160+ Municipal and County Officials Sign Letter to Noem Requesting She Declare Public Health Emergency

    More than 160 municipal and county officials have signed a letter requesting Governor Noem to declare a public health emergency.
“We believe this declaration would allow more options for the Governor and our local governments who are on the front lines,” stated Yvonne Taylor, Executive Director of the SD Municipal League, which was asked to coordinate the effort among the municipalities and counties.

April 6, 2020
The Honorable Kristi Noem
Office of the Governor
500 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501

Dear Governor Noem:
    Thank you for your efforts to lead the State of South Dakota in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a difficult time for our leaders and all South Dakotans as they try to make the best decisions possible in the interest of the public health. We know you and your team are working diligently to keep us safe.
    The authority currently available to municipalities, which dates back to 1939, is untested in this type of crisis. What little authority counties possess, which is also untested in these circumstances, is cumbersome at best. In these difficult times, local governments need to know with certainty they are able to adequately address the COVID-19 emergency and that all levels of government are working cooperatively. To accomplish this, it is imperative for you to encourage the Secretary of Health to declare a Public Health Emergency in South Dakota with your consent and exercise your authority under South Dakota Codified Law 34-22-43.
    COVID-19 certainly meets the definition under SDCL 34-22-41 as an “imminent threat of an illness, health condition, or widespread exposure to an infectious or toxic agent that poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the affected population.” Numerous states in the nation have also taken the additional step of declaring a Public Health Emergency. The attached draft declaration and consecutive executive order would allow our local governments to carry out the provisions of Executive Order 2020-08.
    Furthermore, a declaration of a public health emergency at the state or local level may be necessary for South Dakota to receive federal funding. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, that became effective April 1, provides funds to states for the public health emergency created by COVID-19. This act requires a state to issue an emergency declaration to access funds for South Dakota households under its SNAP provision for emergency allotments to address temporary food needs. In addition, the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act creates a coronavirus relief fund that will grant South Dakota $1,250,000,000 to use towards expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency. A declaration of a public health emergency would give South Dakota access to these, and potentially others, much needed funds.
  Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in nearly half of South Dakota’s counties, and community spread numbers are rising every day. In a situation like this, time is of the essence and swift action on this declaration is necessary to prepare and limit impact as much as possible.
    Thank you, Governor Noem, for your consideration of this matter.


-Nathan Johnson, Mayor, Yankton
-John Lawler, Mayor, Tea
-Curtis Hofer, Mayor, Scotland
-Roger Twamley, Trustee, Oacoma
-Donald M. Arens, Mayor, Howard
-Victor Olson, Mayor, Tripp
-Dave Ruth, Jr., Mayor, Deadwood
-Slade Roseland, Mayor, Faulkton
-Dawn Murphy, Finance Officer, Tea
-Marty Huether, Mayor, Wall
-Clyde Fredrickson, Mayor, Britton
-John J. Staller, Mayor, Plankinton
-Carol Goble,Finance Officer, Ortley
-Nathan Anderson, Mayor, Beresford
-Andy Wienk, Mayor, Lake Preston
-Paul TenHaken, Mayor, Sioux Falls
-Craig Schroeder, Mayor, Doland
-Chad Mutziger, Mayor, Chamberlain
-Kathy Skorzewski, Mayor, Hill City
-Steve Christensen, Mayor, Platte
-Vivian Witlock, Mayor, Selby
-Robert McGillvrey, Mayor, Wolsey
-Gary Weismantel, Mayor, Herried
-Steve Allender, Mayor, Rapid City
-Christina Wiemer, Mayor, Elkton
-Cherie Hoffman, Town Board President,
-Neal Pinnow, Mayor, Lemmon
-John S. Pollock, Mayor, Clark
-Ryan Frederick, Mayor, Lake Andes
-Jeff Jeno, Mayor, Marion
-Dana Boke, Mayor, Spearfish
-Julie Burke-Van Luvanee,Mayor, Harrisburg
-Jack Sieben, Board President, Mission Hill
-Scott J. Grunewaldt, Mayor, Baltic
-Kevin Jens, Mayor, Waubay
-Steve Harding, Mayor, Pierre
-Donovan Renner, President of the Board,  Central City
-Larry McManus, Chairman, Pukwana
-Richard Brink, Mayor, Corsica
-Terry Wright, Mayor, White
-Brad Hill, Mayor, Colome
-Harry Weller, Mayor, Kadoka
-Daniel Severson, Board President, Chancellor
-Hope Block, Finance Officer, Groton
-Becky Brunsing, Finance Officer, Wagner
-Rick Boschee, Mayor, Bowdle
-Ken Wetz, Mayor, Newell
-Terry Jaspers, Mayor, Sisseton
-Rick Lehman, Mayor, Colton
-Renae Phinney, Town Board President, Ree Heights
-Ron Everett, Mayor, Lead
-Dennis Decker, President, Yale
-Allen Grimes, Mayor, Interior
-Marshall Dennert, Mayor, Madison
-Ilene Helmer, President of the Board, Andover
-Robert Hotchkiss, President of the Board of Trustees, Delmont
-Mike Grosek, Mayor, Webster -Keith Corbett, Mayor, Brookings
-Cindy Broyhill, President of the Board of Trustees, Pickstown
-George Kotti, Mayor, Hot Springs -Sam Sorensen, Mayor, Freeman
-Brian Carmody, Mayor, Alexandria
-Carolynn Anderson, Finance Officer, Wall
-Mary Dunn, Mayor, Eden
-Christine Erickson, Councilmember, Sioux Falls
-Gary L. Rayhill, Mayor, Martin
-Don Hosek, Mayor, Wagner
-Gary Dominiack, President of the Board,  Oacoma
-Carl Gjefle, Board President, Pollock
-David Vavruska, Mayor, Tyndall
-Brian Ries, Mayor, Castlewood
-Scott Anshutz, Mayor, Gregory
-Benny Joe Schell, Mayor, McIntosh
-Bradley Hazuka, Mayor, Worthing
-F. Butch Oseby, Mayor, Crooks
-Tom Hermes, Board of Trustees President,  Timber Lake
-Mark Carstensen, Mayor, Sturgis
-Donna Ruden, President, Spencer
-Lyle D. Carl, Mayor, Claire City
-Glen Haines, Mayor, Faith
-Audrey Johnson, President of the Board,  Pierpont
-Randy Santema, Mayor, Volga
-John Powell, Mayor, Vermillion
-Dennis Wieser, Mayor, Rosholt
-Linda Nelson, Mayor, Hurley
-Sandra Lundstrom, Mayor, Canton
-Tom Lee, Mayor, Roslyn
-Justin Engbarth, Mayor, Canistota
-Bryce Lutz, Mayor, Summerset
-Jay Osterloh, Mayor, Hecla
-Todd Longville, Chairman, Kennebec
-Jennifer Eimers, Finance Officer, Madison
-Tracy West, Mayor, Lennox
-Dave Hoffman, Mayor, Parkston
-Del Bratland, Mayor, Willow Lake
-Tom Glover, Mayor, Burke
-Jim Veit, Mayor, Dupree
-Harvey Carlisle, President of Board, Cottonwood
-Clayton Blachford, President, Northville
-Patrick S. Callan, President of the Board,  Florence
-Bob Everson, Mayor, Mitchell
-Vikki M. Day, Mayor, Highmore
-Scott Hanlon, Mayor, Groton
-Nancy Andresen, Finance Officer, Wakonda
-Gene Buechler, President of the Board,  Java
-Paul Knispel, Mayor, White River
-Jameson Berreth, City Administrator, Volga
-Wayne Tupper, Mayor, Kimball
-Mike Vetter, Mayor, Philip
-Leland Treichel, Mayor, Roscoe
-Lisa Hjellum, Council President, Ethan
-Jack Trullinger, Mayor, New Underwood
-Deb McCreary, Mayor, Elk Point
-Larry Larson, Mayor, Box Elder
-Jerry Dibble, Mayor, Edgemont
-Michael Lee, Mayor, Springfield
-Amiel Redfish , Mayor, Arlington
-David M. Geisler, Mayor, Murdo
-Laurie Woodward, Finance Officer, Custer
-Tom Earley, Mayor, Dell Rapids
-Todd Sell, President of the Board, Langford
-Greg Anderson, Mayor, Brandt
-Frederick Weekes, Mayor, Aurora
-Arnold Schott, Mayor, McLaughlin
-Travis Sparks, Mayor, Armour
-Kathy Voorhees, Mayor, Wessington Springs
-Pat Raffety, Mayor, Milbank
-Melissa Sayler, Finance Officer, Olivet
-LeRoy Kilber, Mayor, Ipswich
-Steve Wickre, Chairman of the Board, Hudson
-James McRoberts, President of the Board,  Lebanon
-Darrell Mehlhaf, Mayor, Menno
-Carl Moss, Mayor, Valley Springs   
-Gary Wolkow, Mayor, De Smet
-Bryce Chambers, Mayor, Blunt
-Corbin Herman, Mayor, Custer
-Sarah Caron, Mayor, Watertown
-Greg Beaner, Mayor, Garretson
-Ron Nelson, Mayor, Parker
-Clyde Hirsch, Commissioner, Summerset         -Ronald Blachford, Mayor, Miller
-Shawn Claussen, President of the Board,  Herrick
-Robert Braun, Board President, Lake City
-Rick Brandfas, President of the Board,  Keystone
-Adam Lund, President of Board,
-Jeff Engesser, Mayor, Gary
-Mitchell U. Harmon, Mayor, Whitewood
-Kay Miller, Mayor, Fulton
-Bill Wuttke, Mayor, Gettysburg
-Debbra Houseman, Finance Officer, Lake Andes
-Thomas Glas, Mayor, Alcester
-Paul Aylward, Mayor, Huron
-Lloyd LaCroix, Pennington County Commissioner
-Rolf Kraft, Bennett County Commissioner
-Ron Rossknecht, Pennington County Commissioner
-Lori Waldron, Jones County Commissioner
-Dan Klimisch, Yankton County Commissioner
-Gary Drewes, Pennington County Commissioner
-Deb Hadcock, Pennington County Commissioner
-Jim Schmidt, Lincoln County Commissioner
-Robert Shadwell, Campbell County Commissioner
-Clint Farlee, Ziebach County Commissioner
-Travis Mockler, Clay County Commissioner
-Mark DiSanto, Pennington County Commissioner

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