Interview with Janet Brekke Candidate for Sioux Falls City Council at Large A
From her website:
Janet understands how Sioux Falls city hall is supposed to work.
Prior to owning the HoneyBaked Ham Co & Café she worked as a City Attorney under five different mayors:
- Rick Knobe,
- Joe Cooper,
- Jack White,
- Gary Hanson,
- Dave Munson.
Prior to this, Janet served for a time as a Minnehaha County Deputy States Attorney.
[0:05] Weather in the heart podcast and i’m here with janet pretty was a candidate for sioux falls city council this is the at large a c if if i remember correct correct excellent,
jeffrey start you have an opening statement for the flight to make ounces of your short bio about myself and the reason i’m running.
I think the undergraduate and law school university south dakota.
And from there after graduation i spent my entire professional career in sioux falls i started as a deputy state’s attorney appendectomy hot county state’s attorney’s office serv there for four years.
And the power to the city and ready to the first photo so you turn prior to me they’re just using contacted our centuries they said they will start office is to actually started city attorney’s office.
I’m not sure it’s time i search five years starting with rick know he joe cooper jack white.
Carrie has the most cu predate the charter even there i have meant to different forms of government servant three s or three commission form of government implemented the three five commission for a man on the five.
Commission from everett to the strong their policy safe house while.
[1:26] So i am i was there for eighteen years and then i left city hall and something completely different.
Left the practice offer very kind and open hundred eighteen company and cafe.
Everybody’s favorite oh yes and ran for thirteen years and i sold and your last july and decided that a very interesting background that makes it unique makes my government and business.
God has something more offer and start shopping around.
What you know for some for some kind of political thing that might rice in la for something balance knowledge and i sent by the city council’s.
Very good first question from our listeners what would you do to protect,
public input and specifically their you know worry about things like moving into a different meeting are moving at the end of the meeting where you fall on public and put the seat council meetings do i know its a passionate issue for some people.
For me i think it needs to be on the agenda.
I’m not so concerned wears place for this place to the front or the or the invited people feel passionate about and the front and find that the from.
I did check back while those in two thousand two it was back in the back of the and we didn’t seem to have quite is missing eightieth means is there has been running watching so i don’t have anything to do with that.
So i just keep in mind about i i do feel strong that needs to be there that’s just something that’s been there for as long as i can remember i don’t know why you wouldn’t have it.
[3:02] However i would where to one of my things and just enjoying testing the scene the laundry strategic planning.
And they’re hearings on different parts of those that strategic planning process,
not really interested in trying to channel some of those public but it has in the more appropriate forums with cassie is actually working on their issues.
So in my mind range so i will see as much of it,
because i see more in places where the county council actually working on party or homelessness and ending in those people’s phone numbers information making sure that called notified windows relevant testimonies needs.
How is that you know justin summary is where i can add very good.
[3:46] Let’s see what would you do to increase government transparency.
[3:54] That’s a real trigger is issue with me right now i am i am extremely concerned i have interviewed all of the house members on the director’s before and i started seeing as the council meetings in october and started watching them.
And i am really shocked at what i see.
No he served in jealous of five different administrations and never seen what i’ve seen right now.
And i’ll be specific i think that the coordinate that means is is.
[4:28] It is really awful that the cross talk and commentaries the editorial ice.
There’s something not carry-on conducting a meeting like the city has conducted for years and following roberts rules of order.
The input gathering process is not recognized in roberts rules of order ignoring me loss of public record us.
And i’ve heard complaints from the council about not getting information now and i’ve been very concerned about that is clear that they don’t have the information here in a timely fashion or sufficient information to making decisions are making.
So i just seen a lot of problems in the opening process itself and then i’m hearing for things out on the campaign trail.
You know about the things that are of concern about just getting information from city hall information city hall.
And really concerned about that as well because the way i explained people there is so little information city hall that isn’t public.
I mean literally there’s two offices that hr office in the city attorney’s office deal with.
[5:38] Confidential and or privileged information and the hr office is personally does the city attorney’s office is pending litigation.
Current litigation and contract negotiations collective bargaining pass it.
There’s nothing else can see there’s probably some exceptions everything that there is litter in the city hall that’s not public all the information.
That’s the hug ever is basically yeah it blows my mind coming here from other cities the light.
You can request things in there just like no you know it yeah.
Is you know i may i share the frustration in haryana public angry let the public as well because this is not how rc runs.
It’s not house has read it should around that way my biggest concern is if it’s just band practices or if it’s actually been written in the policies were consistent procedures that has them is gonna take the unraveling.
I have that skill in it i promise not good if i am elected i will go in like a bulldog image and there and i will seek out.
[6:52] You know if this stuff is written down and if there’s it is damn practices are written into the policies and procedures that they are is going to do another mayor.
Literally can’t walk right into it and no in this can be really innocuous passing the council patches of passwords recently that made it worse and they don’t know what they’re doing and don’t know is making it worst but i do.
He know how works as i put together.
And so i’m very concerned about transparency and i i really wanna go in and use those extra skills i just happen to have.
And having been city attorney and city attorney for implement this form of government to write the shit.
[7:33] Very good what are your goals if you are like it.
[7:40] The main reason i am running you know is because i’m i’m energized impart by some of the things i did when i was there for two decades was really there and some of the programs i actually wrote are working.
And i have ideas take some of those things to the next level.
So for me there’s like three things i just in this most general sense that i’m i’m really most concerned about you and wants to be clean diverse state see.
And so the golden programs i have a program in mind for each of those products and they’re very specific.
On the area diversity i think this is a place for the city can show tremendous leadership.
The federal government possible st joseph that the vast majority of the diversity were experiencing is the city and these are our neighbors is our new neighbors and we need to.
The kinds of dollars in programming into place.
To help them come into our community and help them succeed in our community and identify three things three things are full english need to make fluid english available and easily accessible.
And we need to have a commitment to it in funding program commitment to it i think is just use i think it if you add large city in the country music by murderers population came in.
If you or does something to commit to english way back and you know get over again what would you do a promising.
[9:12] I would we would you know we can talk we can just talk.
Conversation english network listings fluid english think of all the doors and this for the future that means they can come and hold perhaps these low paying jobs now that they can speak english.
No they can get for their education they can get a better job later the training her for because they have a future because they can communicate with i think it also it tends to prevent that.
The desire to live in in their own communities because they talk to anybody in where they go.
And won’t have to go live together just so they can communicate so i think that’s huge and it is a public private partnership perhaps with a private public partnership perhaps school district.
I mean there’s literally hundreds of class is being taught everyday and this is suppose there someway.
And i think she’s of the dialogue and tried it tries if there’s some way to access some of that.
That’s it that’s number one number two is a transportation mean in the pathfinder program to teach people when they come here.
You have a driving riding bikes after walking after driving cars and how to travel around the.
Is is really filling up our court system number courses and we certainly sauces time of are there things to do.
And making criminals out of innocent people first thing they get here they’re getting in trouble with the driving rules so i think that’s that’s just a common sense one and the third thing is diversity education.
[10:47] I think you can do the public peace with the kinds of festivals celebrate diversity in those kinds of things.
But there’s also a piece that i’m told is really important in the workplace piece that we need programming in finding to take a show on the road to the various businesses and how to help them understand how to work with a diverse population.
No i talked to several other stakeholders involved in these issues talk jealous as i talk to the cultural center.
They will agree that we should be doing more.
And i think it’s i think disease is is a short term investment but the real long term.
Potential benefit because if we can i can treat them as neighbors and and welcome them as neighbors and help them succeed is neighbors.
Then it i think a few changes that much brighter if we don’t we just letting them for themselves and that’s what we’re doing right now we’re just gonna let service to welcome welcome can we have all these jobs for you.
Weather in was jobs with you know what no opportunity we just do that for just any cleaner party sector that have to do with social services it.
So i think it’s really important you can hear my passion about that’s no one michaels is the diversity when the second one is when i wanted to first clean stacy.
The clean up is tested director are neighborhoods are rich neighborhoods core areas.
To the extent that we can raise the bar for once you know what’s acceptable responses far as our standards for not allowing neighborhood interior eight i think we raise the bar a lot of things having strong.
[12:28] Community like neighborhoods that are clean.
[12:34] And i can’t get is probably your best defense to drugs and gangs because they will look for your weakness neighborhood health plan right and they’ll take over.
No i wrote the two programs this is currently using the call projects amazing she is growing back in the nineties they were designed to prevent stones and prevent and treat games and drives includes.
And they’re working i have my third one.
Those programs i will resign to list neighborhoods are lowest always neighborhoods to a minimum standard and the the one that i have in my nose to lifted higher.
And the way we’re gonna do that is for government work hand in hand with the private sector government can go in there and prioritizing neighborhoods and take it in the most needed and i told is about ten.
It will work out later on and we’ll get everything we got going in and with less muscle more compassion.
And do the things government can do like it up the license street lights like fix the sidewalks injuries those kinds of things them i see the second half of the program coming in from the private sector using non profits.
Service clubs businesses.
Wake up shoes i don’t care who ever we can get list in match up as another thing can you imagine that needs is that the people who are willing to help.
And me to orchestrate organize for have talk to several large businesses they are really excited about the idea isn’t that they would totally do that i mean father’s name this contain their employees that will go out with a pink can remove tony he and do it.
[14:13] Because i talk to business and they said you guys understand as well as it.
That the space between the showers are liking ever been before the law was way too long and the high is way too high and these people are not fixing up their faces because they’re lazy it’s because they can’t afford.
And if we can help them do that can help you create a sense of community there open up minds communication i think that is one of the best things we can do to deter crime.
[14:42] A third thing was safety.
Tyson of this because this is my claim pieces also i think he says he just heard my thirteen safety has to do with how we treat our mentally order at six.
I think that are and is pretty much acknowledges now across the country that our government systems are just integrated,
as it relates to send it to manually and alex they’re actually creating criminals of people who are patients who should be patients.
And that by doing this for filling up our jails and our pens are pretty and population estate seven percent of our penitentiary population is there familia and or drug related crimes.
Sorrow glorious has a higher than the national average success rate.
They’re the there currently is sixty two percent hazleton antifreeze in minneapolis sixty percent yeah okay why is that why is because the guys are clean when it come out the pen even try the brain to start healing.
So they’re dealing with an actual population who has the highest chance of success of recovery.
And they’re keeping them on campus that keeps them from returning to their bad environment.
In the big lot across the grass not going to the mean what grass cross dress that there he’s expand their project right now there’s an as anymore seven former apartments.
[16:07] That’s huge if there that exists that exists for treatment and you know we should be looking at our jails and her hands completely different is the question why is over the house and go.
[16:20] He’s to the river park why isn’t it.
Yeah in the treatment center in reno hospital is i think the potential is there for something like a rehab go we or rehab jail.
A rehab he’s in the penitentiary that looks and feels like the story of your behavior health.
Where are looking looks and feels like someone’s going as a patient and sorry for getting house them and pay for anyway by asking the proper treatment.
And when it come out again this is actually an opportunity as a thriller for three years their brains are pretty well healed in there chances accessories huge and got places like to her house to seventy,
there’s a real chance that we can really claim summarize what does that do for the city.
[17:09] There’s a two year workforce development issue and if you can get.
The house is blowing right now is seventy five percent of their new that you kinda can’t just sent you take seventy five percent of eighty seven percent in return those people to.
Go back into a normal work environment back into society.
That’s significant and also told employers love our house is in place cuz that really smart break people these people that we’re losing.
Yeah to drugs and mental illness i really great people when they’re in recovery steam and they perform the actual receivers a lot of.
And so what is in so that’s what does your first goal was it june do you demand for god’s interior what’s the best way to fight crime.
[17:57] And the drops a reduced amount.
It does because not only are the users using that their children get caught in it and learn from them their return home and it just breaks cycle your brake and say.
And so i think that together with the know which one i’m talking about in the neighborhoods if they can’t find a hold of the neighborhood to you and.
The dealers in the games if we reduce the demand for drugs because we’re progressively challenging their their potential victims elsewhere.
I think it would have an impact i really think we will see impact and baby you know i’m just gonna see where is just easier to sell transmission so that’s.
Two things that i am you know i’m really excited about doing and working on it i told.
They have been talking to stakeholders know that now is the time people opening up their minds to it in of the dial on the boat hospitals are interested in opening that dialogue we can actually become out of the country right your spouse has to.
Are medical industries knowledgebase today how about this kinda stuff so.
I think it’s there’s a potential that we can actually do something on this one and then again when i go back to the diversity.
If we become neighbors with our with orders population the way our regional people did when taking the germans and norwegians and the polish.
English song came on here if we do that we do that well you know that will you know and again i’m going back to that fluid in the same.
[19:35] Not open so many doors and it and it causes a lot of and others we can just talk to each other.
So i’m really committed to that is so those are my three things a city municipal and when people talk about diversity to me and ask me about.
You know how i feel about you i say you know in south dakota we pride ourselves on being friendly and its hard working that’s how we define us as who we say we are as hell who that’s how we wanna welcome them.
And that’s all we ask from if you do that and i think you’re welcome here if you not please because of her house.
Friendly honest hardworking and i don’t care what color which is sexual orientation is.
Some manners me very good use blake.
[20:25] Very much hit like upcoming question so i’ll ask them a lot of money for a little bit of like stuff you’ve already covered be like a checklist okay.
So the next one the next question would be other than expanding the police force what would you do to proactively respond to rising crime they you’ve given a good.
Statement on that if you have anything else you want to say that.
Issue specifically always is where i give my reasons why i really didn’t think about it i really didn’t think again based on the knowledge and understanding with my criminal background.
And have been legal advisor police department for eighteen years.
I really understand no crying homeworks having the code enforcer in course i understand so when i win the race after everything and very specific for and i have some ideas i can help resolve the situation.
So that is true.
Yeah i can’t answer i’m probably has a lot of questions that you know of answers to but that is the basis for my money to get anything and a i things important.
You can that crimes and i thought that was just about as well one of the things i said to him was that went to community policing programs.
Research contribution searching country all over i know what kind of things bring your house back into the neighborhoods like coffee and donuts with a cap like.
And there’s there’s really need to be searching around the country cherry picking the best ones that wasn’t really are working.
And work on those cuz in those things are what work just armenia when i hear people say we’re gonna be out of this apartment my responses.
[22:05] What that work is that what everything that consumer just do we just have not right don’t think you’re a straight anyone having problems is far more complicated than that she got he have to know he have to dress and all friends and some of those myself and.
The other piece to my to my program my neighborhood program has to do with the information flow.
Government comes out of friendly fashion private sector comes on the friendly match for people to talk to us.
Pretty soon that weighs casino that house that painted on the street legal steps to fix there’s a backpacking house.
So the opener plane is communication so we can tap into that as well we can also taking due to change things and help them build community to help me out help us pay their own house.
And need each other and the neighbors try to try to.
You know in increase stacking of thing is you being like that people i spent like.
[23:03] Uber to adopt a highway about the docking neighbor adopted a neighborhood something like that with his maybe maybe a longer term commitment with a private sector in the city to these neighborhoods as we were.
[23:18] Pretty good on once again something you touch down with the.
With your goals answer but how will you ensure that the sioux falls community welcomes people of all walks of life and the listeners specifically listed lgbt lgbt fuel immigrant refugee etc.
[23:39] And i think i’m a pretty well today is the questions just reiterated and from his about the friendly as hard working on a cure your sexual orientation think people really don’t want to raise i don’t think they really want to.
And we can just focus differently sugar focused on that.
Give you know all those midwestern values less urals with because we’re for asking me like in relationship to better to just abide by those who work hard be friendly be honest.
And where can i buy you think i really do think that the city has given lip service to diversity there’s destroy now this welcome mat.
And nothing more and i think that’s just for me and there was goals were goals back in the nineties when we open them all cultures and.
It wasn’t goals for that organization to act as a funnel for people entering the city.
No i don’t i don’t know about her issues and i can’t go from one organization or another but i think there needs to be an umbrella that the city creates.
The axis staff so we need sweeney’s some form of organization.
Text to make these things happen and it just passed resolutions can pass a resolution say welcome to sioux falls for the diverse population do nothing more and weve done.
But we pass a resolution say welcome to come and follow up with action implants and program then we need it.
And i think that’s a true true test for this next council meeting.
[25:14] I am not getting off this one little bit to what would you do to get more living wage jobs in sioux falls.
[25:24] Yo that’s a hard one but i guess for me it has to do with all this comments again going back to.
You know we wanna do i treat everything as a specialty item like the jules how’s the wine delivered first announcement but i seen it in the city when we focus on fundamentals.
You know when we.
You’re working so what’s cities are really all about streets sidewalks parks wire sewer we do those things lol.
Other opportunities come in we can be cleaned save numbers people want to live here because that’s for people that.
We’re first donation i’m really happy with let the chamber is doing into the extended to see compartment partner with him red handed and limit their business development part of their that is a definite.
Project is designed to bring those hiking tactical chassis and that’s exactly what we want.
But when i try to verses you know i’m talking about teaching english so that people can have hire opportunities.
Then they can go f ti or some of those places where they tuesday me money may come in and have to take that ten dollar an hour job.
But maybe they can have that same american dream that they had they can speak they can go to school and train and they can you know eventually cancels jason’s so.
Where can implement that she was doing really do wanna focus on bringing the hiking jobs i don’t think we need to grow just for growth sake.
[27:00] But if we’re gonna grill s manager grow grow carefully okay.
[27:07] This when you didn’t cover in your goals answer here affair with me this was a little bit of a story here but just bear with me.
Your driving down a dark road on a stormy night you’re groggy your vision is a little blurry as around the corner you see a squirrel in the middle of the road playing a tiny magic lasts.
Now do you swerving take the ditch to miss this for real or do you hit the swirl.
[27:34] I absolutely swear it that i’m i have for four i it’s.
[27:45] It is there is no light well i guess a few candidates for middle ground here but i just.
The interest and the locking lever one approaches it differently this.
Is interesting is over when was that played last harm i pray for my dear friend the premium for the is so sad now i just oh never mind responsible for.
Are we in half fair enough.
So janet this is a question that i usually finish this up with for candidates have for all the elections we covered everything from.
[28:26] Why specifically should i vote for you over any other candidate running for your position.
[28:34] Well i just applied to the candidate is in that i am running against john paulson and i think john’s credentials are general.
I mean i know in his position he must’ve had leadership skills and opportunities but two things i mean hospitals like government angle close so.
My experience is very relevant can couldn’t be more relevant.
Because i didn’t work in this in government for twenty years and motionless of these five administration so.
Any nice and all that means cause he’s on he’s on the committee he’s advisory boards i was there another legal advisor.
I was there legal advice to all directors all the management.
So i have this theory fundamental knowledge and understanding that will allow me to actually get things done talking about this so the difference between giants and as i have very specific rules.
There is specific ideas or track record of having accomplished those kinds of things so.
No yes i’m allowed to to serve again i legally i can get those things.
[29:47] Very good and one last thing in it how can people learn more about you.
[29:53] Just go to my website and got some deals on there ninety second videos that says much of what i just in here but little shorter.
And they can access those are my facebook page that can access those.
Very good thank you for coming on and it just reminded of voters early voting has begun so go out and get that done if you’re not gonna get on election day it’s really easy i’ll probably be doing in the next few days.
Thank you very much thank you for having.