Editor's note: This is the third in a multi-part series on the 2024 city and school board election. Find part one here, and part two here. Stay tuned for more on the candidates views on various issues – oh, and make sure you're registered to vote by March 25 or, like, what is this all for?

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 about roads.

Why it matters

  • There are about 900 miles of roads within the city, and that number grows by about 10-15 miles each year, according to data from the street department. Road projects also make up more than $200 million in the city's five-year capital improvement plan.

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.

There are a lot of road projects going on in Sioux Falls – South Veterans Parkway, interstate interchange reconstruction, etc. What are you most concerned about when it comes to roads and those ongoing projects?

Jennifer Sigette, Northwest District: "I've heard a lot about pot holes. I think they're doing the best they can on pot holes. I think just keeping traffic moving. We have some real areas of congestion.

  • I just think we need to figure out how to just making sure lights are set the right way so that traffic can keep moving."

Miranda Basye, Northeast District: "More roads isn't always the best solution because there's a cost, not just to build them, but then to keep them up and maintain them – not just in the materials of the roads themselves but also in plowing the snow.

  • I think that we have to be careful. Are we putting in roads for intentional growth and development? Or is it just so we can get everywhere in 15 minutes?"

Neil Jeske, Northeast District: "I actually have experience with this because I worked for the street department in Wisconsin. The streets, public works, people who are the front line workers of our city – I have experience with this. My concern with the streets is getting better wages for these employees.

  • As far as I see part-time snowplow drivers make $22.50 an hour, and I made $25 an hour as a part-time plow driver over a decade ago. I think if we can find some cuts and bring wages to our front line workers we could definitely recruit quality and experienced (people)."

David Zokaites, Northeast District: I think the city can do a better job of patching holes and use better patch materials that are put in place with more professionalism and more care so you only have to patch a hole once.

  • I'd like to see a change in patch materials methodology to reduce long-term maintenance costs by doing it right the first time.

Ryan Spellerberg, Southwest District*: "I'm a driver just like everyone else, and you don't want to lose your suspension every time you go to the mall.

  • I did a tour of the city with (Director of Public Works) Mark Cotter, and he walked through what they're doing and how they handle the roads. Every time I meet with someone who handles a different department in our city, I'm more and more impressed with how this city is run.
  • And with potholes – our city does a good job with that."

Jordan Deffenbaugh, At-Large: "(Roads) are liabilities, and if we don't look at them like liabilities, we're going to go bankrupt. ... If you want to pay less taxes, you've got to watch where we're spending money on roads."

Richard Thomason, At-Large: "The main arterial streets have to be your main focus. If there are potholes at 41st and Louise, we're going to fill that before residential. (It's about taking care of) the big fires first, and don't forget the little fires."

Allison Renville, At-Large: "The basic answer would be speed limits, but also problems with visibility. I think that there needs to be more attention called to pedestrians, not just in the crosswalks, but at the bus stations and stuff."

  • Renville also expressed concern at the number of pedestrians who are hit by cars and the lack of transparency when accidents do happen.

*Sigette and Spellerberg will not be listed on the ballot because their races are uncontested. Since they'll be representing essentially half the city, Sioux Falls Simplified still included them here so voters know their public officials.

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 growth:

What City Council candidates have to say about growth
Sioux Falls’ population has exceeded 213,000 (which, by the way, is almost the same size as Des Moines, Iowa). Here’s what candidates are watching as that growth continues.

And then see what they have to say about the Riverline District:

What candidates have to say about the 2050 vision for the Riverline District
Mayor Paul TenHaken last month laid out a 2050 vision for the Riverline District that includes a new downtown convention center.

And then keep checking back for more topics in the coming weeks leading up to the April 9 election.