Kozak seeking re-election

Kozak seeking re-election Roger Kozak by David Lias It's been no mystery.

Roger Kozak indicated over a month ago he would be seeking a second term as Vermillion's mayor.

This week, he made it official.

"I look forward to having the opportunity to continue to serve as mayor and look forward to the opportunity to work with the many fine citizens and leaders of our community," he said. "Although much has been accomplished during the past decade, there continues to be a great need to focus our attention on the future."

Vermillion needs a mayor who will remain vigilant in searching for opportunities for new growth, to seek innovative ways to maximize limited resources, and continue to work with all facets of the community to further improve the city, Kozak said.

He is no stranger to city government. Kozak has served the community as an elected official for over 10 years.

Kozak served seven years as a member of the city council representing the Southeast Ward before becoming mayor in 2001. On several occasions prior to representing the Southeast Ward as a council member, Kozak served on committees and special task force study groups to assist the city with its planning needs.

During the past several years, as an elected official, Kozak has served as vice president and president of the council and has served on the Policies and Procedures Committee, Utilities Committee, and the Surplus Property Appraisal Committee.

Kozak also represents the city of Vermillion as a member of the executive board of the South Eastern Council of Governments, a six-county planning and development district serving Clay, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, Turner, and Union Counties.

Kozak has taken an active role in both community economic development projects and promoting Vermillion through planning efforts and community development efforts.

Vermillion's future, he said, will hinge on effectively addressing several key issues that could have a dramatic effect on citizens' quality of life.

"To position Vermillion to be a healthy, progressive, vibrant city in the future, it will be necessary to investigate the Home Rule form of government, necessary to review the advantages and disadvantages of providing cable TV and Internet services, necessary to

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expand our economic base to attract more businesses and families," Kozak said, "and necessary to encourage growth in the community to increase public school average daily membership (ADM) numbers to help eliminate the fiscal strain on our public school budgets.

"It will also be important to continue programs which develop community pride to maintain and improve our quality of life," he said, "and it is certainly necessary and imperative that we continue to make investments in our infrastructure to maintain our basic emergency response teams, maintain our streets, water and electric distribution systems, and maintain the quality of life we all enjoy today."

Kozak has participated in projects that include the planning, development, and construction of the Vermillion/Newcastle bridge; recruitment of Polaris Industries distribution center and Phase 2 call center; planning, development, and construction of The Bluffs residential housing and golf course project and the William Radigan Fire Station; recruitment of McDonald's and Holiday Inn Express businesses, planning and implementation of Interstate 29 lighting and industrial park land acquisition along Highway 50; and initiating planning activities for downtown Vermillion streetscape projects and for updating and expanding the City of Vermillion Comprehensive Plan for 2000-2020.

Kozak currently serves on several boards including the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Company, the National Music Museum, a charter member of the Vermillion Area Community Foundation Board, and a charter member of the Junior Achievement Board.

Other community development activities include membership in Rotary, Friends of the Library, Friends of the W. H. Over Museum, Dakota Hospital Association and Foundation Builders Club, American Legion Post #1, Public School Drug Advisory Council, local chapter of MADD and other community and charitable organizations.

He has been involved with public higher education in South Dakota for over 35 years. Kozak is currently professor and vice president emeritus after retiring as vice president from The University of South Dakota June 30, 2002.

During his tenure at the university, Kozak served in several administrative positions and managed several different administrative units. Kozak provided leadership for several building projects, led planning efforts for many academic and administrative initiatives, and served on numerous committees for accreditation review teams and planning groups.

"I want to thank everyone for their past support and certainly look forward to having the opportunity to continue to serve you in the future," he said. "I believe the documented successes of past projects are true testimony to the wonderful things that can be accomplished when we all work together."

As mayor, Kozak said, he pledges to continue to bring his leadership, talents, and dedication to bear on the challenges that face the city.

"I know that with continued cooperation, we will improve this wonderful city of ours so that it will truly become 'the place to be.' I thank citizens for their past support and I ask for continued support on June 1 so that we can move Vermillion forward," he said.

By working together, citizens and local government can continue to grow the community to permit everyone to enjoy a peaceful, pleasant, and prosperous future, Kozak said.

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