BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — The city of Brandon has a new mayor and he may be a familiar face. Last night the city council appointed Jim Heinitz to the position.
“I’ve lived in Brandon for 43 years and I honestly haven’t been involved politically.” Mayor Him Heinitz.
The former Augustana football coach and CEO of Furniture Outlets USA retired in January. We caught up with him during this Eye on KELOLAND report in November.
After 5 months of retirement Heinitz decided he had too much time on his hands.
He put his name in for consideration when he heard that the Brandon City Council was deadlocked on appointing a mayor.
Current alderman Jack Parliament and former alderman Chuck Parsons were both vying for the position but tied 3 times as the council split 3 to 3 on which one should be appointed.
When Heinitz entered the process both Parliament and Parsons threw their support behind him
“I don’t know Jim all that well, but I have friends who know him so I spoke to them and again just how highly they spoke of him, his leadership skills have me thinking being involved in city affairs as long as I have is just the right thing to do,” Chuck Parsons said.
“When the council voted 6 to 0 to support me I think that sort of reaffirmed that they’re willing to accept me and be a part of a team, you know I’ve been involved in teams my whole life either coaching football or leading the team at Furniture Mart, you know the one thing you learn in a hurry, its not about you it’s about us and them,” Heinitzsaid.
The new mayor spent the day learning about his new job and meeting with city officials. The police chief actually played football for him at Augie. Heinitz spent 7 years on the Brandon school board, so he does have experience in how governing bodies work.
“I was looking for a challenge and I think this will be something I will enjoy,” Heinitz said.
Heinitz will fill the part time position until April of next year. He says he’ll wait to see how it goes before he decides if he will run for re-election.