Editor's note: This story is part of a multi-part series on the 2024 city and school board election. Find all the coverage that's been done so far right here.

Simplified: Sioux Falls Simplified sat down with each of the eight candidates hoping to have a seat on the City Council. Candidates were all asked (approximately) the same set of questions. Here's what they had to say after all those questions were asked.

Why it matters

  • Candidates also all had an opportunity to talk about any other topics that are important to them leading up to election day – including why they're the best person for the job. Here's what they had to say.

Another quick note: Candidates are listed in the order in which they're shared on the city election website. Answers are edited for length and clarity.

Is there a topic I didn't ask you about that you wanted to share an opinion on? Or is there anything else you want voters to know ahead of Election Day?

Jennifer Sigette, Northwest District*: "I would love them to reach out and meet me."

  • Sigette also noted that Family Park is in her district. The park recently saw some negative feedback from residents who weren't happy with some of the changes in the city's master plan. Sigette said it's something the City Council will need to talk about, as well as seeking additional feedback from people who use the park.
  • "There just needs to be some additional conversation."

Miranda Basye, Northeast District: Basye said one thing she'd like to do if elected is get more creative about regional partnerships and working with neighboring towns as well as Minnehaha and Lincoln County. "I'd love to think bigger and more regionally."

  • Basye also noted her upbringing in Sioux Falls and her family's business on North Cliff Avenue as shaping her experience. "I'm equipped to be an advocate for diverse people, and I have experience of being in a blue-collar, renting family who works all hours of the day.
  • "I believe public service at its core is being a conduit. I'm not going to claim to be an expert, but I'll sure ask questions."

Neil Jeske, Northeast District: "I've worked my way up. I was a garbage man for three years. I've been a truck driver for over a decade, almost 15 years. I've owned my own small business for almost a decade. I parked my semi truck to run for this position, and I'm going to be committed full-time."

  • He also said he's in favor of decriminalizing one ounce or less of cannabis.

David Zokaites, Northeast District: "I actually care. There is an honest guy out there who actually cares."

Ryan Spellerberg, Southwest District*: "I'm just not a very political person. I'm just coming in with a common sense approach and a business mindset. That's really my focus – just be common sense.

  • "(Voters) don't want people on the way far right or way the far left – just people who can keep Sioux Falls moving in the right direction."

Jordan Deffenbaugh, At-Large: "Too often we optimize for cars but not for our children, and that will be to our detriment moving into the future. I love hearing this idea that we're doing things for our future, for our children, and I find myself just wondering, where? Where is that investment?

  • That means too, looking at how we can incrementally develop amenities at the scale of kids on streets (for example, traffic calming, crosswalks, etc.)."
  • Deffenbaugh also noted a desire to better engage the community in conversations about improving their neighborhoods, as well as a desire to see more indoor recreation space throughout the city – but not all concentrated in one area like the proposal to put it at the convention center.

Richard Thomason, At-Large: Thomason said he wants voters to know he plans to be as accessible as he can be if elected. He added:

  • "I want what's best for Sioux Falls, and I will thoroughly research everything that comes to me, listen to pros and cons and talk to all parties involved."

Allison Renville, At-Large: "I want people to know that I'm actually an established candidate. ... My political involvement extends over 20 years. I created the first political action committee (Dakotas for America) on the reservation where I exercised our tribal sovereignty.

  • I'm also an independent. I left the party because I identify with a lot of Americans who feel not just disillusioned but isolated in the political process ... I am not just a stakeholder in South Dakota but I have a huge network of people behind me. I'm literally one degree away from some of the most powerful Native Americans in the country, and I'm also a media consultant, so I've had a lot of coverage."

Want to learn more about the candidates?

See who they are and why they're running here:

Meet the people who want to represent you on the Sioux Falls City Council
Four of the eight Sioux Falls City Council seats will have new faces after the April 9 election. Here’s an easy look at who’s running to represent you.

And then get their thoughts on childcare:

What City Council candidates have to say about childcare
It costs more in one year to send your kid to a childcare center in Sioux Falls than it would to send them to a South Dakota state university.

And then see what they have to say about housing:

What City Council candidates have to say about housing
According to recent data from Augustana, the greatest housing shortage is among those who make 30% or less the area median income (AMI) – which is $17,350 for an individual.

Find the full guide to elections here.