Miller, Ryan in district rematchVoters in Oliver and the town and village of Superior face a familiar choice at the ballot box.
By: Shelley Nelson, The Daily Telegram
Voters in Oliver and the town and village of Superior face a familiar choice at the ballot box.
Pat Ryan, who served the district on and off for years, is hoping to unseat the one-term rival, Dean Miller, who unseated her in 2006 on the day she went home after life-saving surgery. Before that, she served on state health boards and volunteered to help and get volunteers for county health clinics.
“You run because you want to help people,” Ryan said. “That’s the reason I’ve done it anyway.”
The retired nurse served on the county board in the early 1990s and rejoined the board 2001, after Jean Longenecker resigned the position.
“I’m not here for what I can do for me,” Ryan said. “I’m here for what I can do for we. That’s always been my philosophy. I truly enjoy working with people.”
Miller, a retired Air Force veteran, truck driver and volunteer driver for veterans services, said he decided to run two years ago when he was encouraged by people he knows because he tends to speak his mind.
“I tried it, and I liked it, so I decided to run for a second term,” Miller said.
Among his priorities in the coming term is to work on economic development and making sure veterans are cared for.
“That’s probably the two biggest things for me,” Miller said. “We need to get businesses at least talking about coming into the area. We need that really bad.”
Both candidates share the philosophy that government is created to serve the people.
“First and foremost, I’m put there by the people who elected me,” Miller said. “I’m actually working for the people who voted for me. I believe that a lot of people forget about that and forget what they should be doing. And, I think more politics gets into stuff than there should be. … I just try to do the best job that I can.”
“I’m there to remind them that their responsibility is to the taxpayers,” Ryan said. When the issue of downsizing the county board surfaced last year, she said she favored it.
It’s an issue that garnered a great deal of attention when Brule businessman Darryl Helenius circulated a petition and garnered a ballot question that would have cut the 28-member board to seven. The measure was defeated by a mere 18 votes. That vote prompted the board to resolve to cut its ranks to 16 or 17 members following the 2010 U.S. Census.
Ryan said she hopes voters will again vote for her so she can pursue their causes.
“I don’t even care if they vote for me,” Miller said. “I just hope they get out and vote. … We’ve got to think of something to get these people out to vote. People, like myself, sit and complain about how things are getting done, or how they’re not getting done, and yet we don’t go to the town board meetings. We don’t go to the village meetings. … I just think we need to get our communities more involved.”
Contact Shelley Nelson at (715) 395-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org