Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of three articles featuring the three candidates for Brookings County Commission.
BROOKINGS – Timothy Bauer, independent candidate for Brookings County Commission, wants to bring a more rural and farm-focused approach to the commission.
Bauer and Republican incumbents Mike Bartley and Ryan Krogman are vying for two, four-year seats on the commission. Early voting has already begun, and election day is Nov. 3.
“I really don’t have an agenda,” Bauer said. “I’ve been born and raised in Brookings County.”
Bauer is a farmer and works for Timmons Construction. He was also an Elkton School Board member for 18 years. He and his wife have two children and four grandchildren.
“One of my biggest things is that I’d like to see the county more representative than what’s going on with the five board members on there now. There’s like three or four of them that live right in the city, and I think the county is bigger than that. I’m just trying to get the outskirts of the county more represented by a person out there. I farm and I work construction,” Bauer said.
Bauer said he’d like to see commissioners elected from specific areas, like wards, as some cities do. “That’s a lot to ask. But I’ve got to get people on board and talk with the people outside of the city to work toward it like I am.”
“I was on the Elkton School Board for 18 years, and I guess that’s what brought me to this. I thought I might be able to help the county function with all these different things going on nowadays like COVID-19. I don’t know if I can help out or not, but we’ll see at the election,” Bauer said.
Bauer said the commission should work to better serve the rural community. He said outreach to rural areas is difficult because there are a lot of people outside city limits, but he wants to get to know as many rural farmers as he can to better understand the county and its residents. It’ll take time, he admitted.
“It took me three years of being on the school board to really understand anything. And I’ve got a feeling it will take me that long to be on here, too. I wouldn’t figure it out overnight. If I get on, it’s going to take me a while to figure out what’s going on. When you’ve got only one voice, you can’t fix everything right away,” Bauer said.
Bauer said he is running as an independent candidate because he does not want to be perceived as having an allegiance to any particular interest.
“I like to keep an open mind all the time and go into meetings with an open mind, not really having an agenda. I know that there are people out there with different kinds of agendas trying to get on different kinds of boards, thinking they can change things that way,” Bauer told the Register in May. “I like to listen to the people, after I know what’s going on. I like to work with people, not thinking I’m going in there trying to change the world.”
Bauer said the county is made up of all sorts of political beliefs and an elected representative in any capacity should be there simply for the people.
“I know there are a lot more people going to be Independents because of that fact. They’re not liking how Republicans and Democrats interact with each other nowadays,” he said.
Bauer has served on the Weed and Pest board for Brookings County for the past eight years. His term for the Elkton School Board was up and he wanted to pursue a different line of service for the area, he said.
Contact Matthew Rhodes at [email protected]