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Sturgis City council to discuss setting election on city manager question.

Sturgis Council to discuss setting city manager vote

STURGIS – The Sturgis City Council will discuss setting an election on the city manager issue during its meeting Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The South Dakota Supreme Court Thursday reversed a circuit court decision and ordered Sturgis to schedule an election to determine if the city should continue to employ a city manager as part of its government structure.

City staff contacted the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office last week following the Supreme Court decision, and determined there is no scheduling or timeline issues that would prohibit the city from placing it on the ballot for the already scheduled April 9 election.

The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s decision denying the writ of mandamus, and after a 20-day period, the Court will remand the case back to the circuit court to enter a writ of mandamus directing the city council to schedule and hold an election.

The city has the option of calling for the election prior to the court ordering it.

“The city can place the matter on the ballot without further court action, if that is the will of the council,” Sturgis Director of Communications Deb Holland said.

Citizens circulated petitions seeking a change in city government and attempted to file them with the City Finance Office in December of 2021. When the city refused to accept the petitions due to the wording of the question presented, members of the group filed a lawsuit.

The question on the original petition reads as follows:

“The form of government for the municipality of Sturgis should be changed from the current form of municipal government (aldermanic with a city manager form of government) to an aldermanic form of government without a city manager.”

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