Archer Resigns As Yankton County Director Of Equalization

After a decade and a half serving the county, Yankton County Director of Equalization Matt Archer announced his resignation Tuesday.

At the beginning of Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Yankton County Commission, an executive session on a personnel issue that had previously been slated for the end of the meeting was moved to just after the first public comment session. After nearly 25 minutes of deliberation, the board returned from the session, during which Archer addressed the commission.

“After 16 years, it is time for me to change careers,” he said. “I’ve always strived to innovate and assist others in the county, increase efficiencies and create a family-like environment for my staff.”

He said the decision came for a number of reasons but did not elaborate further.

“After the events of the last few weeks, I have reevaluated continuing my employment with Yankton County,” he said. “I feel like it’s in the best interest of my family, my health and also my business to step away. I only regret that I can’t give my work family more time. I feel they are well more than qualified.”

Archer closed by advocating that the county invest in a greater human resource presence for the county.

“I have stressed the importance of HR for this county,” he said. “If anything comes out of me resigning, I hope that the county finds the money and implements HR. HR is not for the department heads — HR is for the employees. With that, there’s going to be a lot of you guys that I’m going to miss.”

Overcome with emotion, Commission Chairperson Cheri Loest said the loss of Archer was a loss for the county.

“I have worked with Matt and his team for the last 2 1/2 years,” she said. “It’s a good team — a solid team — and I’m very sad to see him go. Not just for me, but for the county. He’s done some great things.”

The board accepted the resignation and appointed Jeff Puthoff as the temporary equalization director. The county will advertise for the position in the coming weeks.

Tuesday’s agenda listed an equalization report to be delivered by Archer, but this item was tabled due to the resignation.

Later in the meeting, the commission unanimously adopted a temporary ordinance regarding medical cannabis.

Though the floor was opened for public and commission discussion, no comments were made regarding the ordinance.

Last week, Loest told the Press & Dakotan that the temporary ordinance is meant to pump the brakes until the state’s rules become clearer.

“Essentially, what we’re doing is delaying medical marijuana use until the state has the rules in order,” she said. “It gives us a little bit of time to focus on the best direction for medical marijuana outside municipality limits.”

The South Dakota Department of Health has set Oct. 29 as a deadline to disseminate finalized eligibility and licensing rules at the state level.

While the City of Yankton has discussed an ordinance for a dispensary permitting structure since the beginning of the year, the county has yet to have formal discussions on such provisions, largely due to the focus on proposed changes to Article 5 of the county’s zoning ordinance.

Loest said she’s hopeful that discussions on dispensary permitting can begin soon.

“We absolutely need to get that going sooner rather than later,” she said last week. “It’s best that the county anticipate we have to have a structure in place by the end of October so we are ready to handle whatever comes our way.”

In other business Tuesday, the commission:

• Announced that the county had received $2.2 million from the American Rescue Plan. The second installment will come next year;

• Held a short discussion on Article 5 amendment definitions;

• Reappointed Thomas Bixler, Frank Kralicek Jr. and Casey Kruse to the county Drainage Commission;  

• Approved a right-of-way application and a plat.

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