Home > SD 2014 Ballot, South Dakota > Shantel Krebs focusing on a five point plan in the SOS race

Shantel Krebs focusing on a five point plan in the SOS race

August 11, 2014
SD Secretary of State candidate Shantel Krebs speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema

SD Secretary of State candidate Shantel Krebs speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema

Last week I took some time to chat with Shantel Krebs, the Republican candidate for Secretary of State (SOS). I’ve spoken with her a few times over the last year. But this is the first time I asked for her vision of what she would do if elected into the office. Krebs has three competitors in this office: Lori Stacey of the Constitution Party, Angelia Schultz of the Democrat Party, and Emmett Reistroffer of the Libertarian Party. The other candidates should take note of Krebs plan to make sure they compete with her whole overall vision. If the other candidates cannot compete in all areas I believe she will be very hard to beat in an election.

Before going into the five point plan it is important to note that Krebs is focused on all areas of the Secretary of State office. To that end she would propose managers in charge of the three different aspects of the SOS office. The three areas that would be divided are: business services, elections, and other duties. All three areas are important and she would ensure there is sufficient cross-training between the three managers and staff members to run the office efficiently. I agree with Krebs that all three aspects of the SOS office are important and require a focused manager.

The first part of Krebs plan is to improve customer service. This draws upon her experience as a business owner. Over the last year Krebs has already taken steps towards this end. She has been traveling the state and actually listening to those that utilize the services of the SOS office. This includes County Auditors, attorneys, bankers, and business owners. Krebs has pages upon pages of notes she has taken containing feedback from all of the SOS users she has spoken with. In order to properly serve customers it is important to understand what they want and need. Once elected to office Krebs would be able to draw upon her interactions with users over the last year and actually start to focus the SOS staff on areas that customers have pointed out as weak.

Second, Krebs would focus on education for County Auditors. When talking to County Auditors Krebs has noted that many of them feel the SOS office hasn’t truly given them support. This second bullet point really is an answer to problems found during the last year and can be treated as a customer service issue. Krebs would find ways to create more education opportunities for County Auditors so they feel properly equipped to handle the many situations that come up during elections. This could mean more workshops or online education. I would concur with Krebs on the second point of her plan. I have spoken with two County Auditors recently that feel they are basically overlooked by the SOS office because they come from low population areas of the state. If Krebs can find a way to include all auditors and get sufficient information to them it will only help to improve the voting system for everyone.

The third point of Krebs plan focuses on corporate filings. This is an area I was glad to see Krebs focus upon. As the owner of a business services office I utilize this portion of the SOS often, with less than spectacular results quite often. Shantel says the current SOS has done a good job of implementing technology. But if she was to run the office she would keep an equal focus on technology and paper filings. There are still many small ma and pop businesses out there that do not utilize the internet; and the current focus of the SOS to push everything to technology has left them behind. Along that line Krebs would find a better process for delinquent filings. The current process seems to leave a lot of people confused and the notifications that come almost look more like junk mail than official state mailings.

Keeping on the third point Krebs feels improvements in corporate filings could help South Dakota compete with other states. In essence Krebs believes improvements in this area would become an economic development tool. Corporate lawyers often help corporations make decisions upon where to locate headquarters based in part upon how easy it is work with the state and the process for corporate filings. Krebs would like to let these lawyers and corporations know that “South Dakota is open for business”. Along those lines, Krebs would also have her business services manager work with GOED on a regular basis. If I understand her vision correctly, I believe she wants to turn the business filings section of the SOS office into a selling point for South Dakota business. I think this is an interesting approach and would like to see it implemented. It is a much preferable form of economic development than simply giving taxpayer dollars to businesses so they will move to South Dakota.

Krebs fourth point in her five point plan focuses on process improvement. Shantel says the SOS office should implement continuous work improvement to streamlines processes. In the discussion Krebs mentioned implementing a LEAN production type of process improvement. By utilizing LEAN concepts Krebs could focus on getting rid of steps from the current process that are wasteful or add no value. Krebs did mention that process improvement can also be quite costly. So she would be very careful to weigh the cost of any process improvement against the need of being conservative with taxpayer dollars.

The final portion of Krebs five point plan is military voting. Krebs mentioned (and I agree) that the current SOS office has made great strides in making military voting much easier than it has been in the past. Shantel would like to expand the military voting capabilities to family members of services members. I must admit, that is a great idea and almost seems to be an oversight of the current expansion of military voting. In addition, Krebs would like to look at expanding similar services to South Dakota students going to college in other States. Such ideas show why Krebs will be hard to beat in this election. She truly has thoroughly researched the job and what can be done to improve the office.

At the end of our chat I gave Krebs my recommendation for what needs to be done in the SOS office. A problem many small business owners have in South Dakota is knowing what to file and/or pay and where to go for that. The average small business owner does not know what to do on the SOS website, the Department of Labor website, or any other various place. I would love to see a ‘One-stop-shop’ for all state related filings and payments. I realize due to inter-department politics this will be hard (if not impossible) for a new SOS to implement. If nothing else a smaller version of the idea could be implemented by maintaining a state website that house links, FAQ’s, and information about the various State filings that are required and when they are due. This one simple step would help a lot of customers.

Shantel Krebs will be tough to be in the SOS election this fall. If the other three candidates in the race have a chance they need to come up with a comprehensive alternative to Krebs five point plan; which will be tough. The other candidates will likely make a case that the SOS office should be run by someone who isn’t a member of the ruling Republican party. Normally I would agree. But Krebs actually appears to be a good fit for the office. That means the other candidates are going to have to come up with a better reason than “She is a Republican” as to why someone other than Krebs should be chosen. It should be an interesting SOS debate coming up later in the election season.

  1. August 11, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Why users still use to read news papers when in this technological world all is presented on net?

  2. Reagan Republican
    August 11, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks for keeping us informed Ken. I value your opinion and wish more bloggers would put in the kind of effort you do to bring us the information we need.

    The newspapers need to start picking up your posts for publication.

  3. October 4, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    what does dolo mean

  1. October 1, 2014 at 10:15 am
  2. October 2, 2014 at 6:35 pm
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