In a recent letter (Press & Dakotan, Nov. 29), Ms. Cindy Johnson distorted a few “facts” and avoided the inconvenient truth.

ALL commissioners have been invited to Quality of Life presentations. Only two have attended one of our seven events. One or more commissioners have attended every Farmers Feeding Families meetings. Bias? Frankly, I don’t care, but let the truth be known. Her story just fits her version of fairness.

The so-called “emergency” meeting is another distortion. The CAFO operators have proclaimed the Yankton County ordinance invalid since the 2006 amendments. No proof provided, just a claim. The scheme is being used in current lawsuits to validate building factory hog barns in accordance with the 2003 ordinance. It’s an arrogant and one-sided abuse of the system.

South Dakota Codified Law allows for the halting of this “take the law into your own hands” maneuver and declares the current ordinance valid while the truth can be determined and remedies sought. There is even a provision to file a complaint against using SDCL 11-2-10.

The state’s attorney’s use of “emergency language” was intentional and misleading. Yankton cannot afford to “wait and see what happens,” Mr. Rob Klimisch. We are being bullied. Are you?

Bias by the current commission? You’re joking, right? The previous commission was nothing but biased.

I would love to pause this bickering and work out solutions, but there are too many lawsuits from both sides to hope for a quick resolution. The least we can do is put a halt to building until the stench has cleared the air.

(8) comments


This is coming from someone entrenched in the Quality of Life group and made significant donations to the new commissioners. Mr. Tau also openly broke zoning laws and then was given one of the biggest free passes seen in South Dakota from those same commissioners. Now he is calling for harsh application of the the zoning law on others. Corruption and hypocrisy in action.


Thanks TP. We are fighting for the law to be enforced. I personally acknowledge my mistake and misunderstanding from 4 years ago. And we paid the fee and fine after being dragged through the County process by you and others for over a year. We were 1 of 300 "violators" to be treated this way. Now, a lawsuit filed against the County and us for the same issue. You and your buddies contributed to campaigns as well. It's refreshing that the current Commissioners at least declare the donation in public before voting. Never done in the previous administrations when hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of permits were involved. Corruption indeed.


Yet your the only one of 300 that refused to cooperate and needed a regime change to get your way. Your claim of ignorance is laughable. How can some one who has lived with zoning all their lives suddenly claim ignorance? How were you completely ignorant of your zoning but an 'expert' on CAFO zoning at the same time? How close did you build to a lot line? Ridiculous. The most blatant example of corruption in Yankton county in the past 10 years. How much soft money did that Quality of Life group donate to to campaigns? How much came from out of state organizations?


I want to point out families feeding families is an agriculture group. There has never been an event focused on CAFOs. The commissioners that attended the fff events have been more then willing to communicate with everyone. Listen to their concerns and have open discussions. There are two specific commissioners that do not. I know that one of those attended the anti-cafo movie and avoids communicating with the Ag community. Comparing a fff event with the quality of life anti cafo movies is comparing apples to unicorns.


There you go again TomPayne. You throw accusations out like candy during Mardigras. You hide behind a Patriotic Pseudonym and yet kick on the ground like a spoiled kid when you don't get your way. I do not know what you mean when you accuse me of living with zoning all my life. The first zoning ordinance I ever read was this Yankton's in 2017. I find it quite simple to understand if you don't twist it to make it fit your scenario. My 'crime' against your humanity was two years before that when I asked a local zoning officer if I needed a building permit. "Why, no sir, you're out of town, just build it." It seems as though plenty of folks don't know about how zoning works in this County. As a previous Zoning Committee member, you should have done more 15 years ago to make sure people and new comers might have a way of finding those things out. Maybe you can ask the one current Commissioner how he failed to get a building permit. The very premise of your mud-slinging accusations is false and not worth convincing your blinded view of reality. You have misrepresented the facts once again TP for your own self-serving needs.


Apparently truth touches nerves. The fact is, I don't believe you. I can't believe you'd be so ignorant that you'd ask a someone from a town 5 miles away. Your crime continued as you refused to cooperate with the zoning administrator. I was there in those meetings where it was obvious that you refused to even answer. I also know that the Schenk's stuck it to you tough. It isn't my fault that you picked a fight with the Schenks et al. with your own mud-slinging. But you made your garage you have to live with it. The handling of your case is a classic case of small town corruption and you were happy to benefit. It was an insult to all hard working citizens who follow the law. Hypocrite.


FFF = Families Fighting Families.


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