Councilor Staggers will be missed


I still remember the first time I talked to Kermit. He patiently listened to my rant and a few days later he offered a solution. I’ve been hooked ever since. A man who quietly helps regular citizens with their sometimes mundane problems behind the scenes.

Over the years I have caught myself defending him to no end, not because of some of the big votes on policy on the council but because of his quiet stands behind the scenes.

We have disagreed on many issues. We were on completely on opposite ends of the page when it came to funding Lewis and Clark and the Safe Home. Kermit also defended the Jesus snowplows contending that separation of church and state is up for interpretation and not really constitutional. (Kermit is a devout Christian).

While being on the council, the media coined him as ‘Dr. No’ something I am sure until this day was concocted during an editorial board meeting at the Argus Leader between Patrick Lalley and Randell Beck, though I don’t have proof 🙂

The fact is, Kermit has proposed many progressive ideas as city councilor in the 12 years he was there. Many he never got credit for, which I’m sure doesn’t bother him one bit. His modesty is one of his best virtues. Besides pointing out the benefits of snowgates over the years, it was the mayor who scooped the idea up during his mayoral campaign got the ball rolling, then realizing the council didn’t want to play ball (mostly because of their disdain for Kermit) Stehly grabbed it and slam dunked it.

Another brilliant idea by Kermit that was mocked? Build an Events Center without raising taxes. Which was later proved by Mike Huether, except Mike never followed through with Kermit ‘entire’ proposal, funding the center with mostly private investment. While our taxes did not initially go up, our user fees have due to the enormous debt service of our 2nd penny.

Kermit was also a fighter for history and our museums in the Siouxland area. He has been committed from the beginning to get the museums an archive building to preserve our history, something that is still floating out there, and hopefully will be achieved by this new council.

Say what you will about the little guy, he has perservered, one of the main reasons and why Kermit has been so important for serving our city is his big heart for the little man. A guy who has probably knocked on and talked to over 40,000 constituents since his time on the legislature. The Argus has often never understood why Kermit would keep getting re-elected. I believe it is because he is and was well liked and spoke up for Joe Six-Pack.

But don’t be discouraged by his retirement. Several councilors elected in this past election, not just Ms. Stehly will continue to fight for that guy. While I will admit getting to know both Stehly and Staggers over the years, they do not have the same leadership style, but they do have one thing in common, service to you. While Kermit will be missed, his legacy will continue well into the future.


#1 The D@ily Spin on 04.24.16 at 8:57 am

Mr. Staggers is one of a kind. He represented people in a nazi environment. He’s a hero in city history. We fought the credit card kings and the money followed them without benefiting the population. There’s no liberty when your leader is Ghengis, Nero, Napoleon, Hitler, or Huether.

#2 The D@ily Spin on 04.24.16 at 9:07 am

They’ll not be remorse about what’s happened to the city because everything is renamed Sanford.

#3 i12doit on 04.24.16 at 10:35 am

Kermit was always treated like the black sheep of the SF City Council. However, I have always admired him more than all of the others combined because he seemed to lack the looking for approval and wanting pats on the back that some others desperately need and want. He was consistent, gentle and seemed to have something the other’s didn’t, selflessness. He’s genuine. He has integrity and that scares those who don’t. I remember hearing Bob Litz joke one time stating, “Kermit Staggers, especially after a couple of beers.” Bully Bob could not hold a candle to Kermit. Yes, the same Bob Litz who ran for political office before as a Democrat and lost until he figured out he had to run as a Republican to get elected in South Dakota. (If that isn’t thinking only of yourself, I don’t know what is). He certainly didn’t have what Kermit did/does and people like Litz still don’t and neither do many of the other attention whores who treat their constituents as subservient inhabitants. I also remember when Kermit ran for Mayor. There was rumor around the SF Police Departments rank-in-file officers that he was going to cut all kinds of funding to the Police Dept. I was told this by several officer’s who had heard it from their superiors, the upper crust, those who outranked them (or so they told me). I asked Kermit personally about this and he said “that is absolutely false.” Using your position as an Administrating Officer for the city and putting fear in your Employees to control the outcome of elections is sad and shows how corrupt the political system has become and how certain people use their position to keep and maintain a house of absurdity and deceit. By not checking this cutting of funding for the Police Department rumor by asking Kermit themselves, implies to me how Officer’s either blindly play follow the leaders or they are in fear of retaliation. I personally feel it was and is, fear of retaliation from the Administration due to observations made. Kermit has taken a beating over the years being bullied, lied about and gossiped about for his genuine commitment to serving others but has persevered because he knew his mission. I will miss him and his commitment to our community. I think it may be a long time to get someone of his experience, compassion, tolerance and love to stand up for the citizens of Sioux Falls. I am grateful Theresa Stehly has been elected to replace him and I hope she will follow his path to fit those shoes, with her own style of course. But, she has to know and understand what is coming her way. You can’t truly stand up for what is right for the people without an attempt by the bullies of a corrupt system and big money to smear you. Stand tall Theresa Stehly and Thank You in advance. Mr. Staggers, I find the insufficiency of language to express my gratitude to you for your service and all you have endured in that process. God Speed Kermit!