City council election likely

Courtesy photos

Juba files for city council seat, Collins circulating council petitions

BROOKINGS – Cassie Juba has filed petitions and Joey Collins is circulating nominating petitions as they each seek a three-year seat on the Brookings City Council this spring.

 Juba files for city council seat

BROOKINGS – Cassie Juba has filed paperwork to run for a three-year seat on the Brookings City Council.

There are two three-year seats opening on the council this spring. 

One is held by Ope Niemeyer, who has filed for re-election, and the other seat is held by Dan Hansen, who has announced he will not seek re-election this year.

Juba is the second candidate to file, according to City Clerk Bonnie Foster. Another person, Joey Collins, is circulating nominating petitions.

Juba said she is running on a development-focused platform and she is focused on building Brookings and its community members up by bringing brainpower together to advance local policy.

“As a kid, I loved South Dakota, but had plans to leave – Brookings completely changed my mind. I chose to build my life here because of the people and fantastic opportunities,” Juba said in a press release.

“Serving on Brookings City Council would allow me to preserve what makes Brookings a place we love, while also continuing to move Brookings forward by advancing policy. I want to represent all of my neighbors – whether you’ve lived in Brookings for four months or 40 years, you are a vital part of this community and your voice should be heard,” she said. 

Juba said she has worked with children since arriving in Brookings in 2010 and has been working to open a tutoring and educational support center since graduating. PLAY (Personalized Learning Adventures for Youth), which provides personalized lesson plans and tutoring services for youth ages 3-13 in the Brookings area, opened its door last year. 

Juba spent two years before launching PLAY as the mentor coordinator and program assistant at Brookings County Youth Mentoring Program (BCYMP). Juba continues to volunteer and mentor with BCYMP and also is one of the Brookings One Million Cups hosts, helping local businesses and organizations develop and communicate their ideas. 

After spending countless hours behind the scenes, Juba is excited to bring Brookings’ organizations together to secure access to necessary resources. 

“I believe that City Council has the power to keep Brookings an affordable place to live, work, and grow,” she said. 

For example, Juba is focused on creating master plans that facilitate programming for food access, public transportation, and addressing the needs of underserved K-12 students. 

The election will be April 14, 2020, if more than two people file for seats. The top two vote-getters will win the seats, according to Foster.

One three-year post is also opening on the Brookings School Board this spring, and incumbent Wes Tschetter is the only candidate to have filed petitions so far.

The deadline for candidates to file their paperwork to run is 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28.

 Collins circulating council petitions

BROOKINGS – Joey Collins is circulating nominating petitions to seek one of two three-year seats opening on the Brookings City Council this spring, he announced Friday.

Two candidates have filed their petitions so far – incumbent Ope Niemeyer and newcomer Cassie Juba. At least three candidates must file by 5 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 28, for there to be a city election on April 14.

Incumbent Dan Hansen has announced he is not seeking re-election.

Collins retired from the Brookings Police Department in 2017 as a patrol lieutenant and now teaches criminal justice courses at South Dakota State University. He previously ran for council in 2018.

He was honorably discharged after serving three years in the U.S. Army as an airborne paratrooper and served in the Gulf War. Collins also worked in corrections for the Washington State Penitentiary and the South Dakota State Penitentiary and was a deputy sheriff for Deuel and Brookings counties before he went to work with the BPD. Collins and his wife, Julie, have two daughters.

Collins said he believes he can bring a unique perspective to the council, having more than 25 years’ experience serving the country, state, county and city.

“I like the position of being a part of SDSU, and I think I can maybe work on bridging the gap between with city council if there is any,” Collins said.

“I’m interested in the city council and want to continue serving because that’s all I’ve ever done in my life. … I want to be a part of something big. I see the potential of where the city’s going, and I’d like to be a part of that.”

Collins said he wants to focus on keeping city spending under control, and his master’s degree included studies in business and management. 

“I want a return on our investments, on what we’re doing, money we’re spending.”

He also said the city should focus on those who need help the most.

“I don’t think we’re focusing enough on the lower-class citizens of Brookings. We need to hold people accountable for some of the conditions people are living in. I don’t think we’re doing enough,” Collins added. “Our city, we have a lot of people with big hearts, and we should be reaching out to people to help us help them.”

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