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After 20 years on board, Sam Tidball hits the road

PIERRE — Sam Tidball, now 90, might have served his final meeting Thursday as a member of the South Dakota Transportation Commission.

The Fort Pierre mayor didn't seek re-election this spring to his city post and he's likewise stepping back from the state board after nearly 20 years on it.

His last term on the board officially ended April 18, but state law provides that members may continue serving until a successor is named.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard hasn't announced a new appointee.

Tidball is the commission's senior member. The other seven and Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist honored him with a plaque and a round of praise and jokes.

Chairman Mike Trucano, of Deadwood, asked if Tidball might be available for conference calls in the future.

"You might be here another couple years," commissioner Jerry Shoener of Rapid City kidded him.

Replied Tidball: "One time in (Bill) Janklow's administration I served four years without an appointment."

The commission's responsibilities range from setting speed limits and making special honorary designations for roads and bridges, to approving an eight-year plan for highway projects every year and reviewing contractors' bids for every one of those projects.

Then-Gov. Walter Dale Miller first appointed Tidball to the board in August 1994.