Letters to the Editor

Vote for Wayne Avery and Nick Wendell in City Council election


Many insist that we can better determine the direction and quality of governance at the local level of government by our citizen participation than we can determine the same at the state and national level. Yet, it is not unusual to have local government voter participation levels in the single digits while registered voter participation in a U.S. presidential election may exceed 70%.

On Tuesday, April 9, Brookings voters will have an opportunity to vote for two of three candidates seeking election to fill two expired three-year term seats on the Brookings City Council. Wayne Avery and Nick Wendell are seeking re-election to the Council. Wayne has served three years and Nick has served on the Council since 2016. They will receive my vote for multiple reasons.

Wayne and Nick are both consensus builders. They work with other Council and community members in identifying root causes of community challenges, in seeking alternative means to address those challenges and in relying on fact-based evidence before acting in support of a Council action to address the challenge. Their effort in consensus building has contributed to quality policy adoption by the Council in the areas of workforce development, affordable housing, mental health, and law enforcement as examples.

Wayne and Nick bring special experiences and knowledge to the Council, which are valuable assets in governing. Wayne with over four decades of experience in banking has brought an understanding of fiscal responsibility to the Council while Nick as a professional educator in the area of technical education is able to share special expertise regarding community technical education needs to meet our economic goals. Wayne and Nick have also gained an understanding of the many needs of our citizens through their volunteer work in a variety of the several volunteer groups that contribute so much to making Brookings a special place.

Wayne and Nick first sought election to the council because of a felt responsibility to serve the common good of our community. Neither sought office because of a special agenda or an axe to grind. They remain committed to serving the common good today.

Early voting polls opened on March 25, at the Brookings City-County Building for the upcoming Tuesday, April 9, Brookings City Council election. I urge you to vote. It would be a great loss if either Wayne Avery or Nick Wendell lost the election due to a single-digit turnout.