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City poorly served by negative politicking

by Greg Belfrage

City Councilor Greg Jamison has started mudslinging in his bid to become mayor of Sioux Falls.

According to a published report in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Jamison is criticizing Mayor Mike Huether's style and ego.

Here’s what happens when a politician’s ego enters the room before he does,” Jamison said. “The focus of a good policy discussion turns quickly to: ‘How fast can I hold a press conference to announce it? Will the media show up? What should I wear? Will my hair be OK? I get mad when the media doesn’t cover it.’ ” 

Jamison's critical remarks may play well in front of GOP activists and politicians, but they don't sit well with this Republican.

Admittedly, I am not a fan of Jamison's.  I have disagreed with his approach on several issues, most notably the timing and location of a new events center for Sioux Falls.  It's been my impression that Jamison lacks substance and leadership.

I understand Jamison has a big hill to climb to win the election.  He's challenging an extremely popular mayor.  He's challenging a mayor that showed powerful leadership on languishing projects, such as the Sanford Premiere Center. He's challenging a mayor that effectively marshaled city resources following one of the worst ice storms in the city's history. He's challenging a mayor that has kept his promise to rebuild roads and infrastructure.

Huether's effectiveness is undoubtedly one reason why Jamison has chosen to go negative. The other reason is that Huether is a Democrat. However, residents deserve a campaign based on issues, not personalities and party affiliations.

At this point, Jamison hasn't articulated much of a vision for the city. His approach to growth is "not so fast". That's not very inspiring. 

All I really know about Jamison is that he doesn't like Mike Huether or the way he runs the city. That's a terrible foundation on which to build a meaningful campaign.

I honestly don't care whether Jamison is a Republican or Huether is a Democrat.  It's their actions that concern me, not their political affiliations.

Yes, I'm a Republican. However, I am first and foremost a native and life-long resident of Sioux Falls.  I have a deep love for this city that transcends political labels.

Here's my advice to all city candidates, present and future. Tell me how you plan to make Sioux Falls a better place than it was than when you found it. Convince me you have the character, vision, strength and leadership needed to guide and care for this wonderful community. Prove to me that you will be a good steward of taxpayer dollars.  Do that and you'll have my vote, regardless of your party affiliation.

One last thing.  Save the insults of your opponents for your private conversations.  Airing those thoughts in public only makes you seem petty and unqualified.

Greg Belfrage is heard mornings 6am-9am on KELO Newstalk 1320 AM / 107.9 FM. Greg can be contacted at greg.belfrage@mwcradio.com. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.