Mainly Schwan is concerned about the debt that Sioux Falls holds.  “Right now the city is carrying a $383 million debt.  I think we have an opportunity with our strong revenues to get that down so the savings can go toward our roads and our transit system.”  Coming from a business background with accounting and law degrees, Schwan knows numbers.   “I over saw five departments (for Iowa Governor Terry Branstad):  Department of Revenue and Finance, Human Services, Health, Civil Rights and Human Rights.”  In gathering support for her campaign, Schwan discovered the people felt ignored by the City Council.  “I knew when I was continually hearing about disconnection, that my background and skills prepared me to be a voice for Sioux Falls.  I can bridge that gap between the government and the people.”

As a testament to her philosophy regarding debt, Schwan is conducting her campaign in a unique way.  “I am not accepting political contributions because I do not want to be tied to special interest groups.   I’m not saying that any local politicians are feeling the pressure from that, but we’ve seen for years going on in politics.  What I’ve been doing is a grass roots campaign.  I’ve been knocking on doors since last summer and meeting people.”

Another component of the driving force behind Schwan’s candidacy is the rezoning of the property at 85th & Minnesota and the Shape Places Zoning Ordinance.  “Those issues are citizen issues that (affects) everyone in the city of Sioux Falls.  I agree with 90 percent of Shape Places.  It is a good new look at zoning in Sioux Falls, but there’s some tweaking that needs to be done.  What needs to be fixed is the notice (given to property owners).  We do not want to get in this habit of passing laws that we know need to be fixed.  To fix Shape Places, it will take a couple of months.”  Regarding 85th & Minnesota, the 2035 plan adopted in 2009 paved the way for the commercial development in that area.  Schwan’s house was built near that area in 2008.  “They never gave me notice.  That those (2035 plan) meetings were going on.  That’s an example of zoning in Sioux Falls and some of the breakdowns with notice and hearings.  I was watching the news when I first learned of the Walmart at 85th & Minnesota.”

A bit more about Schwan discovers that she has lived in Sioux Falls for 20 years.  For more about the Southeast District candidate, choose from the links below.  Schwan faces Rick Kiley for the Sioux Falls City Council seat.

Segment 1: Bonita Schwan’s background and education.

Segment 2: Beholden to no one, but wants to hear from all.

Segment 3:  Schwan uninterrupted to ask for your vote.