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KATIE ZERR: Words can come back to haunt

The first issue to address in this space is an appeal to Walworth County residents. I urge you view at least the last 10 minutes of the Tuesday, Feb. 4, county commission meeting. The voters in our county need to see what is happening on the county level.
We need to consider that if we kick the two main haulers out of the landfill, will we ever recover the money they owe the landfill? Once they find another landfill to use, will they come back when this issue is resolved to the satisfaction of some?
Will we have to spend taxpayer money to take them to court?
There is a link to video on the Tribune website at
I could fill this space with opinions about what happened on Tuesday and what has happened in prior meetings, but I feel it is important for people to form their own opinions about the what is happening.
I ask that residents not to rely on what is said on Facebook or other social media. View the videos and form an opinion.
My question to the commission: is it more important to make someone look bad than to consider revisiting a motion that cuts off the nose to spite the face?

When is the time and effort taken for pushing personal agendas through legislation or public grandstanding to make point become a liability to the taxpayers of South Dakota?
After spending some time in Pierre this week talking with leaders of the Republican and Democrat parties and having a press conference with Governor Kristi Noem, it is even more clear that politicians think they can say one thing and do another with absolutely no recourse from their constituents.
First let me say I find there are good, honest people in Pierre working to make this state a great place to live. They are there to help all South Dakotans live in a good and safe place where all are welcomed and valued.
There are also people there who think they are above it all, who talk down to those who question them and can’t grasp on to the fact that words, no matter in what form, matter.
Words that inflame the fear of the unknown, that spread misinformation and nurture hate for those who are considered by some as abnormal, matter.
Words in the form of legislation that show our state as intolerant towards certain members of our society or portray our residents as uneducated, rural bumkins, matter.
Words spoken on the floor of the House or Senate that show businesses, organizations and agencies that we are purveyors of hate mongering toward those who are not white, conservative and heterosexual, matter.
Words that portray a people that are the watch dogs of politicians as not trustworthy or truthful, will come back to haunt the one who used them.
Governor Noem learned that when she was called out about disparaging remarks she made about the press were questioned during a press conference. She said in a campaign letter that “We can’t trust the media to tell the truth.”
The governor, when questioned about the statement, told the newspaper group that “Everyone in this room knows, in their heart of hearts, that this doesn’t apply to all of them.”
But her words did matter to those who were in the room. Following the national mantra that those who do not follow the path laid by certain conservative news outlets should be distrusted, the governor’s words portrayed all media in a negative light.
How is it that South Dakota’s media should disregard her words because she choses to tell us that it isn’t about us.
The minute those words were made public, it became about us. She didn’t specify in the campaign letter. She made the statement and made it about us.
The governor’s words mattered.
Mistakes are going to be made. We all make them. We should own up to them and correct behaviors that lead to our mistakes. If we never learn from the mistakes of the past are we really moving forward?
It is time to realize words matter.