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Elston Kussler rolls onto City Council in April

Posted 2/19/24

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Two seats for the city council were up for grabs this election cycle. Because the deadline to register as a candidate has already passed and because only one candidate registered …

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Elston Kussler rolls onto City Council in April


Posted

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Two seats for the city council were up for grabs this election cycle. Because the deadline to register as a candidate has already passed and because only one candidate registered for each seat, the unopposed elections have already been decided.

Elston “Speedy” Kussler will replace Stephen O. Hart, who decided not to run for his final three-year term.

Additionally, Daniel Lewandowski has won reelection.

“Stephen Hart wanted me to take his place. Neighbors asked me to run, too,” said Kussler.

“It doesn’t matter what’s on the agenda. (The decisions) will be affecting someone. So, you’ll be seeing me think a lot,” he said.

Kussler has lived in Keystone Heights for three years. Before he moved to the city, he served in the Navy for 20 years. He was stationed in Scotland and in the Middle East during Operation Desert Storm. He shared a fond memory during his career, when he became Senior Chief Petty Officer.

“I’ll always remember the day I made Chief. By then, I had some injuries and it caught up to me. I was 18 years in. When I got to 20 years, I retired,” he said.  

Now, he volunteers at the Community Church of Keystone Heights and Lakeside Ministries.

As a council member-elect, Kussler wants to foster greater safety in Keystone Heights. He is concerned with the growing traffic along State Road 100, especially for pedestrians attempting to cross.

“I can’t tell you how many times I try to cross at the crosswalk, hit the button, and the cars don’t stop. They’re racing to go somewhere. It is a safety concern.”

Kussler supports the recent lake renewal and conservation programs. Specifically, he is a supporter of the Black Creek Restoration Project.

“It’s going to help reduce flooding and help raise our lakes. It’s a win-win," he said.

He expressed concerns about privacy regarding the Smart City Initiative, but he supports the ongoing Parks Plan and improving walkability in the city.

He has two daughters, Tara and Holly, and a grandson, Aidon.

He says he is eager to learn more about the city and what it takes to make it a better place.