allow Minnesota's arts community to continue to thrive.

Serving with John, I have found him to be a strong supporter of our mission, and I have no doubt that he will bring that same passion to supporting the environmental amenities that have always made our community special. John is a proven, effective leader, and we are fortunate that he is willing to continue that legacy of public service.

I hope you will please join our many friends and neighbors in voting for John Gunyou on Nov. 6 to be our next Three Rivers park commissioner.

- Peggy Burnet, Wayzata

Lakeshore Weekly News, October 2, 2012



I hope John Gunyou wins the election to the Three Rivers Park District Board. He would be a huge asset and will steer the board in a fiscally careful direction while knowing how important it is to all of us to have an inviting, imaginative and useable park system. John will apply all of the skills he has gained from being city manager of the city of Minnetonka and as the commissioner of finance for Gov. Arne Carlson. Both positions required considerable ability and agility to navigate sometimes testy waters.

John Gunyou has them both. We are lucky to have him willing to apply them to the Three Rivers Park District Board for us. We will all benefit from having him serve it and us.

- Ron Usem, Minnetonka

Lakeshore Weekly News, October 2, 2012


Gunyou helps find the common ground


I am writing to offer my enthusiastic support for John Gunyou as a candidate for the Three Rivers park commissioner in District 4.

After a distinguished career in public service, John recently retired as Minnetonka's city manager. He provided over a decade of strong leadership to a community that prides itself on its natural character and park-like qualities. As both a wildlife biologist and a member of the Minnetonka City Council, I recognize the effort that it has taken to maintain that character and balance the competing demands placed upon our city's natural resources. Much of the credit for that success deservedly belongs to John.

As both a community member and an elected official, I have had the pleasure to work with John for many years. He is a visionary and accomplished manager with a track record for getting things done in government, and is widely recognized for his financially responsible leadership. He is also skilled at bringing diverse stakeholders together and finding common ground, even around divisive issues. His strong leadership has set our community on a long-term sustainable path.

It is not often that we have the choice of a candidate that is both passionate about the issues and so experienced in how to achieve the goals. Please join me in supporting John Gunyou for Three Rivers park commissioner.

- Patty Acomb, Minnetonka

Acomb is a Minnetonka Councilmember

Lakeshore Weekly News, October 2, 2012

SunSailor, October 3, 2012


Gunyou’s experience sets him apart


It is with great pleasure that I recommend John Gunyou for the Three Rivers Park Commissioner. I know John as a strong leader who has worked as the City Manager at the City of Minnetonka, served as Minnesota’s Finance Commissioner for Arne Carlson and was the first finance director for the City of Minneapolis.

He served on numerous state and national boards, including the DNR Parks and Trails Legacy Funding Work Group, Minnehaha Creek Corridor Coordinating Committee, U.S. EPA Financial Advisory Board, MN PCA Citizens Board and MN State Arts Board.

He has the experience, passion and vision to work with open spaces to preserve and protect the wetlands and woodlands efficiently and responsibly. He will maintain the high quality of parks and trails as well as strengthen partnerships between our parks system and schools.

The communities we serve will benefit greatly from his continuing efforts to improve our quality of life, and to leave a positive, lasting legacy for future generations.

It is an honor and a pleasure to work with John Gunyou and I highly recommend him for Three Rivers Park Board Commissioner.

- Gene Maxwell, Hopkins

Maxwell is the Hopkins Mayor

Sun Sailor, September 26, 2012


John Gunyou will bring experience in public service to Three Rivers

I am writing this letter to ask for your vote for John Gunyou.brindle.jpg

John is no stranger to public service. He was Minnetonka city manager for 12 years and Minnesota finance commissioner under Gov. Arne Carlson. John’s experience in parks and natural resources is vast. His work ranges from Department of Natural Resources Parks & Trails and Minnehaha Creek to U.S. EPA, MPCA and Minnesota State Arts Board.

John’s passion for parks and recreation legacy of strong community leadership and responsible decision making will serve us well on the Three Rivers Park Board of Commissioners.

Please cast your vote for John Gunyou for Three Rivers Park District 4 commissioner.

- Mary Brindle, Edina

Brindle is an Edina Councilmember

Sun Current, September 25, 2012


John Gunyou will help lead Three Rivers Park District


John Gunyou is a candidate for Three Rivers Park District 4 commissioner and I am proud to support him.

I have known and worked with John for many years, since he was finance director and I was on the Minneapolis City Council. He has been a financial genius in city and state government, serving alongside both political parties. He then became the successful city manager of Minnetonka.

John is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and is one of the most intelligent and ethical people I have ever known. We are fortunate to have a person with the superb qualifications and background of John Gunyou willing to help lead our outstanding Three Rivers Park program. Please join me in voting for him.

- Dennis Schulstad, Edina

Schulstad is a retired Air Force General

Sun Current, September 25, 2012




I have just finished my Saturday morning long run around Medicine Lake, through French Lake Park and the Three Rivers trails. I was pleased to see bikers, roller bladers, kayakers, sailors, walkers and participants in a 5k Lupus walk all enjoying this beautiful park so early on a sunny September morning. It served as an unceasing reminder of how blessed we are to have the resources of the Three Rivers Parks to enjoy, and the need to continue their maintenance and enhancement in the forward years.

For this reason, I am supporting John Gunyou as Three River's Park District Board 4 Commissioner. I was fortunate to serve under John as the Minnetonka police chief while he was city manager. He lead with a philosophy of consensus building, fiscal responsibility, environmental preservation and strengthening city planning for the future, all qualities that he would bring to the Three Rivers Park Commission.

John has a lifetime love of parks and natural areas, and as Minnetonka city manager worked hard to ensure that open space, thriving parks and natural resources were always on the forefront of city policy. I am positive he would use these same leadership skills to ensure all of us will be able to enjoy the wonderful resources of the Three Rivers Parks now and in the future.

- Joy Rikala, Plymouth

Rikala is a retired Minnetonka Police Chief

Lakeshore Weekly News, September 18, 2012

Gunyou has credible financial background


I wholeheartedly endorse John Gunyou for Three Rivers Park Commissioner. I have first-hand knowledge of John's forward thinking, financially responsible leadership when he was city manager in Minnetonka.

John foresaw the financial crisis, which was bearing down on all of us well before the crisis began. He devised and implemented a plan to realign department functions within the city, share expenses with other government entities where appropriate, and bring expenses in line with projected revenues. It is due to his foresight that our citizens weren't faced with either reduced city services or inordinately large tax increases once the recession was evident. Our taxpayers are better off today because of the decisions which John made well before the slowdown in our economy.

That's the kind of responsible financial thinking which I want in my Three Rivers Park Commission. That's why I can wholeheartedly endorse John Gunyou for the position of Three Rivers Park commissioner.

- Dick Allendorf, Minnetonka

Allendorf is a Minnetonka Councilmember

Sun Sailor, September 26, 2012

Lakeshore Weekly News, September 18, 2012


John Gunyou will preserve park system for years to come

In most elections I rarely know any of the candidates for Three Rivers Park Board. That’s why this year I’m excited to see John Gunyou running for a seat.

I’ve worked with John in both the private and public sectors. Regardless of John’s role, I’ve always been impressed by his practical nature and drive for results. He asks great questions that make the issues crystal clear. He always takes a long-term view when evaluating options.

As someone interested in enjoying our excellent park system for many years to come, John’s the type of leader who will preserve what’s best, fix what’s broken, and push for changes necessary to meet the evolving demands of the district’s residents.

Please join me in voting for John this November.

- Tom LaForce, Edina

LaForce is President of Team Creations

Sun Current, September 18, 2012




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John Gunyou
Three Rivers Parks Board Chair