Thanks Dave

Posted: Friday, April 9, 2010 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I’m having a bit of a dilemma as I sit here thinking about writing a comment or two concerning the upcoming election in Sioux Falls; especially the mayor’s race.
Just by saying who I’d like to win will surely alienate and infuriate a lot of you who favor another candidate and think I must be nuts or uninformed or both to support anyone other than your guy.
I have tried to “inform” myself by reading about and listening to what they all have to say on what are perceived to be the big issues facing our town..jobs, streets and an events center; not necessarily in that order. (Maybe I should be spending time getting better informed on punctuation. I’m never quite sure where to put colons and semi colons so I just throw them in a sentence piecemeal from time to time hoping they fit. I know I’m often wrong but so far no English teachers have called me on it.)
Back to the election.
 
I realize, of course, that the issues mentioned above are important..but that’s not the only thing I look at in making a choice about who should lead Sioux Falls. Which brings me to Mayor Dave Munson.
Every candidate could learn a thing or two from the current hiz-honor about hard work and being a tireless ambassador for the city..gladly showing up at all sorts of functions plus being willing to answer any and all questions from reporters or the average Joe on the street about what he and the city were up to.
Believe me there have been others who’ve sat in that office who’ve not been so open to discussion and generous with their time..much less take criticism gracefully.
Those who say he lacks effective communication skills have never sat down with him for a discussion face to face. It may take him a while to get his point across but it’s not for a lack of knowledge on the subject.  
Mayor Munson has taken a lot of heat from a few people who felt he sometimes played a little too fast and loose with the city’s money in order to get projects done that he wanted done. I don’t believe he crossed any legal lines but I’m pretty doggone sure that there was never any intentional malfeasance on his part.
The mayor and I don’t agree on a lot of things..such as his insistence that a huge events center is vital to Sioux Falls even if it means another tax to pay for it.  But I also remember not being terribly excited about the Phillips to the Falls project..yet now I can’t wait to show that area off  to family and friends from out of town.
I also wondered about his plan to revitalize downtown.
A lot of people, me included, scoffed at the notion of trying to enforce a teen curfew, putting a stop to the loopers who were snarling up traffic and ticking off other motorists as well as dealing with vandals who took pleasure in leaving beer cans and body fluids in downtown business doorways..
Now, as Linda and I sit at a sidewalk table sipping a glass of wine and listening to music on a warm summer evening downtown, the answer is crystal clear; it worked out beautifully and we have Dave Munson to thank for most of it.
 
So, Doug..are you going to tell us who you’re going to vote for or not?
Well, the truth is, it comes down to the one candidate I actually know pretty well.. having sat next to him in the newsroom for a dozen years.
Vernon Brown and I also don’t agree on every issue but I do know that, like Dave Munson, Vernon loves our city with a passion and isn’t afraid to work long hours to make sure things get done to keep making it better. He’ll be sensitive to the people’s concerns and a terrific ambassador and spokesman for Sioux Falls.
I also suspect if Vernon Brown saw a drunk and disorderly customer in Minervas  he, like Mayor Munson, would do the chivalrous thing..only Vernon would probably call the cops on his cell rather than wrestle the offender to the floor.
You can take the Munson boy out of North Sioux Falls but you can’t take North Sioux Falls out of the boy.

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