In the November midterm elections, Kevin Pagel won the race for the Adams County Commissioner with 62.4% of the vote. This week was Pagel’s first meeting on the county commissioner board.
Pagel ran for the position to increase his involvement in public service for the community. During his first commissioner meeting, Pagel remained attentive throughout the many topics covered in the meeting.
“I think the first meeting went really well. There is a lot more stuff to learn than people think. There is a lot of catching up to, topics that have been going on for three or four months, so you have to get filled in. I think the other county commissioners will be really helpful in filling me in on what’s going on,” said Pagel.
The new commissioner attributed his success in the election to his Hettinger origins and his ability to connect with local people.
“I’ve been here in Hettinger all my life and I know a lot of people in the community. I think that’s a lot of it,” Pagel said. “I’ve always been upfront with the community. Really, it’s about seeing people on the streets and visiting with them. It’s just good PR.”
Pagel’s background and experience started with a combination of farming and ranching for seventeen years and then running a dairy distributing company for another eighteen years.
“I ran my own business and have been self employed for most of my life. I’m familiar with budgets,” said Pagel.
“When I lived in South Dakota, I was a part of the school board in Perkins County and I was also in the township. I am pretty familiar with being conservative and still getting things done for the community and making the money that’s being spent on projects count.”
One of Pagel’s goals as commissioner is to listen to the people in Adam’s County and consider their feedback.
Pagel said, “I think the most helpful is just listening to the people. A lot of times the government just ignores the people, but I’m a good listener. I’m sure not going to get upset if people want to get ahold of me and complain.”
Pagel continued, “There’s always two, well actually three, sides to a complaint, their side, my side, and the right side.”
Specifically, Pagel looks to improve economic development in Adam’s County as a way to make progress.
“Without people, you don’t have taxes, and without taxes you can’t get anything done. It’s about seeing that the taxes get spent right.”
Moving forward, Pagel looks to be adaptable in the commissioner meetings, absorbing what he can to get on track with the litany of issues. County commissioner meetings are open to the public, so anyone can sit and listen to the meetings and see what actions are being taken in Hettinger.