Davidson and Zacher seek top city office

Candidates for Eagle Butte Mayor are Richard Zacher (left), current Eagle Butte City Council member and former mayor, and current mayor, Stephanie Davidson (right).

Candidates for Mayor are Richard Zacher, current Eagle Butte City Council member and former mayor, and current mayor, Stephanie Davidson.

by WRE Staff

Citizens of Eagle Butte will only be choosing their mayor this city election.

Mayor Stephanie Davidson is running for re-election, and current Eagle Butte Council Member Richard Zacher is challenging.

Election will be held Tuesday, April 9, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the City Office council chambers/conference room in downtown Eagle Butte.

City Council members running for two year terms for two wards are Harley Morgan for ward two and Dale Lesmeister for ward three. They are running unopposed. The one year term for ward one council person is vacant and will be appointed.

Please see the following candidate statements:

Richard Zacher 

I have been a lifelong resident of Eagle Butte and hold a proven track record of serving this community. I was fortunate as mayor and city council member to collaborate with skilled people who were leaders in this community. Sharing ideas with other leaders in the community bring solid decisions and accomplishments that stand for years. I bring a history of what works and does not work, but I am also open to new ideas and I particularly enjoy seeing the enthusiasm of the younger council members that I have had the opportunity to work with.

In these times of tight economic restraints, city government must focus on ways to be more fiscally responsible. Even at the National level, our government is learning to make do with less. This leads to more responsibility on the part of all officers of city government to remain informed, ask questions, and to become more educated about how we can run the programs of the City of Eagle Butte the most efficient way possible.

One basic premise to keeping abreast of the financial standing of our city government is to have comprehensive and solid audits of our city. This tells us where we are at in funding, programming, and what our needs are for the future. Future audits must be completed to give the most accurate information to all of the members of the city council who are trying to do what is best for the citizens of Eagle Butte.

The future of Eagle Butte lies in supporting more business activity in our community. I see opportunities to build relationships with the business community of Eagle Butte.

Mayor Stephanie Davidson

My family and I have lived here in the community all our lives.

I was born and raised here in Eagle Butte, as was my husband and our two sons.   My family and I are enrolled tribal members of CRST.  In my years growing up here, I have seen many families come and go.  A person has to be vested in their community to want to live and make a difference in the quality of living in the community.   I have made the commitment to this community by getting involved and taking interest in the issues that concern us all.

I served on city council for six years before making the decision to run for mayor in 2011.  It was shortly after this appointment that I decided it was time to go back to college and finish my degree in business.  I have taken time off from working and have used that time to attend college full time. I have been attending Presentation College since January 2012, and will have my business degree in the fall of this year.

In my spare time, which seems to be very little these days, I like being outside, biking, exercising, working in the garden and sitting by the river on a nice warm day, fishing.

It seems our little city is constantly evolving and growing, which makes it so exciting to be involved in city government right now.   Our infrastructure is old and is in need of upgrades.  The last couple of years have been learning of our old and outdated system, along with many other issues that our city faces every day.   It has been part of my job to understand potential funding sources for these projects, without passing that cost on to the customer.   I work with a great group of people, council members and employeeís that share the same concern over these issues that I do.   We have managed to be resourceful in getting funding for a several projects this year, without an increase to the customer.

I am most excited about the water meter project, which means that all homes will have a new meter head installed in their home and will be electronically read.  This new enhancement will not only serve the City in tracking water loss issues, but also improve customer service.  The customer will no longer be required to call in their monthly reading, or be billed for estimated usage.  This water meter project will begin this spring, and be completed by the end of 2013.

The sewer/lagoon project has been on our city council table for some time.   All of our projects are equally important; but due to funding issues in the past, the lagoon project had to be put on hold.  The lagoon project is of special interest to me, as I share your view on the problem with the lagoon.  And cleaner air is all part of our improving quality of life here at home.  We have been successful in receiving grant money to make this project come to fruition and tentatively have this scheduled to begin this fall.  It is Mr. Zacherís (my opponent) view that this lagoon project will ultimately cost the City of Eagle Butte to much in annual maintenance costs to be a viable project, and has questioned fellow council members on the validity of this project.  The quality of our air and the improvement of the local living conditions seem viable enough for me to continue with this project.

Long range plans for the city that I would like to see are that we continue to serve the customerís needs, and continually be proactive in keeping our infrastructure up to date, so we can meet and exceed the needs of a growing community.   I would like to see the people in the community become more active in community issues by getting registered to vote and participate in local elections, City and Tribal.   It would be great if the high school would also offer a city government class along with their other government curriculum.  What a great opportunity these kids have by living here and having the opportunity to learn the roles of two governments.  We canít make changes without community input, give the youth the knowledge they need to become aware and get involved.

As leaders in this community, the City and Tribal councils need to show the community that they are willing to work together for the mutual benefit of the community at large. We need to work on pulling the community together, not dividing them.   We donít have to agree on everything, to agree itís time to do something for the well-being of our community.  An issue that both Tribe and City could work together on is a community wide clean up.    We could pool our resources together and clean up our town.  That would be a beginning.

As your Mayor, I will keep the best interest of the people and this community first and always make sure that your concerns are heard.  The City election is April 9, at city hall; I would appreciate your continued support.




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