Four Brookings residents vie for two open council seats

Tony Gorder

Tony Gorder

The election for the Brookings City Council will be held April 14 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Two city council seats are open, with four candidates running for the three-year terms. The candidates are Thomas Bezdichek, John Kubal, Jael Trieb and Joni Weber.

SDSU Votes will run shuttles for students who wish to vote on Election Day.

Voters within the city limits east of Medary Avenue and north of Sixth Street are in the First Precinct and vote at Tompkins Alumni Center, 905 Medary Ave.

Precinct Two includes residents west of Medary Avenue and north of Sixth Street. Polls are at First Lutheran Church, 337 Eighth St.

Voters of Precinct Three, which includes those west of Medary Avenue and south of Sixth Street, should go to City Hall, 311 Third Ave.

Ascension Lutheran Church at 2030 Third St. is the polling place for voters of the Fourth Precinct, which is south of Sixth Street and north of the railroad tracks.

East of Medary and south of the railroad tracks is the Fifth Precinct. The polls are at the Bethel Baptist Church, 714 17th Ave. South.

Precinct Six polls are at United Church of Christ at 828 Eighth St. S. and includes voters west of Medary Avenue and south of Eighth Street South.

Tom Bezdichek

Occupation: Construction Management for David Kneip with Best Choice Realtors

Reason For Running: I had five school board terms in which I served for 15 years, then moved to the city council in which I have served two terms now. Running for a third term, that makes 21 years of elected service to the city of Brookings. I like working for and serving this great city of Brookings.

Goals/Platform: Well, first of all, I feel like I have helped the Brookings school system, the City of Brookings, which includes the hospital and Brookings Utilities, and have always felt I have looked out for SDSU in their best interest, so I would like to continue working on the council for the next three years. I always like to think my goals will be that of the people who elect me to office and what will be needed at certain times to meet Brookings future needs.

Why I Should Be Elected: I would hope if they look at my past 21 years of service, they would know that I care greatly about Brookings and SDSU.

John L. Kubal

Occupation: Retired Naval Officer and part-time reporter/columnist for The Brookings Register

Reason For Running: My wife Bea and I have lived in Brookings since I retired from the Navy in 1994. Brookings is a great city. Bea and I like it better than any place we have ever lived, and Brookings has been very good and given a lot to us. I think it’s time to pay back Brookings for that goodness by public service in city government.

Goals/Platform: I will work to ensure basics, balance and what is best for Brookings. Those basics include: protection of the lives and property of our citizens through public safety, law enforcement and fire protection.

Next comes infrastructure so our streets and road are in good repair. Additionally, we must build new streets and roads as Brookings grows. Finally, city government must provide services to its citizens to ensure an excellent quality of life, recreation and culture. To do that demands pure water, power, communications, parks and recreation, education and community wellness.

In addressing those basics and balance to bring about what is best for Brookings, we need to look at three factors: Do we the citizens want it? Do we need it? Can we afford it?

I believe the Brookings City Council has to govern not only for today but also for the children and grandchildren of our citizens.

Consider the SDSU Innovation Campus as an example. It has the potential to not only better the city, but also better Brookings County and better the entire state of South Dakota. We have got to look at this endeavor for the long haul. The research park is not going to happen overnight; we have to go into this for five, 10, as much as 20 years down the road.

Why I Should Be Elected: I am committed to innovative thinking, strategic planning and fiscal responsibility. As a retired military officer, I recognize the need for accomplishing the mission. Driving my actions as a city councilor will always be the Brookings mission statement: “The city is committed to providing a high quality of life for its citizens and fostering a diverse economic base through innovative thinking, strategic planning and proactive fiscally responsive municipal management.”

Jael E. Trieb

Occupation: Business owner: photography and marketing

Reason For Running: During college, I worked in the S.D. Legislature, which is where I gained a vast understanding of and interest in state and local politics. It’s important to have a variety of generations, backgrounds and opinions in our governing bodies, and as a recent college graduate but also a downtown business owner, I represent many of the demographics in Brookings. In short, young leaders have things to learn from the experience of the older generation, while seasoned leaders can be positively challenged and inspired by young people with vision.


1. Recruit more retail, dining and recreational options. I plan to do this by strategically planning infrastructure and land acquisition, so that when, for example: an Olive Garden or Target considers coming to Brookings, we have a place for them to build. I’d also like to see the second phase of the PAC completed – something that would benefit all generations. Bike lanes, more entertainment and more accessible year-round recreation opportunities are key for our growing community, as well.

2. Encouraging greater turnover of local dollars – earned here, spent here. We currently lose almost 50 percent of the money that people who live here spend on dining, shopping, etc. Much of it goes to Sioux Falls, and I think we can change that! Again, by drawing more dining and retail.

3. Brookings is a fantastic college town but also a popular community for families and retirees, so I’d like to create more integration and better relationships between the university and the community at large.

4. Adding student positions and input to many of the boards and commissions in the city: Council, Chamber of Commerce, DBI, Housing Authority, etc.

Why I Should Be Elected: Due to good management and relationship building of the past administration, our city is moving in the right direction in many ways. But it doesn’t take long for a non-forward thinking council to derail growth efforts and ruin partnerships, and so I’m confident that my progressive but fiscally responsible attitude would be a positive addition to the council.

Joni Weber

Occupation: Business Owner/stay-at-home momWe have rentals in Brookings, as well as in surrounding communities.

Reason For Running: The City Council is a great opportunity to help Brookings maintain its great reputation, as well as providing leadership in helping it grow. I think that we all need to be a servant in some area of life, and I feel that with my background of business and good communication skills, I have a lot to offer serving as a city council member.


1. Support and promote the Research Park – Innovation Campus.

2. Marketing/Branding of Brookings.

3. Communication with Chamber of Commerce, SDSU, Brookings Economic Development, and Downtown Brookings, Inc.

4. Fiscal responsibility.

Why I Should Be Elected: I believe that Brookings is a place full of opportunity. We have so many assets here in Brookings, ranging from our public schools to SDSU, our progressive business community to I-29, and of course, you, the residents of Brookings. By continuing to work together, we can do even more. A city that is not growing is going backwards, which is never good for residents. I am asking for your vote on April 14.