City of Wall election candidates

The City of Wall will hold an election on Tuesday, April 9. Ward 2 has two candidates running for a postion on the city council. The Pennington County Courant presented each candidate with the same set of questions. You can read their responses below.
Candidate Name: 

Kelly Welsh
Position you are running for: Wall City Council Ward 2

Why are you interested in running for this position?
I’ve had the honor of serving on the city council for the past four years. I’m running for re-election to give back to a community that has provided me with a wonderful quality of life in a safe, vital town.

How many years have you been in community?
I was born and raised in Wall. After graduating from SDSU, I taught vocal music for 14 years. I then went into partnership with my father at Welsh’s Motel.

What involvement have you had with events, committees, or volunteer work within the Wall community?
Currently I serve on the Wall City Council as a representative for Ward 2. I’m a member of the Wall Badlands Area Chamber of Commerce and sit on their board as a liaison for the city council. I help the Chamber Retail Committee with their annual Appreciation Supper and their annual Pancake Supper. I am also the city council liaison with the Wall Public Library, and for the last 15 years I’ve volunteered with the Wall Beautification Committee. We are responsible for the flowers that decorate Main Street in the summer and we also decorate for Christmas season.

What is your present profession?
I own Welsh’s Motel in Wall. My grandfather and father started this business 66 years ago and we’ve been fortunate to be part of this community.

What leadership experience/capabilities could you bring to the community of Wall, SD?
I’ve held several leadership positions-teacher, business owner, employer-and I have spent the last four years on the Wall City Council. This is important work which I take seriously. I hope to continue serving the people of Ward 2.
What do you feel are the top concerns for the City of Wall in the coming year, or near future?
1. The critical work shortage for our local businesses.
2. Availability of affordable housing for our citizens.
3. Maintaining our infrastructure. Wall is in an enviable position compared to other small towns because we have the luxury of having paved streets, curb and gutters, and an excellent airport facility. It’s important that we continue to meet the health and safety needs of our expanding community.

Closing comments on why you should be elected.
I’m proud to have served on the city council and to have supported projects like the Echo Valley and Hansen housing developments and the airport expansion, which will improve the opportunities for Wall. The city of Wall and the city council are working on many projects that will improve the community. I’m excited to see those projects move forward. I’m proud to call Wall home and want to continue working for the success of our citizens and community. I would appreciate your vote on April 9th to continue serving and being a part of Wall’s continued success. 

Candidate Name: 
Zack Hoffman 
Position you are running for? Alderman Ward 2 

Why are you interested in running for this position?
I believe the most important duty of an Alderman is being the voice of the people. I like having one on one conversations with people to get their true feelings on topics. I'm interested in this position because I want all the people of Ward 2 to be heard and to also build a better Wall. 

How many years have you been in the community?
35 years. I was born, raised, and married 40 miles North of Wall. I graduated from Wall High School in 2007. My wife and I bought our first home in 2015 which made us residents of Ward 2. Since then we have raised our child in that home.

What involvement have you had with events, committees, or volunteer work within the Wall Community? 
I am currently serving as the Secretary of the Wall Ambulance board, I'm on the Wall Celebration Committee, and I also volunteer as a Coach for Wall's T-Ball program.

What is your present profession?
I have worked as a Highway Maintenance Worker for the past 9 years for 3 different Government agencies. I recently received a promotion to become Lead Highway Maintenance Worker in the Wall Area for South Dakota Department of Transportation.

What leadership experience/capabilities could you bring to the community of Wall, SD?
I have been going door to door and having conversations with my community for the last 6 years. I won't do that with every agenda item, but if the item is a serious one then I will talk with my Ward to see what they want. Some people like having one on one conversations to get their true feelings out and don't want to do that in a public forum. It is the Alderman's job to find out what the people want.

What do you feel are the top three concerns for the City of Wall in the coming year or near future?
1. Decreasing population. Wall has been decreasing over the last 2 decades. I want to try and change that by helping local entrepreneurs start up their business or by looking for new and competitive businesses that want to come to Wall to have more opportunities for our younger generation to stay in the community.
2. New Businesses. Wall has invested in an Industrial Park. I would like to look into different avenues to get new businesses to come to Wall and make them feel welcomed and valued for investing in our community.
3. Retaining our Senior population. Our seniors have made a livelihood in our community, it's only right that we give them the opportunity to stay in our community. 

Past Experience?
I have only served on two boards. On those two boards it takes teamwork to get the best outcome. I would look forward to working together with the Council to build a better Wall. Sometimes there needs to be a change to bring new and fresh ideas to the table, I would like to be that change.

Closing comments on why you should be elected.
It's not whether I should be elected or not. It's about the people having their voice heard, which will happen with the vote. If I were elected I would look into a concept of establishing term limits. A city cannot move forward with the same ideas on the same board. My hopes would be to get the younger generations involved to be in these positions to keep building a better Wall.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
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