It’s been a long 24-plus hours waiting for the final results of Tuesday’s city election in Sioux Falls. Councilwoman Theresa Stehly lost her bid to be re-elected, but confirms to KELOLAND News she will contest the results and ask for a recount. With only a 110 difference of votes, Stehly says “It’s not a done deal”. We contacted Alex Jensen and we are waiting to hear back. They both declined interviews earlier today as they were waiting for all of the results to come in.
However, we spoke with Greg Neitzert. Incumbent Neitzert held a comfortable lead over challenger Julian Beaudion for a seat representing the Northwest district. Neitzert has about 61-percent versus Beaudion’s 39-percent of the vote.
At the time of this interview, Neitzert wasn’t ready to call himself the winner.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Neitzert said.
This will be Neitzert’s second term. He says a few goals include expanding the westside bike trail, helping the city recover from COVID-19 — which will include working on the budget.
“We’re not out of the woods yet. It’s going to take a while. We’re going to take a hit. We have deferred receipts of tax revenues. So, the major hit we took, we haven’t seen yet,” Neitzert said.
Neitzert also would like to put a development in the downtown parking ramp, which was the Village on the River hotel/business project that failed.
“We all want to look back and see what we can do better, because we don’t want to be in that situation again. But I have no doubt, five years down the road, we’re going to have something going there,” Neitzert said.
Voters also decided to keep School Board President Cynthia Mickelson for a third term. Mickelson came in with 70-percent of the vote over challenger Sarah Stokke’s 30-percent. Mickelson also kept a wide lead as more results came in. She says immediate goals for the school district include overseeing the superintendent transition, new school construction, and school boundary changes.
“Making sure the changes we make are the least disruptive to our segment of our population and having a strong rationale,” Mickelson said.
Mickelson says the board will also look at how to best recover from COVID-19, and what school will look like next year for students. The students finished this school year by learning remotely.
“Our first choice of course is fully engaged in school buildings, but knowing that might not be a possibility, we’ve come up with alternatives of hybrid planning as well as fully remote,” Mickelson said.
You can see more results at Your Local Election Headquarters page.