Lloyd LaCroix spurred to run for Ward 4 because of council disfunction

2013-03-23T07:00:00Z 2013-03-23T19:18:05Z Lloyd LaCroix spurred to run for Ward 4 because of council disfunctionAaron Orlowski Journal staff Rapid City Journal
March 23, 2013 7:00 am  • 

Lloyd LaCroix is gunning for his old seat on the city council because he is frustrated with the council's conduct, including the controversy over accusations that Council Member Bill Clayton made racist comments.

LaCroix, 46, is the first person to challenge an incumbent in the upcoming June 4 city council election; he will take on Ward 4 Council Member John Roberts. The other four incumbents are so far running unopposed, though Mayor Sam Kooiker is facing a challenge from state Sen. Mark Kirkeby of Rapid City.

Clayton's controversial comments to a black television news reporter, and how Clayton handled the accusations after they came to light, fired up LaCroix, who has Native American ancestry.

"When comments like that are made out of anger, that's not something that was a misunderstanding. It's deeper set than just making a comment or a mistake," LaCroix said Friday.

LaCroix will not be challenging Clayton, who is from Ward 1 and is not up for re-election for another year, though a petition is being circulated to recall him from office. Rather, LaCroix faces Roberts, a frequent ally of Clayton's who stood by him even as others on the council demanded his resignation. If he can unseat Roberts, LaCroix hopes to contribute to a culture change at city hall.

Roberts, a first-term council member, has submitted his petition for re-election to the City Finance Office, though he has not made a formal announcement about running. Roberts represents Ward 4, which includes much of North Rapid.

LaCroix, who works in manufacturing and has lived in North Rapid for more than 40 years, lost his seat on the council in 2010 in a three-way race, coming in third after taking a stand against then-Council Member Sam Kooiker during Kooiker's censure.

LaCroix, who was council president at the time, was the only person on the ballot that year who voted to censure Kooiker, and he lost. Between 2010 and 2012, the entire city council turned over, aside from Kooiker, who became mayor.

In that 2010 election, LaCroix finished third behind Jordan Mason and John Roberts, both of whom opposed the censure of Kooiker. In a runoff election, Mason went on to win the seat. Roberts ran again the following year and won the second Ward 4 seat, which he currently holds.

LaCroix believes his stand on the censure of Kooiker was part of the reason he lost in 2010. Kooiker was censured by the council 6-3 for conduct unbecoming an elected official towards a city employee, Rapid Transit Manager Rich Sagen.

Now, LaCroix is looking to return to the Ward 4 seat he held from 2006 to 2010. In 2008, he was elected vice president of the council and president in 2009.

LaCroix said the main issue for Ward 4 is economic development, which means attracting good jobs and making sure vocational and technical schools — such as the one from which LaCroix got a diesel technician degree  — offer the right training.

The last day to file petitions is Tuesday. Candidates must file 50 signatures from voters in the candidate's ward. Council members Jerry Wright, Ritchie Nordstrom and Ron Sasso have formally announced their re-election intentions, while Charity Doyle and Roberts have filed their petitions to get on the ballot.

Contact Aaron Orlowski at 484-7069 or aaron.orlowski@rapidcityjournal.com

Copyright 2015 Rapid City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(13) Comments

  1. rclocal1
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    rclocal1 - March 25, 2013 8:50 am
    Lloyd has my vote! I'm tired of seeing Roberts siding with his allies and friends and not have the ability to think for himself. Never was that more obvious than how he handled the Clayton mess. As a representative of the most diverse Ward in the city, he owed it to his voters to actively separate himself from those comments. Some lame soundbyte about free speech is not condemnation of such awful remarks.

    And spare me the rhetoric about how he got Hoarce Mann pool saved. That was in the works ages before he got the seat. Kooiker got him elected, Roberts has been co-captain of his ship, now he can stay with it as the SS Kooiker sinks. We need more change at City Hall because obviously the people we elected can't get the job done.
  2. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - March 24, 2013 9:42 am
    Roberts is fine. Bye Bye Clayton.
  3. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - March 24, 2013 9:41 am
    Sam has been a fantastic mayor. Train wreck? You're thinking Kirkeby.
  4. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - March 24, 2013 9:40 am
    RCJ should devote some resources to compare all of the traveling expenses done by all aldermen since 2000. The findings would be very revealing. Chapman and Lloyd would definitely be the winners. ...Reminds me of Biden's recent one night stay at a 5-star hotel in Paris which cost us $500,000.00 according to New York Daily News. It's good to be royalty, eh Lloyd?
  5. ZAR
    Report Abuse
    ZAR - March 23, 2013 11:26 pm
    (smoke filled back room deals, closed-door secret meetings)
    Frank what is different now?,,,, the only thing I can see is Evangelicals in the closed door smoke filled rooms instead of folks like Lacroix. At least Lacroix was justified in his thievery with monetary gains, instead of the irrational and utterly nonsensical issues that you folks toss out! Either way , until we go back to progressive govt. here in western SD , the workers will suffer needlessly!
  6. beauzeau
    Report Abuse
    beauzeau - March 23, 2013 10:24 pm
    Well,well,well, King of the frequent fliers is back for round two. Have you played monopoly lately ?
  7. Born2fish
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    Born2fish - March 23, 2013 10:09 pm
    They're not even in the same ward.
  8. Roland
    Report Abuse
    Roland - March 23, 2013 9:41 pm
    Lol...you guys call me predictable.

    Bye bye Roberts!
  9. Roland
    Report Abuse
    Roland - March 23, 2013 9:41 pm
    Seriously Sasso? Roberts and Sam had nothing to do with WL coming here. That was the economic development team, and that was a done deal before their little tax payer funded trip. Ya, I know, they took turns driving and stayed in a cheap hotel, now it is obvious the only reason for the trip is so they could take credit for them coming here.

    And here you are, helping them do that.

    That is really sad to see.
  10. Roland
    Report Abuse
    Roland - March 23, 2013 9:38 pm
    And as we have been seeing he was right. Kooiker is a train wreck.

  11. Frank Smith
    Report Abuse
    Frank Smith - March 23, 2013 4:38 pm
    Lloyd was the author of the censure. His voters took note of that. A vote for him is a vote to return to the way things were (smoke filled back room deals, closed-door secret meetings) and a return to the good old boys running the show. No way, now how and NO THANKS! Surely we can get someone better to run against Clayton.
  12. Revelation
    Report Abuse
    Revelation - March 23, 2013 12:56 pm
    LaCroix is wanting to push for economic development---which is good, however, John Roberts was instrumental in bringing economic development to Rapid City with WL Plastics.
  13. NOTPC
    Report Abuse
    NOTPC - March 23, 2013 9:55 am
    Lloyd Lacroix is frustrated with the conduct of the council when he was one of the leaders of the group that censured our Mayor Sam Kooiker when he was on the council himself??? This is the last kind of person we want on our city council.
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