Meet the Candidates for City Council

Editor’s note: This story is the first in a series of stories leading up to the April 12 election. Follow the “Municipal Election 2022” tag to find out more.

Simplified: Ten candidates are vying for four vacant seats on the Sioux Falls City Council. Here’s a rundown of who’s running.

why is it important

  • The April 12 election will put at least two new faces on the boardbecause two of the four open seats have no incumbent.
  • City Council oversees the city of Sioux Falls’ more than $650 million budget – which are all your tax dollars at work.
  • Municipal elections in Sioux Falls historically have a low participation rate, which means that a small part of the population (about 30% of registered voters in the last municipal/municipal election in 2018) make decisions that affect the whole city. You can change that by voting on April 12 (or earlier if you want to vote by mail).

Here is a breakdown of the candidates. The candidates are listed in the order in which they will appear on the ballot.

At-Large “A”

At-Large Seats A and B represent the entire city. All voters will be able to choose one At-Large A Candidate and one At-Large B Candidate.

Sarah Cole

  • Age: 37
  • Profession: doctor at avera
  • Family: Two children, Jacob and Emily
  • Community Involvement: Cole moved to Sioux Falls in 2018. In her hometown of Moorhead, Minnesota, she was involved with Churches United for the Homeless and served as the neighborhood club activities coordinator. In Sioux Falls, she is part of the downtown Rotary.

Janet Brekke

  • Age: Refused to share
  • Profession: Serving councillor, former city attorney
  • Family: She and her husband, Jeff, have three adult children and three grandchildren.
  • Community Involvement: Brekke has been active in the Downtown Lions Club, Sioux Falls House, Church, Family Services, Junior League and Red Cross.

Bobbi Andera

  • Age: Turn 50 this month
  • Profession: Lab Business Operations Advisor, Sanford Lab Compliance Manager; president of B Enterprises, a life coaching company
  • Family: Seven siblings
  • Public Service: Andera is creating a non-profit organization to encourage strength. She is also a Daughter of the American Revolution and a veteran of the United States Air Force.

At-Large “B”

Pam Cole

  • Age: 54
  • Profession: Non-profit leader, director of the Nordland Heritage Foundation
  • Family: Cole and her husband, Mike, have five adult children
  • Community Involvement: Cole is a former state senator in the South Dakota Legislature representing Brookings, as well as a former Brookings school board member. She also helped with the Medicaid expansion ballot campaign.

Rich Merkouris

  • Age: 40
  • Profession: Non-profit administrator and pastor
  • Family: wife and three children
  • Community Involvement: Merkouris is a member of various organizations including the Hope Coalition, Compassion Childcare, and Empower Sioux Falls.

Southeast district

Only voters in the Southeast District will be able to choose one of these two candidates. To find your neighborhood, look at this map.

Cody Ingle

  • Age: 30
  • Profession: Claims Support Specialist with the Family Medicine Center
  • Family: None in town
  • Community Involvement: Ingle serves on the board of Sioux Falls Pride and also sits on the board of Pathways to Inclusive and Equitable Workplaces.

David Barranco

  • Age: 49
  • Profession: Attorney
  • Family: Wife, Catherine and two boys, Christopher and William
  • Community Involvement: Barranco coaches FCA Football.

central district

Only the voters of the central district will be able to choose one of these two candidates. To find your neighborhood, look at this map.

Jim Burzynski

  • Age: 39
  • Profession: Pharmacist for Avera
  • Family: Wife, Connie Taylor, and daughter Genevieve
  • Community Involvement: Burzynski served on the All Saints Neighborhood Association.

Emmett Reistroffer

  • Age: Turn 32 this month
  • Profession: COO for Genesis Farms, owner of Sioux Falls Pedicabs
  • Family: Originally from Sioux Falls, Reistroffer’s parents and older brother live in town.
  • Community Involvement: He participated in the Startup Sioux Falls Co. Starters program, is a long-time supporter of the arts – including his help in maintaining the mosaic along the downtown river. He is also a Freemason member of Unity Lodge and a member of Young Republicans.

Curt Soehl

  • Age: 62
  • Profession: Territory Manager for Farmers Union Insurance
  • Family: Wife of 42, three adult children, eight grandchildren
  • Community Involvement: Soehl serves on the Sioux Falls Sports Authority Board of Directors and the Downtown 2035 Plan Board of Directors. He has also served on several other boards, including the Youth Hockey Board.

Comments are closed.