The new SDRS trustees

The latest issue of Outlook, the newsletter for the South Dakota Retirement System, arrived and on page 2 is an article about the newest trustees and the new leadership.

Let’s start with the leadership shift. Elmer Brinkman of Watertown, a Codington County Commission member, was chairman for the retirement board. Brinkman lost his run for re-election to the county post in November. That meant he needed to leave the retirement board, where he represented elected county officials.

Selected as the new chairman at the trustees’ April meeting was South Dakota Supreme Court Justice Steve Zinter of Fort Pierre. Zinter had been vice chairman. He’s been a trustee since 1995.

The new vice chairman is James Johns, who represents public safety employees on the board. He is a Rapid City police captain. He’s been a trustee since 2006.

Laurie Gill, who serves in the cabinet of Gov. Dennis Daugaard as commissioner for the Bureau of Human Resources, didn’t seek re-election this spring as mayor of Pierre. She had been a trustee representing elected municipal officials. No one ran for election to replace her on the retirement board.

The governor appointed Gill to one of the governor’s two seats on the board, which has 16 voting members. She replaced Jason Dilges, the former commissioner for the state Bureau of Finance and Management.

The trustees chose Roy Lindsay, the mayor of Madison, to fill the elected municipal official seat created by Gill’s decision to not seek re-election as mayor.

The trustees also selected Myron Johnson, a Codington County commissioner, to serve the remainder of Brinkman’s term.

Newly elected as a trustee representing school teachers is James Appl from the Aberdeen school district. He began as a board member July 1. He succeeded Steven Caron, who also was an Aberdeen teacher but didn’t seek re-election as a trustee.

Re-elected were James Hansen of Pierre, who represents retirees and has been on the board since 1993; KJ Peterson of Rapid City, who represents county employees and has been on the board since 1997; and Laurie Gustafson of Pierre, who represents state government employees and has been on the board since 2005.

The retirement system covers employees of state government, state universities, municipal and county government, participating school districts and various special units of local governments. The Legislature at the board’s request has split the system into two benefit plans covering employees hired before July 1, 2017, and employees hired on or after that date.