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McINTYRE: No more business as usual

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Sam is walking the walk not just talking the talk.  I recently asked Sam if he was going to accept the country club membership that other mayors have enjoyed.

Here’s what Sam had already done.

Sam asked the country club to consider donating the membership to United Way to be used as an incentive in the upcoming membership drive to benefit some who are less fortunate.

The country club declined and said the membership was not transferrable.  This column is not to cast any negative dispersion on the country club.  No,they are trying to gain a prominent elected individual to interact with their current members, business owners in the community and long standing movers and shakers of Rapid City. 

Everyone knows that business is done this way.  It’s not done in the public meetings and open hearings that the newspaper gives the public the agenda, date, time and location for.  I’m not giving you breaking news here.

Many big projects are hatched and incubated in such environments as country clubs, bars, restaurants, and living rooms.

So why is this one move on the part of our new mayor worthy of an opinion page column?

Sam is different. 

It is not business as usual with Sam. When you voted for him you had better have believed what he was saying because it’s what he meant.

He is not the typical politician who will solicit your vote and then slide into the comfortable life.

Sam has been characterized in the past as a micromanager.  Don’t be confused by people who want to distract you from the genuine characteristics of someone who actually cares about getting to the bottom of an issue.

No, city hall will not be about business as usual.  Some entrenched bureaucrats have been able to stonewall elected officials in the past.  They were able to do that with the help of a disconnected public.

Now the public has an ally in the new mayor and for the first time in a long time they feel that they are actually being listened to by someone who is just like them.

South Dakotans are good hard working individuals who work an honest day for an honest days pay.

We like real people with real problems just like our own and can relate to them.

Rapid City now has a mayor who is just like the average guy and walks the walk. Many may feel that there is a role for the mayor to play. 

I think that is the problem. Politicians can be chameleons depending on which group they talk to.

Many elected officials are good actors but when the scene closes they have to return to reality. 

Rapid City will be well served by Sam who won’t need a union card to any thespian organization.

Sam’s recent gracious offer to donate his country club membership wasn’t a political statement. It was not done to embarrass the country club either. It was done with the best intentions.  He didn’t issue a press release making a big deal of it; he did it because he felt it was the right thing to do.

It was a view into the heart and mindset of a genuine guy who walks the walk. Sam is not perfect and he will make mistakes. He will probably make some people mad from time to time.  If he’s doing something he will surely make someone mad.

Agree or disagree with him.

Sam will not make a decision that puts his personal wellbeing before the interests of the community.

It’s just the way he is.


Janette McIntyre lives in Custer.  She can be reached at

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