2 takes on Jodi Schwann: JRo and Rant-a-bit

I was asked below under a post's comment where my take on this was. Frankly, I'm kind of disinterested.

I travel between Pierre and Brookings weekly. Why does the SF chief of staff matter? It's not going to affect my travel plans to Sioux Falls, nor my usual avoidance of KELO news. And it's not as if Jodi is known as a force in politics.

Now, don't get me wrong. It's not because of any animosity, because I think Mayor Munson is one of the nicest politicians, and people, I've ever met. He's always remembered my name (a plus in my book) and without exception is as gracious as can be whether I've been just a low level political scut, or interacting with him as part of my job.

For this post, I'll just hit two opposing views and let the readers fill in the blanks.

First, Joel Rosenthal over at SD Straight Talk loves the reporters as administrators:

Ms. Schwan brings to the Chief of Staff’s job skills that may be overlooked in the hubbub of where is her administrative experience?

Successful reporters (which Jodi is) must be good listeners and dispassionate in their analysis of issues. They are required to pay attention to details and they are on time and on task because they are deadline oriented.

A very important aspect of a reporter covering government issues is to have a strong sense of what the public is feeling and saying. This is invaluable in a political or government situation – where so many people have agendas. The Chief of Staff’s job is not for those with a tin ear to public opinion.

And Scott Hudson over at Rant-a-bit... well, let's just say he's less enamored:
The story begins shortly after I got off work Monday night. I headed home and just seconds after hitting the bachelor chair for my nightly nap the phone rang. And then it rang again. Then my cell phone rang.

I logged onto the computer and found a handful of emails from friends, relatives, and even a former city council member. They all wanted to know the same thing – have I heard the news?

Obviously, the news wasn’t that, to quote a classic 50’s rock and roll song, “there’s good rockin’ tonight” (although there was probably some boots knockin’ in one local household). This was a different kind of news – an announcement so obscenely silly that nobody, and I mean nobody, would have dared predict.

If you haven’t figured out what I’m talking about, I have four key phrases: Dave Munson, Jody Schwann, Chief of Staff, $98,000.

Only time is going to tell who's view is going to hold out. In the interim, thoughts?


Anonymous said…
Munson's pick is a joke. Perhaps she's very intelligent, but what experience does she have to be appointed chief of staff? Interviewed Janklow, Daschle, Thune, and Rounds? bfd. She's certainly not a true chief... guess she'll be able to handle the press, but you can get a good press person for half that price.
Anonymous said…
Salary range for the position is $72,000 - $98,000. At age 26 with no experience she tops out the salary range with $98,000????

The chief of staff to Omaha mayor makes $80,000. According to KELO - Schwan's former station, the chief of staff in Fargo (comparable sized to Sioux Falls) makes $73,000.

This is your tax dollars at work. Munson says SF has to raise fees. It's easy to see why with him in charge.
Anonymous said…
One could say a lot of things about KELO reporters, but I really don't think detail-oriented is one of them. Rosenthal is just supporting his guy.

Munson deserves to get skewered for this one. Not only did he pick someone w/o any experience, but he paid her $26K more than the starting salary. He needs to start learning from his mistakes.
Anonymous said…
What have KDLT and KSFY been saying about this? Living out west, I don't get to see their newscasts.
Anonymous said…
Mayor Munson... Ok, you've chosen your own Harriet Miers, now the people want to see the real Chief of Staff. Someone perhaps older than 26 and worth $98k. Unreal Mr. Mayor!! If you must have her, keep her around to handle your communications and press work... and pay her less... even double her KELO salary would be a lot less than $98k.
mhs said…
Will all of you Anons that went to Northwestern raise your hands?

Yeah, didn't think so.

In the past few years the City Hall folks with tons of "experience" have given us an audit mess, a flood disaster, a street construction nightmare, etc. etc.

Give the girl a chance, City Hall needs new blood.
Anonymous said…
pp --

How soon we forget. Rosenthal also hired a TV reporter with no experience in her new field to be his chief aide! Do you think that experiment was a success?

No wonder he thinks Munson made a good choice.
Anonymous said…
KSFY and KDLT will not step out of line and report this. Big Brother KELO would slap them up.
Anonymous said…
Why didn't anyone tell me that a degree from Northwestern is all I needed? It's still just a piece of paper...

The city had a chance to elect new blood, and chose not to. What makes you think that a reporter w/ no experience will add anything other than another "that's a great idea, mr. mayor" to the equation?
Anonymous said…
First, Jodi Schwan knows a great deal about Sioux Falls government and city politics (and state government and politics). Second, she comes into the job with a clean slate. She hasn't been allied with any of the various factions among the elected officials or the appointed officials. Third, she has the talent to do the job. No matter whom Dave Munson brought in from the outside, the person would need to learn ins and outs of city government. Jodi already has a pretty good handle on the players. This is a new role within the mayor's government. Fourth, Sioux Falls is an increasingly young and vibrant city. The news corps tends to be yound. Jodi gives Dave Munson a pipeline into the views of the city's younger half and she can relate to the many young reporters, especially in the broadcast industry. Fifth, it's obvious that the leadership at the Argus Leader doesn't care much for Mayor Munson's brand of leadership. So Munson's hiring of a top reporter from the top TV station is a smart political move. He knows he probably can't change the mind of Randall Beck at the Argus Leader. But if he can get his story out through radio all day and through TV all day and evening, the Argus story the next morning is less important. Is she worth that much money? Well, now she has to be. That's pretty smart psychology on Munson's part too. To use the game football, consider this: The Packers once bet on a wild kid named Bret Favre. He's still there and headed to the Hall of Fame sooner than later. The Vikings, Bears and Lions are still searching for their long-term answers at quarterback. Before you under-estimate her, just remember, Stephanie Herseth is our represenative in the U.S. House. No one under-estimates her any more.
Anonymous said…
Hey long anon 9:11. Jody couldn't have written it better anonymously herself.

Comparing her to Herseth? really? Stephanie got elected. At this point, Schwann couldn't get elected dogcatcher (if that were an elected position). Herseth has popular support. Schwann doesn't - at least at $98,000.

Anon asks, "Is she worth that kind of money? Now she has to be." Great logic.

Here's my logic: "Is she worth $72,000 (bottom of the pay scale)? Now she has to be."

It's easy to throw around money when it's not your own. Ask any taxpayers what they think about this and the response in Sioux Falls is virtually unanimous. "What the @#$% was Munson thinking?"

For those who think government should be run like a business, close your eyes and pray that Munson finishes his term without doing any more violence to your bottom line.
Hey Anonymous 9:11 AM.....

First off her name is spelled Jodi SCHWANN. You could at least spell it right. You could also spell "young" and "representative" right as well.

You obviously work in TV.

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