Two officials vie for county commission seat

Carla Bruning Mark Bonrud

Two well-known public servants are running for the county commission seat for district 2, which includes residents in Flandreau.
Incumbent Carla Bruning, an Independent, is being challenged by Democrat Mark Bonrud, who is the previous mayor of Flandreau. District 2 includes Ward 3 in Flandreau, Ward 1 south of SD Highway 32 and Flandreau Township sections 25-36.
The general election is Nov. 3, and many registered voters already are casting their ballots by absentee. Randy Hemmer of rural Dell Rapids will replace commissioner Tom Ehrichs in District 4 without being on the ballot. Ehrichs chose not to run for reelection, and Hemmer was the only one to take out a petition to replace him.

Carla Bruning
Age: 62
Occupation: Chair of Moody County Commission
Education: Stanley Co High School (Fort Pierre SD), University of South Dakota sociology/criminal justice
Family: I have four children. Corey Bruning, Jen Stone, Josh Bruning and Abbie Metzler. I am also blessed with seven grandchildren.

As Moody County gets requests for more Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and expansions in the agriculture industry, what kind of limits should be in place?
 We are currently working on revising our zoning ordinance. This will help in our ability to increase setbacks in proportion to the size of the operation. Odor control is another concern. Limiting the odor footprint is one way to do that.

How will you address the growing needs of law enforcement, road maintenance, agriculture and rural housing growth in the coming years?
 Law enforcement is a tough job. Their safety and that of the community is vital. We have tried to work within the budget to make sure they are adequately staffed and equipped.
I will continue to work to find government grant money to repair and replace our aging bridges and roads. We have been able to secure at least partial funds for the bridges through the states BIG program (Bridge Improvement Grant) that have been completed in the last four years. Funding is in the works for bridges scheduled for completion in the next four years.

How will you work to keep county budget expenses in check?
 Limit the expenditures while still maintaining county resident’s safety is always a balance. I will continue to look for grants available and cut the budget where we can.

What else would you like voters to know about you?
 I am a 37-year resident of this county, raised my family here and consider this home.  I want you to know I have enjoyed learning about county government this last four years and would like to use the knowledge learned to continue being your county commissioner.


Mark Bonrud
Age: 62
Occupation: Retired
Education: Flandreau High School and Avera McKennan School of E.M.S.
Family:  Wife, Kayleen

As Moody County gets requests for more Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and expansions in the agriculture industry, what kind of limits should be in place?
We should limit the number of large CAFOs in our county.  As a health care advocate, I’m concerned about the effects that the large CAFOs have on our health and well-being, along with the quality of life we enjoy in Moody County.  It’s imperative that we do what we can now to protect our environment for our future generations.

How will you address the growing needs of law enforcement, road maintenance, agriculture and rural housing growth in the coming years?
Since the population of our county has been relatively stable over the past several years, we need to continue to provide community-oriented law enforcement services to ensure that our laws are being enforced and our county continues to be a safe place to live.  
As a member of our county’s ambulance service for many years, I know how important it is that our county road system is adequately maintained so that the roads on which we travel are safe.  
Regarding the growth of housing in our rural areas, we need to make sure that our zoning ordinance requires that there will be adequate space between homes built in rural areas and that neighboring landowner’s input will be invited and considered when making decisions to grant variances as well as approving building permits.

How will you work to keep county budget expenses in check?
I will work with the other commissioners to make our county government more efficient and effective while meeting the needs and providing the essential services taxpayers should expect and deserve.  But, we have to work together to prioritize the services our county provides to ensure that taxpayers hard-earned dollars are spent wisely.  As the Mayor of Flandreau for eight years, I worked with the other members of the city council to make sure we had a balanced budget each year, and I will continue to be socially responsible, yet fiscally conservative, as a county commissioner.

What else would you like voters to know about you?
I have been a lifelong resident of Flandreau and have been involved in public service my entire professional career.  I served as the Mayor of Flandreau for eight years and served as a member of the city council for 12 years, which provided me with the opportunity to gain the hands-on governing experience that will allow me to hit the ground running as a county commissioner.  I also had the privilege of serving the public as a member of the Moody County Ambulance service for 44 years. I have no personal agenda as a candidate for county commissioner other than wanting the privilege of continuing to be involved in public service, which will allow me to continue to have a positive impact on the residents of Moody County.

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