You go a lot of places in your life, but you only have one home town.
I'd like to represent the people of Kaysville, my home town.
You're very smart and good looking. Care to make a campaign contribution?
Rustin James Jessen is a native Kaysville husband, father, and businessman. Raised just east of the Clover Club factory, he fondly recounts summer days gathering friends to cross Sanders' field, on safari to Kaysville Drug for candy and a chocolate milk at the Green Apple Cafe. Riding bikes to the end of the universe (the corner of Angel and 200 North), and stopping at a Rainbow Snow on the way home. Time marches on, and those landmarks have given way to new neighbors, new businesses, and new experiences.
Rustin’s father (Gayland Jessen) worked as a mortgage broker. His mother (Vickie Jessen) was an educator for 18 years before becoming an administrator in the Davis School District. Rustin’s mother also owned and operated the much loved groups The Young-‘Uns and Choral Collection, a group of community show choirs teaching young people to sing and perform. Gayland and Vickie currently oversee the Kaysville Memorial Day committee, producing an annual event honoring those who have fallen in service to this great nation.
After graduating from Davis High in 1999, Rustin spent a number of formative years exploring the country, meeting people, honing crafts, and ultimately looking for a place to call home. Rustin spent 7 years with Disney Parks Entertainment, supporting their world-wide slate of shows and productions. Rustin currently operates three separate and thriving business from his office on Main Street in Kaysville. From entertainment production to software development to retail products, his companies serve loyal clients including Disney, NFL, Gatorade/Pepsi and Urban Outfitters, on large scale projects such as the Super Bowl Halftime Show, Billboard Music Awards, and many others..
While working at Disneyland in California, Rustin met, and fell hopelessly in love, with Janey, his wife and lifelong collaborator. Rustin and Janey have three sons who provide no end to the adventure and comedy in their lives… but before those bundles of energy came along, Janey and Rustin had to choose where to plant roots. They both felt strongly about finding a safe place that was welcoming to families and where their children could be close to loved ones. In the end, there were no people they loved more than family, and no place they loved more than Kaysville.
Rustin has a deep appreciation for the work it takes to serve a community with diverse needs and challenges. Rustin is a reliable, compassionate leader who thrives on finding creative ways to solve problems that serve the bigger picture. Rustin’s unique experience and industry refined skill set lend themselves perfectly to the current needs of our beloved city. He is a pro-active, creative communicator who is particularly adept at cutting through disagreement to find the root of an issue. Bringing differing sides together for an unexpected explosion of awesome is what he does every day, because he loves it, and what he will do for Kaysville. #trustinrustin
4 Keys for Kaysville
As a first order of business I would like to introduce the 4 Keys for Kaysville. Every decision made by our Mayor, City Council, and City Staff should pass through a crucible of Safety, Honesty, Efficiency, and Identity to make sure it’s truly in the best interests of Kaysville’s future.
Each key is essential, and when used together they will keep us on course as Kaysville forges a path to a wildly successful future. As Mayor, I pledge to do everything in my power to ensure Kaysville operates Safely, Honestly, Efficiently, and with the utmost respect for the Identity we, as residents of Kaysville, are proud of.
The items below are some which I believe need immediate attention. This isn't a comprehensive list... just a picture of the items I'd like to put some real energy towards in very short order. If there are specific issues you'd like to talk to me about, feel free to drop me a line. Click/Tap on each category for more detailed information.
Kaysville is facing countless operational challenges, but our largest issue by far is a City Council mired in infighting, mistrust, and insolent behavior toward each other and, by extension, the city we love.
I have a well-honed skill set and a breadth of experience managing disparate personalities. I am well practiced at moving large projects successfully over the finish line while handling all manner of distraction and disruption. This is exactly what I do every day on large, international, multi-million dollar projects, and it's what I will do for Kaysville.
As the chair of the City Council, I will be an advocate for you, an active communicator, transparent decision maker, and an effective facilitator. I will guide the members of the council to measure decisions against the 4 Keys for Kaysville and get the business of the city front and center again.
In a municipality our size, we don't have the luxury of a Public Relations department or communications arm. All that work currently falls to the City Recorder, but I believe it's more appropriately placed with the office of the Mayor. The role of the Mayor, in our form of government, where we have a professional City Manager to oversee operations, should be in very large part about communication and facilitation. At once an advocate for everyone involved, and an ability to make sure everyone, at the very least, knows their position has been respectfully heard.
I would like to use my experience to guide a massive improvement in the manner, completeness, timeliness, and frequency the city communicates with residents. We need to get more creative with new communication channels & new technologies. We should be offering choices for residents to tailor how the city should communicate with them. Imagine, at the most basic, being able to log-in to a Kaysville City profile online and setting preferences of what issues you want to hear about, and how you'd like to hear about them. This is not only possible but relatively simple to make happen. We just need someone at the helm who is comfortable doing it.
Finally, we must create and train our City Staff and Elected/Appointed Officials with up-to-date policies around usage of social media and mass media as it relates to city business. We live in a time when the absence of these rules is a recipe for trouble.
Safe Walking Routes
As outlined in the 4 Keys for Kaysville, safety is always first. I am willing to sacrifice some efficiency and identity in the name of keeping our families and friends safe as they travel around to enjoy all our city has to offer. It is imperative that we plan for safe walking, biking, scootering, skateboarding, and all non-motorized transportation around the city. We should always err on the side of safety as Kaysville grows and changes.
Kaysville has experienced a decade of amazing growth. With that growth, we built a whole lot of new roads, but unfortunately didn't appropriately plan & budget for future maintenance needs. A comprehensive study of Kaysville's road infrastructure was recently completed by Utah LTAP (Local Technical Assistance Program) and found we have a significant number of roads operating very near the end of their usable life when, if we'd properly maintained them, would have served the community for many more years.
Our Public Works folks are faced with an incredible challenge in the form of keeping our roads in working order with budgets that would make other cities laugh. They are experimenting with new technologies and techniques to find the absolute best way to stretch our dollars, but in the end, they just haven't had enough money to perform all the work that has been needed.
If we've learned anything from the LTAP report, and the process to adopt the latest budget, we don't have anywhere near enough money to get or keep our roads in good working order. More efficiency, cost cutting, and even spending cash-on-hand will contribute, but there's no chance it will cover the looming costs. We have a tough road ahead to find the most cost efficient way to add a little over $3MM to our road budget for the next 3 years to get in front of the crumbling road problem. After that, growth permitting, we will be able to revert back to a smaller budget that is appropriate for the amount of roadway we maintain.
With any new tax or fee that might be required, the most important factors to me are:
- Is the tax/fee justified and communicated well?
- Have we found the most efficient or least expensive way to cover the costs over time?
- Is the additional money allocated only to the projects that justified it?
- Is there an end date, or opportunity to reduce or sunset the tax or fee after immediate needs are met?
Utah's tech scene is absolutely exploding. We've got Adobe building a new (additional) $90MM facility to house 1500 new full time jobs in Lehi. Amazon dropping $250MM for a distro center with 1500 jobs in SLC. Podium building a $10MM center in SLC for 400 new roles... and that's just three companies.
We haven't event scratched the surface when you talk about all the incredible work happening with Silicon Slopes and venture interest in a million other tech startups in the region.
As a city we should be looking to these projects to learn how we can leverage our family centered hometown identity to build our commercial base. We need to get attractive to these smaller footprint, high tech businesses that attract a supporting sales tax base. Restaurants, recreation/fitness, domestic services (laundry, cleaning, home care), etc… all needed by these people who will be looking for a place to live and work in Utah.
There’s no better place in the world to live than Kaysville, but we’re desperate for the funds that only come from hosting commercial operations. It’s absolutely possible to welcome business without eroding our identity, if we’re smart about it.
We should be a mecca for the home based business and garage startup. With a little work and planning, we could be the premier place to start a family friendly business in the west. We, as a community, should welcome these folks and help the private market find ways to do business in Kaysville that fit into the fabric of our city.
The identity of a place is difficult to quantify, but you know when you feel it. Kaysville has experienced a decade of amazing growth. This growth has presented us with a unique opportunity to define our identity as we navigate a transition from a rural town into a thriving suburban city. We mustn't lose what has created the Kaysville we love, but we can’t pretend change isn't constantly at our doorstep.
Kaysville is a place that has impacted my life very deeply. It's a place that has helped form my world-view. It's my reference point for how neighbors should treat one another and how communities should respond as the world inevitably changes. Sometimes, I'll certainly admit, Kaysville has not been a shining star of good deeds and efficient works, but when push comes to shove the people that make up this city that I love show themselves to be concerned & honest, kind & welcoming, and just exactly the kind of people I want to be around and help form the world-view of my three young sons.
I would like to support the family centered, safe, and welcoming identity we strive to maintain by making sure our planning and zoning becomes more consistent and favors walkable, shareable and beautiful spaces to enjoy. I want to support our parks department as much as possible and create new opportunities for arts, performance, entertainment, and active recreation to serve the diverse interests of everyone in Kaysville.
As a city, we have so many unexplored opportunities for innovation. From communications options to self-sustainable energy to technology infrastructure, we have the capacity to be a national leader in municipal innovation. Innovating, through the use of technology and new techniques, is a path to more efficient and self-sufficient operation.
I would like to explore what options we have to bring a municipal fiber data network to Kaysville. We have the unique logistical upper-hand of owning our own power company that is already stringing copper to each residence and business. As we plan for updates, upgrades, and repairs, municipal fiber should be part of the utility package. It would give Kaysville residents true freedom to choose their ISP on a dedicated, high quality, high-speed network. The added benefits to residents, businesses, and the municipality are numerous and exciting!
There are some hurdles to overcome with the state rules and a few other statutes governing utilities in Utah, not to mention the incredibly difficult task of funding it all… but I believe we can do it, and we can do it well.
In a time of rapidly reducing costs of micro generation (solar, wind, hydro, etc...) the role of a power company is changing. Rather than a single source distributor of energy, it is on the path to becoming more of a maintainer of a delivery & storage network, and manager of a marketplace for sharing energy. How this all plays out is yet to be seen, but as an owner of a power company serving many thousands of residents, Kaysville is at the forefront of how it develops. We can lead the state, region, and nation on the right way to innovate as the world of energy transforms.
...from my peers in private industry.
[Rustin is] our backbone. He keeps us up and running smoothly. He is completely unflappable and a genius at creating solutions.
Rustin is one of the most creative individuals I've ever met. He ties together disciplines that are seemingly far apart into something that feels like it should have always been that way. Rustin has vision, but unlike most dreamers, he's the kind of person who takes vision and makes it reality.
[Rustin has] a super calm demeanor in stressful situations, and that helps bring down the stress level of others around [him]. [He is able to] handle chaos calmly and with a great sense of humor. That kind of energy is priceless to have in heated situations where there are differing opinions, and I'm always so grateful that [he is] on Super Bowl to keep the vibe chill!
Rustin is quite simply a team player…one of those individuals that gets things done, done well, and in a timely fashion.