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Mayor Says Many Legislative Issues Should Be Local

January 6, 2013, 10:36 AM

Mayor Says Many Legislative Issues Should Be Local

The mayor of South Dakota's second largest city says many of the issues on tap for the 2013 legislative session would be better off handled at home.

But Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker says his hands are tied by state policies that govern the city's legal authority.

Kooiker says his city of 68,000 people gets bogged down by waiting for lawmakers to approve requests, which this year will include rewriting maintenance service contracts, collecting money for ambulance services, and managing funds for a future drainage utility.

Ten South Dakota cities have adopted home rule charters that give them more local control. But Yvonne Taylor, executive director of the South Dakota Municipal League, says it's difficult to get citizens interested in those issues.

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