November 05, 2020
County Board Chair Analiese Eicher, 608-571-6823
County Board

At tonight’s 7:00 PM meeting, the Dane County Board of Supervisors will honor Supervisor Paul Rusk, who passed away last month at the age of 65. A memorial resolution will be before the Board as a special matter. Members of the public interested in attending and registering to speak at the meeting can find information about joining the meeting at the top of the agenda.


Supervisor Rusk was a long-time member of the County Board, having been first elected in 2002 to represent District 12 encompassing the Village of Maple Bluff and the Northside of Madison. 


"Paul Rusk was a strong and steadfast leader on the Dane County Board. He took great care and pride in representing his district and our county," said Analiese Eicher. "I, like many, am forever grateful that my path crossed with Paul’s. He was a friend and I will miss his counsel and conversation both on and off the board."


Paul served as the chair of the Dane County Board’s Public Protection and Judiciary Committee for twelve and a half years, stepping down from that role in the Fall of 2018. In the current term, he served as a member of the Public Works and Transportation Committee.


The memorial resolution before the County Board acknowledges Supervisor Rusk’s influence on a variety of issues as a member of various committees he served on over 18 years including the Environmental Council, Executive Committee, City-County Liaison Committee, and the Airport Commission.


County Board Supervisor Jerry Bollig (District 31), who has served on the County Board since 2012 and is chair of the Zoning and Land Regulation Committee, said, "Paul Rusk embodied many fine attributes and qualities that formed the person we knew on the county board. He was always available to respond to a question, advise a colleague, or champion a worthy cause before one of his committees. Most of all, Paul was a stable local leader who will be missed by all who were privileged to know and work with him".


Supervisor Rusk’s contributions to the Dane County Regional Airport and the Northside community at large cannot be overstated. As a member of the Airport Commission and the Chair of the Commission’s Noise Abatement Subcommittee, Paul struck a genuine balance between cultivating growth at the airport while also remaining a fierce defender of the Northside’s best interests.


"Paul was an astoundingly good man. Gentle and kind, but also a ferocious advocate for what he believed in. He worked so hard and always made time for people. He always listened. He was dedicated to his community, especially his beloved Northside. I will miss his wisdom and his friendship. He will live on in my heart and the work I carry forward," said Supervisor Michele Ritt (District 19) Chair of the Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, who also represents part of the City of Madison’s Northside.


Paul grew up in Daly City, California, and spent his adult life in Madison. He worked for U.S. Representative Robert Kastenmeier, Wisconsin State Senator Calvin Potter, and as Director of the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin.


Over the course of his career and life, Supervisor Rusk had a profound impact on many people. The County Board anticipates there will be community members, friends, and colleagues paying their respects and honoring Rusk at tonight’s meeting.


"Paul Rusk was a gentle soul who always, always had time for those who needed his help. He cared deeply about his community and he worried endlessly about those less fortunate among us. I will miss our long chats and I will miss his wonderful guidance and mentoring," said Supervisor Maureen McCarville (District 22), Chair of the Public Protection and Judiciary Committee who served many years alongside Supervisor Rusk on the PPJ Committee. "Paul was a perfect gentleman and most of all Paul was my true friend."