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He was elected to the council in 1947, but under an old law took office in April 1948. Russo was chosen mayor on April 1, 1951 by the council when the position was rotated among council members. He chose not to seek re-election. He served as the city attorney from 1960 through 1982 and was remembered for his meticulous legal work that made construction of the flood wall possible.
During the four years he served on the council, many of the projects initiated were completed when he was mayor. These included an expanded street improvement program, increased show removal operation, acquisition of two municipal parking lots, approval of a one-way street system, a new shelter for ALLISON-HENDERSON PARK, construction of the 32nd street detaining basin, fluoridation of the city water, extension of the city water main system, annexation of 1,200 acres on the city's west side, creation of an airport commission, a start on firehouse renovation, and initiation of flood control plans.
It was during his time on the council that the city received BUNKER HILL GOLF COURSE as a gift and the city government obtained a city manager, police judge and police chief.
Hibbard, Bill. "Councilman Looks Back at 4 'Rewarding' Years'," Telegraph Herald, April 6, 1952, p. 17