Changes in the Wind for Belle City Council

Belle Fourche News Elections

The Belle Fourche City Council will soon have a new team in place. Winners of the race for Wards 1 and 2 will be decided on April 9th. A vacancy in Ward 4 has been filled by Trisha Fowler and the uncontested race for Ward 3 belongs to Don Elliott.

Contenders for the Ward 1 seat are Rhonda Schild and Karen Davis. Both are highly qualified and equally passionate about having a role in making Belle Fourche a better place to live.

Rhonda is the owner of the Outlaw Bar. She has a degree in accounting and a double major in psychology and sociology. She has served on numerous boards with the fire dept, Emergency Management and EMS. She retired as captain of the Belle Fourche Volunteer Fire Department. She has lived in Belle Fourche for 22 years. Her husband Marty works for Bunney’s Body and Collision plays with the Dakota Country band. They have one daughter Hali and a grandson Corey. Rhonda likes to stay busy. She enjoys riding motorcycles and being outside.

Karen Davis has lived her entire life in Belle Fourche. Belle Fourche is home and she wants to make Belle Fourche a better place to live. She cares deeply about the people in Ward 1 and doesn’t want them to feel forgotten. Karen believes that many of the people in Ward 1need a representative who can speak up for them. Karen describes herself as a caregiver with a lot of empathy. She has three grown sons and has the time to devote to the residents of Ward 1.

Ward 2 candidates are Pam Somervold and Thomas Donovan. Pam is a retired account executive with KOTA TV in Rapid City. Prior to that she was a legal secretary for law firms in Belle Fourche and Rapid City. A graduate of the BFHS class of 1974, Pam went on to earn an associate of science degree from Black Hills State University. Pam describes herself as a “‘get-r-done’ girl” She is eager to volunteer and give time to other people, organizations, and those in need. Born and raised in Belle. She has two adult children, twelve grandchildren and a new great grandson. Last year she adopted a young black lab named Buddy. Pam would like to see unity in Belle Fourche city government.

Thomas Donovan is an administrative official at Black Hills State University. He was born and raised near Carlisle, Iowa, a town of 4,200 people He moved to the Black Hills in 2018 to attend BHSU. He moved to Belle Fourche shortly after graduation. While at Black Hills State University he was a member of the men’s basketball team. In addition to being a fulltime student-athlete, Thomas made time to have a job at a local law firm working 25 hours per week. He maintained a 4.0 GPA. He was also active in a local church. Thomas explained the significance of his religious views as an elected official. “If elected to public office, I would follow the Bible’s teaching that while all sins are evil, some sins “cry out to heaven” for vengeance, such as oppression of the poor (Ex. 2:23) and defrauding workers of their just wages (Jas 5:4). As an elected official, I would keep these passages in the front – not the back – of my mind when voting on how to spend your hard-earned money.”

In Ward 4 Tricia Fowler has already begun to settle into her seat as representative filling Rebecca Larson’s place. Tricia is a graduate of Bowman High School. She is a second generation cosmetologist. Her husband grew up in Harding County and ten years ago the family decided to move back to Belle Fourche to be closer to their roots. Tricia believes in honesty and that being kind and truthful goes a long way. “I don’t have all the answers, but together as a community, we will find them together.” Tricia loves the outdoors.

Don Elliott is uncontested for the Ward 3 city council seat. Don has a vision for sustaining and improving the quality of life in Belle Fourche. He brings some noteworthy achievements to the table and has demonstrated the ability to get things done. Don who was born and raised in Miles City, Montana feels quite at home in a small town. He likes the people here and likes to explain how his background will help him serve the taxpayers of Belle Fourche. He is firmly committed to the idea that lawmakers need to be fiscally responsible and that they need to answer to the taxpayers. Don and his wife Debra, who have been married for 28 years, wanted a place to call home. Don identified some potential tough issues facing Belle Fourche. Among these are running out of room for the current dump, the need for a wastewater treatment plant and upgrading current infrastructure.