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Get to know your county commissioners: David Gillespie, District 2

David Gillespie came on the county commission nearly 11 years ago after serving the county in law enforcement.

Gillespie represents District 2 on the commission. District 2 is comprised of Brooklyn, Pleasant, Norway, Eden, Fairview, Highland, Lincoln, Delaware, Grant, Lynn, Canton, Dayton and LaValley townships, along with the cities of Beresford, Canton, Fairview, Hudson and Worthing.

He was born in Iowa and moved to Lincoln County when he was 10 years old in 1966. He grew up on a farm and graduated from Canton High School. He spent one year at USDS in Springfield where he took up autobody technology.

He worked in Huron for three years before coming back to the Canton area to marry his wife, Pam, who was a dental assistant for 30 years before working for the city of Canton part-time, in 1978. They lived south of Canton on the family farm up until two years ago when they moved into Canton. Today, they rent the farm to a young farmer.

Gillespie ran his own body shop until 1987 and then went into law enforcement. He spent 16 years with the county, five and half with the city of Canton and a year in Alcester.

When he first ran for the commission’s four-year term, he had experience in law enforcement and knew the roads and the people. His term is up in January, but he has not decided if he will run again or not.

Some of the biggest issues they have talked about since he has been on the commission have been drainage, roads and bridges and a jail.

“When you’re inundated with water and you’ve got property that’s under water, everything is upside down,” he said.

He notes when he started with the sheriff’s office in 1992, they had 10 or 12 people in jail. Now that number is upward of 80.

“We use more facilities than just Minnehaha County. We use Sioux County, Worthington and Rock Rapids and Union County. It’s transportation issues,” he said.

He said continued road development and making it more user-friendly to get license plates and pay taxes have been accomplishments during his time on the commission. Gillespie noted that he did not support an opt-out this spring for roads because he did not feel it was the best time to have a nearly $4 million increase.

During his time on the commission, he has held a high rate of attendance at regular commission meetings.

“I think I’ve missed five meetings in 10 and three-fourths years,” he said.

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