Hartford City Government Continues Moving Forward

Today, Mayor Jeremy Menning says the council is on a completely different path

HARTFORD, S.D. – A little over two years ago, turmoil in Hartford’s city government started to surface.

It began with talks of doing away with the economic developer position, then spurred a movement for a mayoral recall.

That was followed up by an email scandal.

But now, things are steadier and the recently re-elected Mayor says it’s time to focus on the growth of Hartford instead.

“You’re hearing about progress, you’re hearing about new developments, you’re hearing about new businesses,” says Mayor Jeremy Menning.

Talk surrounding Hartford has changed.

“There’s been a few people that have brought that up here time to time, they’ll say ‘things must be going pretty well here, I haven’t heard anything lately’,” says Menning. “So I think that’s a good thing.”

A little over a year ago, news came out that former councilor Doyle Johnson, admitted to altering an email he received.

The email was asking the Johnson to step down, but an additional 6 sentences were added, including references to his own special needs son.

Shortly after, then mayor, Bill Campbell, and other council members resigned.

But today, Menning says the council is on a completely different path.

“There’s a couple different things that happened over this last year, some changes that I’m really proud of,” he says.

The council has implemented a code of ethics, something they didn’t have before, and they’re taking time to personally thank those who are benefiting the town.

“We get to that part of the meeting and we say, ‘who should we send a thank-you to’,” explains Menning. “It might be a volunteer citizen, it might be a business owner who just started business in town.”

Menning says it’s all about encouraging growth.

And some of the projects the council has recently approved adds on to that — like the Michelson Road Project.

“Which is a huge deal for us,” adds Menning. “It’s an arterial road that’s going to run east and west through Hartford.”

The $5 million project will not only add some much needed infrastructure, it will allow for 200 new residential lots to start popping up.

“That’s really going to help not only position us for growth here in the next year or two, but five years down the road, 10 years down the road,” says Menning.

This is just one project the council will take on in the next two years, and Menning says they’ll all focus on Hartford’s future, instead of dwelling on it’s past.

Menning took over the mayoral position after Bill Campbell resigned.

He completed Campbell’s remaining 6 months, and was just re-elected for another two years last month.

Menning ran unopposed.

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