District 12 Dane County Supervisor Paul Rusk has died at the age of 65.
The Dane County Board announced his passing Monday morning. Rusk purportedly died over the weekend at his home. The details of the circumstances surrounding Rusk’s death are still unknown.
"Paul was a good and principled man," said County Board Chair Analiese Eicher. "I will dearly miss his friendship, as well as his intellect and sound counsel, as the County Board addresses the challenges ahead."
Rusk grew up in Daly City, California and graduated from UW-Madison in 1977. He later earned a master’s degree in public policy from the UW in 1991. He remained in Madison for the rest of his life.
Rusk was first elected to the County Board in 2002 representing Madison’s north side and went on to serve as chairman of the Public Protection and Judiciary Committee in 2006, where he remained for twelve and a half years. Rusk’s focus remained on public safety, as he worked to close the outdated jail facility in the City-County Building while providing desperately needed programming and medical beds within the facility.
Rusk also served on the Airport Commission, Environmental Council, Taskforce on Aging and the Public Works & Transportation Committee.
Rusk had previously worked as the executive director of the Alzheimer's & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin.
“Paul was every bit of thoughtful as he was kind. Paul's leadership and grace will be deeply missed,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi stated. “He was a public servant in every sense. All of Dane County mourns the loss of our friend and colleague, Supervisor Paul Rusk.”
County Board Chair Eicher stated to the Cap Times that the seat will be treated as a vacancy and filled through an appointment process.