So far there are 3 candidates running for School Board, Marc Murren who is the incumbent, Gail Swenson (a retired Super) and city councilor Pat Starr. Not sure if anyone else will jump in that race. All 3 would make good school board members (though I suspect that Gail was recruited by current school board members or someone in the administration-they have a lot of secrets to hide and they need inside baseball players*). Kate Sarabentz (Parker) is not running again (I guess they intentionally kept this on the low down for as long as they coulc to discourage others from running). Stupid, childish political games. There is still a chance to get into this race, Friday February 23rd at 5 PM is the nominating petition due date. You might see a few stragglers, but that date is only 13 days away.
*Rumor has it that a few of the more ‘progressive’ school board members have been concerned about the administration’s bullying of school board members when it comes to policy. I could say more, but I think I will just let this play out during the campaign.
As for the city council race. Awful. Only one person running in NW and SW and I have heard ZERO about either candidate (though people in the industry that have worked with the SW candidate don’t have a lot of nice things to say about the fella, I still can’t get the real story why so many people disparage him).
The At-Large is probably going to be more competitive then I thought, but if I was a betting man Thomason takes it. As for the NE District, there are two qualified young professionals running for that seat. I have never spoken to Tarek’s opponent, Miranda, but Tarek and I have had a few good conversations, and he is being helped and mentored by Dave and De Knudson. Not sure what I think of that, but I told Tarek that the Knudson’s can help him get connected to some donors, etc. While De and I don’t really see eye to eye, I would much rather have her helping a candidate then Matt Paulson who is basically funding all the other candidates. While I think the Knudson’s have the best interest of the city whilst helping Tarek, I think Paulson is self serving.
A city official asked me today why no one wants to run, and why the candidate pool is kind of dismal. I would say that the school board candidates, NE candidates and At-Large candidates are pretty good, and fun races to watch, as for the other two seats with no challengers. Not sure what will happen.
I told a group of local government nerds last night that the next two years in city government should be referred to as the ‘dead years’. Since it will be a council made up with mostly people who were recruited by the mayor and supported by Matt Paulson. Transparency will be totally shut down (what little is left) and the mayor will control all policy.
I guess the mayor has been telling people privately that he has ‘lost’ this current council. Maybe you ‘lost’ them because you are a ‘loser’ as a leader and policy advisor. Eight people don’t just walk away because they are the problem.
But who would want to be a city councilor? The mayor forms all the policy, information is closed, deals are made in secret, public inputers are threatened weekly by the mayor, meetings are not properly noticed, and the list goes on.
I encouraged the sustainability folks, the SD Dem Party and other citizen advocacy groups to recruit candidates.
But after the election, I guarantee these same folks will show up to the council meetings to bitch about the poor leadership. What did you do to change the course of city politics? Not a damn thing.
If the chosen 4 roll into office this Spring, city government will officially become a dictatorship. Sioux Falls citizens get the government they deserve, ran by a dude in a gold chain and sweat pants. Good Grief!