I announced today my intent to be considered for appointment to the Minnehaha County Commission

I attended the CC meeting today to tell them about my intentions. I commented during public input portion of the meeting (FF: 25:00). I know my appointment is slim, because I don’t belong to a political party, and I have a ‘reputation’. But I figured since this is an appointment and not an election, it was worth trying.

I do know there are several people interested, and I heard another name today.

Here is a transcript of what I read;

I am here today to share my interest of being appointed to the Minnehaha County Commission. 11/18/14

A little brief history about me;

I moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota in the early Fall of 1991, I was enrolled at SE Technical Institute after graduating from Parkston High School.  I studied Graphic Communications and Printing Production and have an Associate Degree of Applied Science from SE Tech. It was a great school then and even better today, and I consider it an asset to our community, state and region. We are fortunate to have such an institution.

I currently work as a printing estimator and national salesperson for a local printer and weekly newspaper. My focus is government printing for states and municipalities. It is a job that has given me a unique perspective on government spending and dispersing information to the electorate in a highly transparent way.

I also work as a server in the hospitality industry. Both of my occupations are part-time which gives me a flexible schedule to be involved in local politics and citizen activism.

I have also worked as a plumber, carpenter, radio personality, a freelance graphic designer, an artist (painter), a lead usher at a leading SF entertainment facility, a telemarketer, a cook, a dishwasher, a busser and a farmer. Hopefully I haven’t confused you as our governor?

Growing up on a sheep and hog farm in Hutchinson county gave me a perspective far different then the current members of the county commission. Being involved in 4-H and open class competitions while growing up in a rural setting has taught me the struggles and success of rural South Dakota. I understand the rural issues of Minnehaha County and the state, I lived them and experienced them, and they have guided me through my life.

I also lived two years in a suburb of Seattle my sophomore and junior years of High School with my biological father, which gave me a broad perspective of big city living, crime, and diversity. I learned more about diversity and other cultures in those two short years then I have ever in my life. It taught me to treat every race and culture with an open mind and to always expect the best out of anyone, whether they are female or male, or black or white.

I am NOT like the current members of this commission. Nor would I ever pretend to be. I would bring an entirely different perspective to this board with my life experiences and my knowledge of local government.

There is not one single person applying for this position that has the depth of knowledge I do about our local government. I don’t say this out of arrogance, my resume speaks for itself. I have not missed a recorded public meeting by the Sioux Falls city council for almost 10 years and have watched every Minnehaha county commission meeting over the past year. I have a passion for local governing. As I tell people frequently, ‘All politics are local.’ and the greatest change can be made in these chambers, not in the halls of Congress in Washington.

I know you have concerns. I maintain a controversial website about local government. It is my child. It’s premise is simple, to inform and to entertain through political satire and activism. I often tell people, “If you can’t laugh at politicians, you will only end up hating them.” I am not a hater. I have often tried to use the blog as a catalyst for change and activism. Sometimes it achieves those goals, sometimes it falls on it’s face. It has given me a very thick skin, but it has also made me aware of the public’s sensitivities. If appointed to this commission, I would stop the blog or pass on the reigns to another author. I HATE conflicts of interest with public officials, and I would find it necessary to eliminate them by ending my authorship. I believe it is difficult to stop ALL conflicts as a public official, but also believe we have clear choices, and unlike other candidates applying for this position, I would CHOOSE to eliminate as many conflicts as possible.

I have also spent hundreds of hours donating my artistic and graphic design talents to local charities, non-profits, musicians and artists and have been involved with several art groups in the region. I have also dedicated thousands of hours of my own time being a citizen advocate in this community and county. I don’t believe I need to belong to a club or fraternal organization to prove my involvement within these government boundaries and community. My work speaks for itself, and I wouldn’t edit any of it.

What would be my priorities if I served on this commission? They would be simple and straightforward. I have been a registered independent for over 10 years and strongly believe in non-partisanship. I think all political parties offer good and bad solutions, and I prefer to look at the best solutions. I don’t care where they come from. While I would consider myself a progressive on social issues, I wouldn’t deny I am a prudent and fiscal conservative.

So what would I want to focus on for my tenor on the commission?

• TIF’s. I think the commission has a legal and justifiable right to either approve or deny TIF’s that the city of Sioux Falls proposes. I would make it a TOP priority to make this change in our state legislature.

• Consistent elections. As a good friend said to me, “Elections and ballots are sacred in a democracy.” I agree 100 percent. I think there needs to be a concerted effort between the county, the City of Sioux Falls and the School district to make election precincts identical. I would champion this cause on the commission.

• A more progressive and prudent approach to law enforcement. I would push for shorter sentences and more rehabilitation. I would also work with the City of Sioux Falls to encourage less arrests and focus more on resolution in the field. I would also like to combat overcrowding at our jails. Not only would it reduce our number of re-offenders, it would would save citizens tax dollars.

• Engage our rural communities more in Minnehaha County. While our county government seems to be focused on Sioux Falls, our rural communities matter. I would like to put a re-focus on them, and bring them to the table.

• Promote logical development planning. There seems to be this disconnect between the City of Sioux Falls, the county and the rural areas. We need to get on the same page. We should face the facts, zoning isn’t forever, and we need to be honest and transparent wit the constituents of this county.

• Funding. Let’s face it, the county is getting the shaft on tax funding. So what can we do? We have options, but we must be creative. The same old proposals are just not going to fly and Pierre changes about as much as the Queen of England’s hairdo. We must find a way within this commission’s legislative body to make those funding changes on our own, and we must also look at ways to be extremely prudent, while maintaining services and paying a fair wage to our public employees. I believe this is the biggest challenge of the current commission, and I would LOVE to dig my heels in deep to solve it with a long term funding plan instead of an opt out.

I won’t lie to you, I believe strongly in a ‘Citizens First’ government. The majority should always rule within the constraints of law while protecting the opinions of the minority. I don’t want this job for money. I want it to represent the public fairly. While I may be easily tempted by Peanut M & M’s or an Arnold Palmer on a hot day, I reject any temptation from special interests. I would do this job to serve the people, not the MAN.

Thank You!



16 comments ↓

#1 Oliver Klosov on 11.18.14 at 3:09 pm

That is without a doubt the most coherent, cogent and grammatically correct post I have ever seen you present. I know it’s not up to a vote, but if it were, you have my vote for the appointment. Go shake up the commission!

#2 l3wis on 11.18.14 at 3:33 pm

Thanks Oliver! I even wrote it myself, and only showed it to one other person who made no edits.

#3 Jeff Barth on 11.18.14 at 3:35 pm

I appreciate Scott being bold enough to stand in front of God and everyone and declare his interest in the job. As you can see from his comments, he has an awareness of issues facing Minnehaha County and a concern for the people.

Other candidates would do well to emulate Scott’s example.

We’ll see what happens.

#4 sheepherder on 11.18.14 at 5:47 pm

Best of luck to you! I know you are interested in politics and government, and would do a good job,

#5 LJL on 11.18.14 at 6:07 pm

OMG..A politician just mentioned god in the same paragraph as public service. I’m sure you’ll need to retract that Jeff before Scott sites some separation clause BS.

A man’s [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]. Proverbs 18: 20

#6 hornguy on 11.18.14 at 6:19 pm

We don’t always agree but I can’t think of anyone more passionate about local government that isn’t getting paid to be there – and those people are often motivated by the wrong rea$on$. It’s rare when an individual has the capacity to make a governing body both smarter and more entertaining. And that’s a combination that, not coincidentally, often makes government more interesting and accessible to the public.

Good luck man.

#7 Dan Daily on 11.18.14 at 8:26 pm

The county commission is still democracy. You can be proud if elected. Different story for the Sioux Falls city council. You’re bought and paid for, you must vote with the mayor, & you have no voice. It’s not democracy. Councilors are traitors. City Home Rule charter violates both state and federal constitutions.

#8 Dan Daily on 11.18.14 at 8:31 pm

There are now 5 court cases to prove what I’ve said. Citizens have made city political types and a few developers rich. They should at least say thankyou. The debt cannot be satisfied. City bankruptcy will happen once the mayor becomes federally indicted.

#9 Sy on 11.19.14 at 12:02 am

What hornguy said. Good luck & I hope you get the gig.

#10 Johnny Roastbeef on 11.19.14 at 8:33 am

Good luck!

#11 tara volesky on 11.19.14 at 8:51 am

You will be awesome Scott. Slam Dunk. You got it.

#12 teatime on 11.19.14 at 1:02 pm

Agree positively!

#13 teatime on 11.19.14 at 1:02 pm

What can we do to help you?

#14 l3wis on 11.19.14 at 1:53 pm

They will be setting up a timeline at next Tuesday’s meeting. I will know more after that.

#15 Gayle on 11.19.14 at 8:17 pm

This is great news!!! I wish you the very best, as I know you would do a tremendous job for us!

#16 Wayne on 11.24.14 at 1:16 am

Scott, you have my support. While I disagree with you on some issues such as the EC, the indoor pool and the Pavilion, I believe that you have the best interests of the people in mind.

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