PIERRE — Gov. Dennis Daugaard recently doubled the size of his administration’s council of economic advisers in an effort to get more geographic diversity and broader experience.
The governor’s recent selection of Watertown businessman Doug Sharp brought the new council to its full roster of 10 appointees. The previous council had five members.
The panel’s purpose is to review and critique the methodology and forecasts developed by the state Bureau of Finance and Management regarding the South Dakota and national economies as part of planning government budgets.
State Finance Commissioner Jason Dilges also serves on the council, as its chairman, by dint of his position in the Daugaard cabinet.
“We selected the members based on their areas of expertise, the different geographic locations, and those the governor felt had a good sense of South Dakota’s economy in the different sectors,” Dilges said.
Two of the council members, Steve Zellmer of Rapid City and Curt Everson of Pierre, previously served as finance commissioners in other governor’s administrations.
Zellmer has been a manager of the GCC Dakotah cement plant in Rapid City, which was formerly owned by the state. Everson is executive director for the South Dakota Bankers Association.
Another of the council members is economist Randy Stuefen of Vermillion, who also worked in the budget office and developed the theory of South Dakota’s dual — rural and urban — economies.
Others include Doug Noteboom of Corsica, Joel Rosenthal of Sioux Falls, Everhardus Van Der Sluis of Brookings, Jim Schade of Volga, John Hemmingstad of Elk Point and Dan Newell of Sioux Falls.
Spokesman Tony Venhuizen said the governor and Dilges believed there was value in having a larger group so that a broader range of opinions could be considered.
The governor issued the executive order creating the new council on Aug. 9. One reason cited in the order was the need for developing accurate tax-revenue estimates as South Dakota’s economy continually changes.
The order said both the executive and legislative branches of state government have a need for economic experts to review those changing conditions.