It’s the first of the year, which means it is time for the Custer County Chronicle to unveil its choice for Citizen of the Year for 2018. Unless you somehow skipped straight to this page without looking at the front page, you already know that this year’s Citizen of the Year is a Jared Carson, a local “jack of all trades” so to speak, in that he is immersed in a variety of things in Custer.
Each year a list of potential candidates is compiled by Chronicle staff throughout the year, and there is certainly no lack of good candidates. Custer is full of many good people who give of themselves for the betterment of both the town and their fellow citizens. We dare say there aren’t many more altruistic towns in the Black Hills—or anywhere, for that matter.
Carson is one of those people who makes Custer a great place to live. In addition to helping run one of the many small businesses that make Custer a thriving town, he gives of himself in a variety of areas.
You can probably name on one hand the number of people in their 30s who want the oftentimes thankless job of mayor of a small town. But that’s just what Carson did, serving in that capacity for two years. His public service doesn’t end there, however, as he now serves on the Custer School District Board of Education and was elected president of the board by his fellow board members. When he’s not doing that, he can be found rescuing wayward hikers or notifying people of impending fire danger as a member of Custer County Search & Rescue. Just for good measure, he is a member of the Custer Masonic Lodge, as well.
Most recently, Carson again took on a leadership role on one of the most exciting projects to come to Custer in many years, the SLIC-e Holdings, LLC, project that looks to turn the former STAR Academy into a series of small industrial businesses with the stated goal of bringing innovation and much-needed jobs to the Custer area. Time and time again, when Custer needs a leader, Carson steps to the forefront. Small towns cannot survive without people willing to take on responsibility, and Carson never says no to the opportunity to help Custer in any capacity he can.
Add it all up, and Carson was an easy choice to be the 2018 Custer County Chronicle Citizen of the Year. It’s obvious he has a love affair with Custer, and will do whatever is asked to help the town. If that’s not a Citizen of the Year, then we don’t know what is.
The Chronicle, Lynn’s Dakotamart and Custer Senior Center will host a reception to honor Carson next Thursday, Jan. 10, from 5-7 p.m. at the senior center. The public is invited to attend, and refreshments will be served, courtesy of the Chronicle and Lynn’s Dakotamart.