There has always been a long standing tradition of our local media throwing the good professor under the bus, even after he died, there is still an effort to paint Kermit as too fiscally conservative, yet over 20 years ago when he served in the legislature, he tried to cut the food tax by 50%;


Senator Kermit Staggers, a Sioux Falls Republican, proposed reducing the state sales tax on food to 2% from the then-4% rate. The Senate Taxation Committee killed it 5-4. SB 171


Senator Staggers again proposed reducing the state sales tax on food to 2% from the then-4% rate. The Senate State Affairs Committee killed it 6-2. SB 67 

Staggers also led a small bipartisan group of lawmakers who wanted to exempt food from the state sales tax in North Sioux City and Dakota Dunes. The Senate Taxation Committee killed it 7-1. SB 116

Even when Kermit served on the city council he fought against tax and fee increases. Kermit had a big heart, and he always looked after the working class of this state and city. Funny how twenty years ago Staggers had the vision that the food tax was regressive. This coming from a supposed extreme conservative.

I was surprised the media didn’t use this information to further criticize him, maybe 20 years is too soon?

David Staggers talking about his brother

I had the pleasure yesterday of attending Kermit’s Interment at the Veterans Cemetery outside of Sioux Falls. (He was an intelligence officer with the Air Force) So many wonderful things were said about this brilliant man and friend.

Kermit’s son, Kyle, said it best when he talked about Kermit’s integrity, kindness and work ethic.

While Kermit and I disagreed on many things, he always respected my opinion and would have an honest discussion about it. They don’t make many politicians like Kermit, it’s unfortunate. I look at our current city council and mayor and sometimes wonder what Kermit would say about it. I probably know the answer.

Rest in Peace my friend, you are missed everyday. (we did record some phone video, and hope to have it up soon).

Kermit died one year ago today. He was my mentor and a tireless champion for the people. Kermit always listened to the citizens and respected the input from everyone. He was a staunch defender of transparent and accountable City Government. We need more elected officials with his integrity, compassion and responsiveness… more than ever.

– Theresa Stehly

I just want to say a few words first. Bruce got permission from the family to film Kermit’s funeral and post to YouTube. I am sad I could not make the funeral, he was a good friend, but am happy that the moment was captured. I also want to say that former Governor Janklow’s funeral was live streamed, so this is NOT a rare event. For those who could not make it, I hope this comforts you. I will miss you friend, you were always a light in the darkness, and your light shines bright and always will.