Home Rule Committee makes first presentation to the Rapid City Common Council
RAPID CITY, S.D. — An evening about a year in the making.
A committee looked at whether Rapid City’s form of government should switch to home rule, and made it’s first presentation tonight to the Common Council – including recommendations.
Following a year of research, the Home Rule Committee drafted a charter and determined home rule would be a “great move” for the city. But it came as a shock that so many members of the public opposed the idea – considering home rule is said to be a conservative’s dream.
With about 100 people in attendance Thursday night, the belief was that home rule was a major power grab – although it would strip most of the power from the Mayor – effectively making him just another council member.
“Out here, we always talk about local control and how important it is for us. And all this does is strengthen our ability to use local control. So, it seems to me that it would make more sense that people would be interested in this,” Linda Lea Viken, family law attorney.
Much of the push back came from council members and residents who claim they were not informed of the charter being drafted, or unsure of the need to switch to home rule.
“We don’t have to have something right now to deal with, because that’s what we’re trying to avoid. We’re trying to avoid having something come up, and then we have to go through the whole legislative process and wait for a year to get it into place,” Viken said.
No action tonight – the meeting was just a first opportunity to present the findings to the Council.
But there was talk of future public hearings for those interested in learning more.