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Sturgis Council begins discussions on revisions to Title 7

STURGIS, S.D. – The Sturgis City  Council began discussion on revisions to city ordinance Title 7, which defines how  city government operates, at their Monday night meeting.

The City Manager/Title 7 Subcommittee has been meeting for the past year to consider changes. The subcommittee is made up of one councilor from each ward in the city of Sturgis and was formed following some citizen concerns on the amount of power granted the city manager.

The subcommittee concluded that under state law and city ordinance the city council retains broad authority to define the duties and responsibilities of the city manager. It further concluded that revising those duties and responsibilities was within the council’s prerogative.

The sub-committee directed Sturgis City Attorney Mark Marshall to draft proposed revisions to Title 7 of the city ordinances and the city’s Policy and Procedures Manual. Those revisions were discussed at the council meeting Monday.

Mayor Mark Carstensen said the city wants to better clarify the roles and responsibilities of elected officials and city staff specifically when it comes to appointments to committees and boards.

“We believe that these revisions will thoroughly explain who has the authority to direct appointments,” Carstensen said.

In Resolution 2023-20, a resolution authorizing the recruitment of an executive officer which was passed by the Sturgis City Council at its meeting Feb. 21, the city council asked the city attorney to revise municipal ordinance and policy procedures to provide that the mayor, not the city manager, appoint members of outside boards, commissions, and city council committees with the advice and consent of the members of the Sturgis City Council.

One example of this existed with the appointment of the Park Board. The Park Board was appointed by and reported to the city manager. Under the revisions, the mayor, with the advice and consent of the Sturgis City Council appoints the members of the Park Board, and the Park Board Reports to the council.

Marshall is recommending to the council that as a matter of convenience, the entire current ordinance or policy be repealed, and the proposed ordinance or policy be adopted instead.

Marshall will now be working on an ordinance that the council will hold first reading on at a later meeting.

 

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