Category Archives: Executive Branch

SD Executive Appointments listed in the Sept 26 register

22513590The September 26 South Dakota LRC Register includes a few executive appointments and reappointment made by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard in mid-September. There are also a few corrections listed for appointments made previously. Here are the new appointments and any additional information I find interesting about these appointments

Executive Appointments

Brian Gustafson, Pierre, was appointed on September 19, 2016, to the South Dakota Board on Geographic Names, to replace Bill Markley, effective immediately.

This position on the board is on behalf of the SD Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR). Gustafson is listed as a Engineer Manager III  in the Air Quality division of DENR.

Dr. Scott Schirber, Rapid City, was appointed on September 19, 2016, to the State Board of Examiners in Optometry, to replace Dr. Joseph Hartford, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Schirber fills a Prescribing Optometrist position on the board.

Executive Reappointments

Michael L. Harstad, Crooks, was reappointed on September 15, 2016, to the Fire Marshal’s Advisory Board, effective immediately and shall continue until April 12, 2020.

Harstad fills a position on behalf of the Fire equipment industry. Harstad as a Aerial Products Manager for Rosenbauer America.  He is also the Fire Chief for the  Crooks Volunteer Fire Department.

Corrections Filed

These three were shown as corrected in the Sept 26 register. All three of these appointments are for the Board of Social Work Examiners and I noted their appointments back in August. The ending date for terms were originally misreported. I have updated my original post to reflect these changes.

Dr. Vicki Isler, Sioux Falls, was appointed on August 5, 2016, to the Board of Social Work Examiners, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019 October 30, 2018.

Dr. Pamela Osnes, Burke, was appointed on August 5, 2016, to the Board of Social Work Examiners, effective immediately and shall continue until June October 30, 2019.

Lisa Stanley, Pierre, was appointed on August 5, 2016, to the Board of Social Work Examiners, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019 October 30, 2017.

SD Executive Appointments listed in Sept 6 and Sept 12 registers, appointments to the School Finance Accountability Board

21786041September had a good number of executive appointments and reappointment made by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. The September 6 and September 12 South Dakota LRC Registers list the appointments made in the latter part of August. One interesting thing to note with this round of executive appointments is filling the new School Finance Accountability Board; I will look briefly at that board in this post.

Below I will look briefly at the new School Finance Accountability Board. Then I have provided a list of the executive appointments and executive reappointments. If I find anything interesting about any of these appointments I’ve included that information.

School Finance Accountability Board

This is a new board created during the 2016 legislative session. Specifically the policy bill SB 131 (SoDakLiberty Posts) which accompanied the Governor’s sales tax increase is where the authority for this new School Finance Accountability Board comes from.

Here is how the board is described on the Board and Commissions website:

The board will review appeals from school districts who, due to special circumstances, fail to comply with the provisions for increases in teacher compensation set forth in SDCL 13-13-73.6 and for general fund cash balance caps set forth in 13-13-73.5. Additionally, the School Finance Accountability Board shall promulgate rules, pursuant to chapter 1-26, to establish the appeals process provided for in SDCL 13-13-73.6, and to establish the factors that may be taken into account when considering a waiver requested by a school district in meeting the provisions for increases in teacher compensation , which shall include the impact of retirements.

The board already met on September 9. Looking at the minutes it appears the meeting was mostly about electing the president/vp and figuring out what their job was.

Governor Daugaard made the five appointments to this board, which appear later in this post.

Executive Appointments

Jason Dilges, Pierre, was appointed on August 24, 2016, to the School Finance Accountability Board, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Dilges is the Commissioner of the State’s Bureau of Finance and Management.

Jarod Larson, Brandon, was appointed on August 24, 2016, to the School Finance Accountability Board, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020

Larson is the superintendent of the Brandon school district.

Mike Lodmel, Colton, was appointed on August 24, 2016, to the School Finance Accountability Board, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Lodmel is the superintendent of the Tri-Valley school district.

Susan Proefrock, Belle Fourche, was appointed on August 24, 2016, to the School Finance Accountability Board, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Proefrock is the business manager for Belle Fourche school district.

Eric Stoeder, Glenham, was appointed on August 24, 2016, to the School Finance Accountability Board, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Stoeder is a Mobridge school board member.

Carla J. Borchardt, Sioux Falls, was appointed on August 25, 2016, to the South Dakota Board of Nursing, to fill a new position, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2016.

Borchardt fills an RN position on the board.

Scott A. Duke, Sioux Falls, was appointed on August 26, 2016, to the South Dakota Public Safety Communications Council, to replace Rebekah Cradduck, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Duke is the President of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations

David Goodwin, Black Hawk, was appointed on August 26, 2016, to the South Dakota Public Safety Communications Council, to replace Dalton Myers, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Goodwin holds a position on the board on behalf of the South Dakota National Guard.

David Kull, Brandon, was appointed on August 26, 2016, to the South Dakota Public Safety Communications Council, to replace Brandon Semmler, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Kull fills a position on behalf of the South Dakota Police Chief’s Association.

Dr. Mike Rush, Pierre, was appointed on August 26, 2016, to the Research and Commercialization Council, to replace Dr. Jack Warner, effective immediately.

Rush fills the position as the Executive Director, SD Board of Regents.

Scott Stern, Pierre, was appointed on August 26, 2016, to the Research and Commercialization Council, to replace Pat Costello, effective immediately

Stern is on the board as the newly anointed  Commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Jeffory Erickson, Sioux Falls, was appointed on August 31, 2016, to the South Dakota Economic Development Finance Authority Board of Directors, to replace Stephen Jones, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Don Kettering, Yankton, was appointed on August 31, 2016, to the South Dakota Economic Development Finance Authority Board of Directors, to replace Mike Kellar, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2017.

Executive Reappointments

David Ackerman, Leola, was reappointed on August 25, 2016, to the South Dakota Public Safety Communications Council, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Ackerman represents the South Dakota Sheriff’s Association on the board.

J. D. Geigle, Spearfish, was reappointed on August 25, 2016, to the South Dakota Public Safety Communications Council, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019

Geigle represents the South Dakota Emergency Medical Technician’s Association on the board.

Dennis Gorton, Rapid City, was reappointed on August 25, 2016, to the South Dakota Public Safety Communications Council, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Gorton represents the South Dakota Fire Fighters Association on the board.

Harold Timmerman, Canton, was reappointed on August 25, 2016, to the South Dakota Public Safety Communications Council, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Timmerman represents the South Dakota Emergency Managers Association on the board.

Matt A. Tooley, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on August 25, 2016, to the South Dakota Public Safety Communications Council, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Tooley represents the South Dakota APCO/NENA Chapter on the board.

Bob Wilcox, Pierre, was reappointed on August 25, 2016, to the South Dakota Public Safety Communications Council, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019

Wilcox represents the South Dakota Association of County Commissioners on the board.

Larry Jandreau, Lower Brule, was reappointed on August 25, 2016, to the South Dakota Public Safety Communications Council, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Jandreau is the Tribal Government Representative on the board.

Bradford J. Wheeler, Lemmon, was reappointed on August 25, 2016, to the Research and Commercialization Council, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2018.

Wheeler fills a Member at Large position on the board.

Terry G. Nelson, Black Hawk, was reappointed on August 31, 2016, to the South Dakota Economic Development Finance Authority Board of Directors, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Vernon Brown, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on August 29, 2016, to the South Dakota 911 Coordination Board, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

More Executive Appointments listed in the Aug 8 SD Register

32264243The first week of August saw quite a few executive appointments from South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. The August 8, 2016, South Dakota LRC Register lists a number of executive appointments and reappointments made by the Governor. A lot of these are for the Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired. But there are two big ones in this list for Governor’s Cabinet level positions: the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and the Commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Below is a list of the executive appointments and executive reappointments. If I find anything interesting about any of these appointments I’ve included that information.

Executive Appointments

Mike Jaspers, Sioux Falls, was appointed on
August 3, 2016, to the position of Secretary of
the Department of Agriculture, effective
July 5, 2016, and shall continue at the pleasure
of the Governor.

The Governor actually announced Jaspers as the new Department of Ag head a month earlier. His name may seem familiar to people who follow the legislature. Here is part of the press release sent about this appointment:

In addition to operating his farm and holding management positions in several agricultural businesses, Jaspers served in the South Dakota State Legislature from 1997-2005. In 2007, President George W. Bush appointed him state director of USDA-Rural Development, where he served until June 2008.

Jaspers also happens to be the brother-in-law of the previous Ag Secretary Lucas Lenstch. Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, the States Veterinarian, served as the interim Secretary until the Governor appointed Jaspers.

Scott Stern, Chandler, Arizona, was appointed on August 3, 2016, to the position of Commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, effective September 1, 2016, and shall continue at the pleasure of the Governor.

Stern is another one that was announced last month, but the actual appointment didn’t happen until this month. Here is a part of Stern’s resume from the Governors press release:

Stern is a Freeman native and a graduate of the University of South Dakota. For 29 years, Stern worked with Stern Oil Company of Freeman, including 14 years as vice president and general manager. For the past four years, Stern has worked a district sales manager for Petro-Canada America, a division of Suncor Energy.

Stern’s ties to the oil industry already has opponents of pipelines wondering about his appointment. I guess when Stern takes over in September it will be seen how big issues such as the Keystone XL pipeline play out in GOED. Stern replaces Pat Costello as the GOED Commissioner.

Barb Abeln, Redfield, was appointed on August 1, 2016, to the Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities, to replace Jan Banghart, effective immediately.

Abeln takes a position on the board as the Director of the South Dakota Developmental Center (SDDC) in Redfield. Banghart had stepped down earlier this year after reports of staffing issues came out. Abeln stepped in as the interim Director and has now been appointed by the Governor to fill the position.

Tana Buresch, Sioux Falls, was appointed on August 1, 2016, to the Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, to replace Teresa Nold, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Nold held a position of “Representative of Parent Training and Information” on the board and presumably Buresh fills the same role.

Sarah Carlson, Canton, was appointed on August 1, 2016, to the Family Support Council, to replace Kim Benning, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Benning filled the position of “Family Member under 21” on the board and presumably Carlson fills the same role.

Roberta Ecoffey, Pine Ridge, was appointed on August 1, 2016, to the Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, to replace Lyle Cook, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2018.

Cook held the position of “Representative of American Indian Vocational” on the board and presumably Ecoffey fills the same role.

Cheri Knispel, Rapid City, was appointed on August 1, 2016, to the Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, to replace Kenneth Rollman, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Rollman apparently filled two roles on the board: “Former Recipient of VR Services, Representative of a Disability Advocacy Group”. 

Cole Uecker, Pierre, was appointed on August 1, 2016, to the Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, to replace Tim Neyhart, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2017.

Neyhart filled a “Representative of Client Assistant Program” position on the board.

Executive Reappointments

Patrick Czerny, Piedmont, was reappointed on August 1, 2016, to the Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019

Czerny holds a position of “Representative of a Community Rehabilitation Program” on the board.

Lynda I. O’Connor-Ohayon, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on August 1, 2016, to the Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

O’Connor-Ohayon fills the role of “Former Recipient of VR Services, Business and Industry” on the board.

Lynne Rick, Yankton, was reappointed on August 1, 2016, to the Family Support Council, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Rick fills the position of “Family Member over 21” on the board.

Governor Daugaard signed Executive Order declaring state of emergency due to drought conditions

As I was looking at the July 18, 2016, South Dakota LRC Register I couldn’t help but notice an Executive Order from Governor Dennis Daugaard listed. The executive order is to declare a state of emergency due to drought conditions in western South Dakota. This is technically the fourth Executive Order of 2016. All of the Governors executive orders can be viewed on the Secretary of State website (you can filter by year, which makes it much easier).

Here is a copy of the executive order (click to make bigger):

SD Drought Executive Order. Downloaded from SD SOS website.
SD Drought Executive Order. Downloaded from SD SOS website.

This executive order will allow the Emergency Management portions of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to use government resources to help those impacted by the drought. In particular this is aimed at the farmers and ranchers that are impacted by the drought conditions.

Emergency Management’s twitter feed points to the United States Drought Monitor as a resource to see current drought conditions. Here is a screenshot of the current conditions as of July 19, 2016, on the US Drought Monitor website:

Screenshot of SD Drought Monitor conditions on July 19 from the US Drought Monitor website.
Screenshot of SD Drought Monitor conditions on July 19 from the US Drought Monitor website.

The red is considered a D3 intensity drought, which the site lists as Extreme Drought.

Emergency Management doesn’t really provide any information about this particular emergency. I would think EM would provide more information to the public about a situation they feel rises to the level of a state emergency.

The SD Department of Agriculture points to the The Great Plains Interagency Dispatch website to see current fire dangers. Here is the current fire danger for Saturday July 23, 2016:

Current Fire Danger listed for July 23, 2016, on the gacc.nifc.gov website.
Current Fire Danger listed for July 23, 2016, on the gacc.nifc.gov website.

It isn’t looking very good for some west river counties!

Just as with DPS, I would have though the SD Department of Agriculture would have more information about this actual emergency. Perhaps these state agencies can learn to disseminate information more timely for state emergencies.

PS. Anyone watching this situation may also want to keep the FEMA Disaster Declarations for South Dakota website bookmarked. If this raises to the level of a federal emergency it will be listed there.

25 Executive Appointments and Reappointments listed in the July 18 SD Register

SD State Capital. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.
SD State Capital. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.

July has been a busy month for South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard in regards to executive appointments. The July 18, 2016, South Dakota LRC Register lists 25 executive appointments and reappointments made by the Governor.

Below is a list of the four executive appointments and twenty-one executive reappointments. If I find anything interesting about any of these appointments I’ve included that information.

Executive Appointments

Doug Balvin, Huron, was appointed on June 30, 2016, to the State Banking Commission, to replace Paul Christen, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2018.

Balvin holds the Public Member slot on the board. Christen was appointed to this board last October. Bavin will hold the position until October 30, 2018; which was the same term end date as Christen had.

Linda Anderson, Rapid City, was appointed on July 10, 2016, to the State Arts Council, to replace Donald Montileaux, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Montileaux held the Visual Arts position on the board.  Anderson held a position on this board before.

Steve Willard, Belle Fourche, was appointed on July 10, 2016, to the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship Board, to replace Timothy Mitchell, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2017.

Willard fills a Superintendent position on the board.

Mike Wordeman, Rapid City, was appointed on July 10, 2016, to the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, to replace Ralph Kemnitz, effective immediately and shall continue until April 14, 2019.

Executive Reappointments

Paul R. Batcheller, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Research and Commercialization Council, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2018.

Batcheller fills a Member at Large position on the board.

Barbara L. Christianson, Rapid City, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Civil Service Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Peggy L. Dixon, Rapid City, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Water Management Board, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Dixon fills a Domestic position on the board.

Rodney Freeman, Jr., Huron, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Water Management Board, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020

Freeman fills an Industrial position on the board.

Robert E. Grandpre, Pierre, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Civil Service Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Grandpre fills a position on the board that requires Law Enforcement Experience.

Judith D. Greff, Huron, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Civil Service Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Rexford A. Hagg, Rapid City, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Board of Minerals and Environment, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Hagg is the chair of this board.

James O. Hansen, Pierre, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Hansen fills one of three commission spots on the WICHE board. In 2014 the Board of Regents was able to get HB 1019 (SoDakLiberty Posts) passed so it could enter into agreements with WICHE.

Theodore H. Hustead, Wall, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Board of Tourism, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Hustead fills the Black Hills region on the board. Hustead is also a member of the Board of Economic Development, which the SD Senate had to confirm earlier this year.

James Hutmacher, Oacoma, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Water Management Board, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Hutmacher fills a Licensed Well Driller position on the board.

Doyle R. Karpen, Jefferson, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Board of Minerals and Environment, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Deanna B. Lien, Rapid City, was reappointed on July 10, to the State Arts Council, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Lien fills a Lay Person position on the board.

David Link, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Research and Commercialization Council, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2018.

Richard Little, Spearfish, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the South Dakota Athletic Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Valentina R. Merdanian, Oglala, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the HagenHarvey Memorial Scholarship Board, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2021.

Dr. John Miller, Brookings, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the State Capitol Complex Restoration and Beautification Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Dennis L. Rowley, Spencer, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Petroleum Release Compensation Board, effective immediately and shall continue until May 1, 2021.

Rowley is the chair of this board. He fills a position for Insurance or Claims Adjusting.

Frank Smith, Gettysburg, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Board of Tourism, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Smith fills the SD Missouri River Region position on the board.

Eddie J. Sullivan, Tea, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Research and Commercialization Council, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2018.

Verle Valentine, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the South Dakota Athletic Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Valentine was origninally appointed to this board in December of 2015.

Kristi M. Wagner, Whitewood, was reappointed on July 10, 2016, to the Board of Tourism, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2020.

Wagner fills a Black Hills Region position on the board.

4 executive appointments listed in the July 11 SD register

Listed in the July 11, 2016, South Dakota LRC Register are four executive appointments. There are no reappointments listed this time.

Three of these appointments are to gambling related boards.

Executive Appointments

Robert Faehn, Watertown, was appointed on June 30, 2016, to the South Dakota Lottery Commission, to replace Roger Novotny, effective immediately and shall continue until January 1, 2018.

Faehn is a former Republican legislator for District 5. He served from 2005 to 2010. His last term was spent as the House Majority Leader.

Joseph F. Kafka, Valley Springs, was appointed in June 30, 2016, to the South Dakota Lottery Commission, to replace Doyle Estes, effective immediately and shall continue until January 1, 2017.

Kafka was a long time AP reporter that was appointed as Governor Rounds press secretary back in 2008.

Karen Wagner. Photo from Wagner's campaign Facebook page.
Karen Wagner. Photo from Wagner’s campaign Facebook page.

Karen Wagner, Belle Fourche, was appointed on June 30, 2016, to the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, to replace Dennis Duncan, effective immediately and shall continue until April 14, 2019.

Wagner is a name I recognize well. I took a lot of heat from Republicans in District 28A because I didn’t include the fact that she switched from Democrat to Republican in order to primary Rep Sam Marty (R, Dist 28B) for State House. My post highlighting that particular primary race can be viewed here. Marty won the primary election. I still don’t see a big deal, people switch from Democrat to Republican all the time in SD in order to get elected, party labels mean little or nothing to politicians. It is also worth noting Wagner donated $2000 to Governor Dennis Daugaard between 2011 and 2012. People can drawn their own conclusions about Wagner getting this appointment after trying to take out one of the legislative opponents of Medicaid Expansion (which the Governor supports)….

Jill Thorngren, was appointed on June 30, 2016, to the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship Board, to replace Thomas Hawley, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2021.

SD executive and legislative appointments listed in the May 23 and May 31 registers

20049553I’m reviewing the May 23, 2016  South Dakota LRC Register and the May 31, 2016  South Dakota LRC Register and notice a couple more executive appointments listed. Plus there is one legislative appointment included in the May 23 Register.

Executive Appointments

Kristi Bunkers, Sioux Falls, was appointed on May 16, 2016, to the Behavioral Health Advisory Council, effective immediately.

Bunkers is filling the “DOC staff” position on the council. The name seemed familiar. Back in March Bunkers was appointed to the Council of Juvenile Services. Here is what I noted about her in that post:

Bunkers is the Director of the Juvenile Community Corrections services for the SD Department of Corrections. Bunkers was most recently in the news talking about the closing of STAR Academy juvenile facility (the place that killed kids such as Brady Folkens).

Mary Anne Boyd, Yankton, was appointed on May 17, 2016, to the Game, Fish and Parks Commission, to replace John Cooper, effective immediately and shall continue until January 10, 2018.

The position Cooper held on the board was “East River, Non Farmer”. Presumably Boyd will hold the same role on the board. Governor Daugaard’s staff sent out a press release about Boyd’s appointment. Here is part of the press release:

“I am truly humbled to be appointed to the GFP Commission,” stated Boyd. “I am an advocate of our state park system and maintain a desire to further develop the parks system for the enjoyment of our residents and visitors. Our cultural and natural resources in this state are unmatched. I want to do my best to see to it they are sustained for future generations.”

Mary Anne Boyd is a native of southeastern South Dakota. She enjoys spending time at Lewis and Clark Recreation Area and other state parks.

Boyd is a graduate of Mount Marty College in Yankton. She has served as the vice president of Program Services for the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 1999. Prior to that time she served as the executive director of the Yankton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Legislative Appointment

Michael DeMersseman, Rapid City, was reappointed on May 17, 2016, to the South Dakota Code Commission, effective July 1, 2016, and shall continue until June 30, 2018.

The Code Commission basically ensures the session laws from each legislative year gets published.  DeMersseman has been on this commission a LONG time. Here is part of what Bob Mercer had to say two years ago when DeMersseman was reappointed then:

He’s been on the commission since 1995 when he was a member of the state House of Representatives. He served three years in the House before resigning Dec. 15, 1997.

The Code Commission will be meeting on June 22 in Sioux Falls.

Five more SD Executive Appointments and Reappointments, a look at the WIEB

Listed in the April 18, 2016, South Dakota LRC Register is another five executive appointments and reappointments.

In this post I will look briefly at the Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB).

Executive Appointments

Bill Markley, Pierre, was appointed on April 6, 2016, to the South Dakota Board on Geographic Names, to replace Joe Nadenicek, effective immediately.

Markley is a representative of the SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The DENR website lists him as: Engineer Manager III, Ground Water Quality, Pierre.

Greg Rislov, Pierre, was appointed on April 8, 2016, to the Western Interstate Energy Board, effective immediately

Rislov is listed as a Commission Advisor on the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) website.

I had not previously heard of the Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB) and it does not show up on the SD Boards and Commissions website. The WIEB is actually setup under federal law passed as the Western Interstate Nuclear Compact. The  organization is composed of western states and Canadian provinces.

Here is what the WISB website says about the organization:

The Compact states that the purpose of the Board is to provide the instruments and framework for cooperative state efforts to “enhance the economy of the West and contribute to the well-being of the region’s people.” The Board seeks to achieve this purpose through cooperative efforts among member states/provinces and with the federal government in the energy field.

That seems pretty vague. The organization is separated into three committees: The High-Level Radioactive Waste Committee, The Energy Minerals Reclamation Committee, and The Committee on Regional Electric Power Cooperation.

South Dakota does not seem to be an actual member of the WIEB. According to the WIEB website South Dakota is a member of the Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body (WIRAB). Here is what the website says about the WIRAB:

The Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body (WIRAB) was created by Western Governors under Section 215 of the Federal Power Act. Section 215 of the FPA provides for the establishment of a federal regulatory system of mandatory and enforceable electric reliability standards for the Nation’s bulk power system.

Here is the current organization chart off the WIEB website to show South Dakota’s place in its hierarchy:

WIEB Organization Chart downloaded off WIEB website on 4/21/16.
WIEB Organization Chart downloaded off WIEB website on 4/21/16.

Tregg Cronin, Gettysburg, was appointed on April 12, 2016, to the Wheat Utilization Research and Marketing Development Commission, to replace Darrell Davis, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2017.

Here is Cronin’s brief bio off the Boards and Commissions website:

Tregg Cronin, Gettysburg, was appointed to the South Dakota Wheat Commission by Governor Daugaard in April 2016. Tregg has worked in many areas of the agriculture industry including time as a commodity broker, grain buyer, elevator operations and production agriculture with his family farming operation. Tregg grew up on the farm he now works at with his family as Cronin Farms, Inc. in Gettysburg, SD.

Executive Reappointments

Sharon L. Casey, Chamberlain, was reappointed on April 4, 2016, to the Board of Economic Development, effective April 20, 2016, and shall continue until April 19, 2020.

Tom Jones, Viborg, was reappointed on April 4, 2016, to the Board of Economic Development, effective April 20, 2016, and shall continue until April 19, 2020.

Jones was appointed to this board in 2015 to fill a vacancy left by Rob Skjonsberg. Jones is a former Democratic legislator for  District 17.

Another 14 SD Executive appointments and reappointments listed in the April 11 register

The Aprill 11 South Dakota LRC Register is out, and there are 14 more executive appointments and reappointments listed.

Most of these appointments are for the  SD Commission on Child Support. As I noted before, this board has to be created every four years by the Governor to review child support guidelines. This board lasts until the end of the year, when its report is due.

SD Commission on Child Support Appointees

Bobbi Bohnet, Pierre, was appointed on April 1, 2016, to the South Dakota Commission on Child Support, effective immediately and shall continue until December 31, 2016.

Joni Cutler, Sioux Falls, was appointed on April 1, 2016, to the South Dakota Commission on Child Support, effective immediately and shall continue until December 31, 2016.

Rep Brian Gosch on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/2/16.
Rep Brian Gosch on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/2/16.

Representative Brian Gosch, Rapid City, was appointed on April 1, 2016, to the South Dakota Commission on Child Support, effective immediately and shall continue until December 31, 2016.

Thomas Lee, Pierre, was appointed on April 1, 2016, to the South Dakota Commission on Child Support, effective immediately and shall continue until December 31, 2016.

Sen Arthur Rusch on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.
Sen Arthur Rusch on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.

Senator Arthur Rusch, Vermillion, was appointed on April 1, 2016, to the South Dakota Commission on Child Support, effective immediately and shall continue until December 31, 2016.

Gail Stoltenburg, Pierre, was appointed on April 1, 2016, to the South Dakota Commission on Child Support, effective immediately and shall continue until December 31, 2016.

Daniel Todd, Pierre, was appointed on April 1, 2016, to the South Dakota Commission on Child Support, effective immediately and shall continue until December 31, 2016.

Corey Wipf, Aberdeen, was appointed on April 1, 2016, to the South Dakota Commission on Child Support, effective immediately and shall continue until December 31, 2016.

Executive Appointments

Kristi Bunkers, Sioux Falls, was appointed on March 31, 2016, to the Council of Juvenile Services, to replace Douglas Hermann, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2018.

Bunkers holds a “Rep of law enforcement/juvenile justice agency” position on the board. Bunkers is the Director of the Juvenile Community Corrections services for the SD Department of Corrections. Bunkers was most recently in the news talking about the closing of STAR Academy juvenile facility (the place that killed kids such as Brady Folkens).

Executive Reappointments

John D. Fowler, Elk Point, was reappointed on April 1, 2016, to the State Historical Society Board of Trustees, effective April 16, 2016, and shall continue until April 15, 2019.

Fowler holds an At-Large position on the board.

Jeffery A. Hazard, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on April 1, 2016, to the State Historical Society Board of Trustees, effective immediately and shall continue until April 15, 2019

Hazard holds an Architect position on the board.

Drake T. Olson, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on April 1, 2016, to the Board of Technical Professions, effective April 15, 2016, and shall continue until April 14, 2019

Olson holds a Lay Member position on the board.

Ronald D. Rosenboom, Sturgis, was reappointed on April 1, 2016, to the Transportation Commission, effective April 19, 2016, and shall continue until April 18, 2020.

Rosenboom has a lot of involvement with economic development programs in the Rapid City area.

Larry Thompson, Mitchell, was reappointed on April 1, 2016, to the Transportation Commission, effective April 19, 2016, and shall continue until April 18, 2020.

Thompson has connections with economic development in the Mitchell area.

SD SBAC hearing had a civics lesson for legislators from the judge

SD State Capital. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.
SD State Capital. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.

The hearing for the case against the State of South Dakota for its entry into the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) had some interesting side arguments. One of those side arguments worth considering came from Judge Mark Barnett. He basically said that judges don’t create policy. Instead he noted the SD Constitution limited the judicial branch to interpreting policy. It is the job of the legislature to create policy. I wish the SD legislature was there to hear the judge say this. Barnett didn’t expand beyond that very much, but I will spend a few minutes talking about it in this post.

In regards to SBAC, the plaintiff’s lawyer John Sauer made the case that South Dakota is a member of an illegal compact. The legislature itself did not enter the state into the compact, but instead the SD Department of Education did. This is a situation that the legislature could easily have remedied by legislative means.

Actually it has been tried over the last few years. Just looking at 2015 there were two attempts to change SD’s membership in SBAC. HB 1198 (SoDakLiberty Posts) would have required legislative approval for any academic assessments. SB 188 (SoDakLiberty Posts) would have required the Dept of Ed to use a competitive and open bid process for academic assessments. Either of those bills would have been the legislature setting policy.  Neither bill made it out of committee.

Oddly, an argument that has been used against bills such as these is that it is up to the Department of Education to set policy. That argument is so frustrating because it is in fact the job of the legislature to set policy; just as Judge Barnett noted in the SBAC hearing. The executive branch is supposed to execute the policies laid out by the legislature. Right now many portions of the executive branch, including the Dept of Ed, appear to be both creating policy and executing policy.

The authority the Dept of Ed to enter this SBAC compact (or contract as the DOE would call it) appears to be in SD Codified Law 13-3-55:

Every public school district shall annually administer the same assessment to all students in grades three to eight, inclusive, and in grade eleven. The assessment shall measure the academic progress of each student. Every public school district shall annually administer to all students in at least two grade levels an achievement test to assess writing skills. The assessment instruments shall be provided by the Department of Education, and the department shall determine the two grade levels to be tested. The tests shall be administered within timelines established by the Department of Education by rules promulgated pursuant to chapter 1-26 starting in the spring of the 2002-2003 school year. Each state-designed test shall be correlated with the state’s content standards. The South Dakota Board of Education may promulgate rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 to provide for administration of all assessments.

In the hearing it was mentioned the portion of this statute saying “The assessment instruments shall be provided by the Department of Education” is the authority granted to the DOE to enter into the SBAC. To me that seems to be a poor interpretation by the DOE. Entering the state into a compact that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per year sounds like a policy that needs more than the authority to provide assessment instruments. This is where the legislature should have stepped in and provided the policy to direct the Department of Education on what to do. But instead the legislative Education committees bowed down to the Department of Education and refused to create the policy needed to keep the DOE on the intended track.

Now, to make things worse the judicial branch is being asked to weigh in on the issue. I agree with Judge Barnett. This is a situation the legislature should have been looking into and created the policy to remove any legality or constitutional issues.

Finally I think legislators need to take Judge Barnett’s words into consideration. There have been numerous times I’ve heard legislators say it is up to the judicial branch to decide if a new law is constitutional. Actually according to Barnett it is the job of the legislative branch to ensure laws passed are constitutional. There are too many bills that get passed with too few legislators reading them. If there are potential constitutional issues with a bill, those issues need to be taken up in committee and on the floor to debate whether there really is a problem. These constitutional issues need to be worked out before they become law and get challenged in courts. Additionally, if there are current laws that have been found unconstitutional in other states it should be up to the legislature to review the SD laws in question to see if they need to be changed or repealed.  Perhaps if the legislature would take its job more seriously SD wouldn’t have a problem with an out of control executive branch.