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Candidates for Sturgis Council participate in forum Wednesday night.
photo by Gary Matthews

Candidates for Sturgis Council participate in forum

STURGIS, S.D. – The seven candidates running for Sturgis City Council participated in a candidate’s forum at the Sturgis Community Center Wednesday night.

Just over 100 people attended the forum to hear from the candidate’s running for Sturgis’ four wards.

The candidates are Jim Thompson and Richelle Bruch running for Ward 3, Ruth Kopp and Richard Zerbst running for Ward 2, Jame Helms and Nick Jones running for Ward 1 and Jesse Blakeman running umopposed for Ward 4.

The candidate’s answered prepared questions from the forum moderator as well as questions from the audience.

They included transparency in city government, the Rally, the proposed street race controversy, whether or not there should be a city manager form of government and how to improve the future of Sturgis.

Candidates were in agreement on transparency in city government, but varied on other topics. Most candidates who spoke on the controversial street race that is headed to a vote next month were opposed to the amount of money the city is spending on the event.

They also differed on the form of city government Sturgis should have. Candidate Richard Zerbst spoke in favor of a city manager form of government. Others seemed to be in favor of a mayoral form with a city administrator.

Several candidates also spoke in favor of more recreational opportunities, especially for the city’s youth.

Ward 3 candidate Richelle Bruch says she would like to see an updated sports complex that would lure in more tournaments during the year. Ward 2 candidate Ruth Kopp agreed and would like to see more youth sports.

All candidates agreed that working together is the only way to heal the current divide in Sturgis. That meant working with returning council members who are not up for re-election.

The Sturgis Municipal Election is April 9th.

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