Hartford Decides To Retain Economic Development Position

62 percent of voters think EDD postion is crucial

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After months of discussion, Hartford area residents decided today that they will keep their Economic Development Director.

698 ballots came into Hartford city hall today, and with 62 percent of the vote, the position will remain.

“It shouldn’t be the mayor’s choice it should be the choice of the people who live here,” says Hartford voter, Marie Bond.

The final count included 440 votes to keep the economic development position and 258 to eliminate it.

“It didn’t feel right that our mayor made a decision without taking a vote on it,” adds Bond, “but in our community, he shouldn’t be punished for that.

This all started after a June 16 city council meeting, where a decision was made to eliminate the position. The council was split. Those against it say it is a waste of taxpayer dollars. While the business community found it crucial for a growing city like Hartford.

Nathan Beaner, has lived in Hartford his entire life.

“We live in a great place, we are not too far we are not too close to Sioux Falls, so you still get that small town setting while still being close to the city,” says Beaner.

Tuesday’s vote was not whether or not to get rid of Gary Sandholm, who currently holds the post, but rather to eliminate it all together. Something Beaner thought about before he went into the polls.

“I think he should still keep his job, it is our tax payer’s money and I use my tax payer’s money to help support economic growth for the town of Hartford.”

And as time dwindled on late Tuesday, it was decided. For those who sat through the ballot counting, it was a decision reached through hard work.

“This means a lot to all of us,” says Jeremy Menning of the Growing Hartford Committee, “it means a lot to everyone who has helped out with the vote and on what’s actually happening in town.”

People across Hartford have taken notice.

“I see it growing and I see more businesses seeing the growth and moving business out here to help support our small town,” notes Beaner.

Bill Zortman believes Tuesday’s vote was possible through better educating the public on what they are deciding.

“You are never going to get one side to say the other side was totally honest, regardless of which side you talk to, and people had to make up their own minds,” says Zortman.

And Beaner believed it was a good decision for Hartford, making his decision quite an easy one.

“I think it’s very important to continue to grow.”