People in Rapid City have responded to their dissatisfaction with the city council by generating a huge field of candidates poised to "throw the bums out." That Ward 2 against Sam Kooiker is the only alderman not facing a challenge should surprise nobody.
I suspect there will be plenty of candidates for mayor, Ward 2 alderperson Deb Hadcock, Ward 4 Alderman Ron Kroeger and Ward 3 Alderman Bill Waugh this time next year, too.
Alderpersons Karen Gundersen Olson (Ward 3) and Malcom Chapman (Ward 5) have chosen to not run. Olson told me a very long time before the Kooiker censure that she she would not run for re-election. I don't know Malcom's story. I suspect he saw the writing on the wall about the time the city finance office ran out of candidate petition packets for the first time.
That leaves council president Lloyd LaCroix, one of the primary engineers on the train wreck that became the Kooiker censure. LaCroix faces John Roberts and Jordan Mason, both of whom, according to the Rapid City Journal, came out strongly against the censure.
LaCroix says his record is more important than one controversial vote. He may be right. But he also has a record of taking more taxpayer-paid trips than almost any of the other traveling bandits on that council.
"Everyone knows that I'm fair to everybody," LaCroix said in the Journal article.
I don't think so, Lloyd. When it was discovered at the council's "hearing" that the information that was the very basis for the complaint against Kooiker was trumped up and just plain false, you went along with five others, removed some of the stuff you then knew to be false and censured Kooiker anyway. That's not fair.
The council allowed their dislike of Kooiker's bull in a china closet style to lead them into the temptation to get even. It backfired.
But, should people vote AGAINST LaCroix because of his formidable part in this horrific mess? No. They should vote FOR a candidate who will do a better job, won't travel time and again on taxpayer-paid junkets, won't vote in stuff that involves his campaign treasurer or campaign manager and will listen to his constituents and really care about what they tell him.
Either Roberts or Mason will do all those things better than LaCroix has. LaCroix's participation in and vote on the Kooiker censure is not reason enough to vote him out of office. His record is.