Sturgis - Government & Citizenship
Sturgis' municipal government is a form called aldermanic/manager. A mayor and eight other members make up the city council, and a city manager is hired. The manager works toward city goals established by the council, in cooperation with city department heads. The mayor is elected at large for a three-year term. Residents in each of four wards elect two council members, also for three-year, staggered terms. Council meetings, open to the public, are scheduled the first and third Mondays of each month (unless a Monday falls on a holiday) at 6:30 pm at the Erskine Building, 1300 Sherman Street.
In 2011 Sturgis citizens were surveyed to help the council see possible courses of action. Respondents totaled 336. By large margins citizens approved of municipal resources being used to promote economic development. Along those lines, Sturgis is working to attract more retail, restaurants, and lodging along Interstate 90, and to further develop the 45-acre industrial park. Survey respondents were less enthused about beautification, city involvement in bringing about a movie theater, and new soccer fields. See citizen survey results at the city website, www.sturgis.sd.gov.
As home of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the city of Sturgis claims a unique municipal department: the Rally Department. Along with code enforcements, it handles vendor permits and leasing of city properties during the event. Revenue generated is put into city services, improvements, and charities. The city especially encourages public input about spending rally revenues.
Link to the Sturgis web page (click here)
The Sturgis city council authorized a municipal budget of about $16.3 million for 2012. That total included dollars transferred from five enterprise funds: ambulance, water, waste water, liquor, and sanitation. Each of those city enterprises generates revenue, and the revenue reduces funding the city would otherwise collect through taxes. Full-time city employees total 90, supplemented by 50 to 60 part-time employees much of the year. However, during the motorcycle rally each August, part-time city employment jumps. While the rally is expensive for the city, it also generates city income through taxes and through fees collected by the Rally Department. The city budget has remained quite constant over the past five years, but there is concern that Sturgis must generate new revenue sources in coming years rather than relying so heavily on rally dollars. Citizens can see the city budget online or pick up a copy of the budget document at city hall. (Source: Finance Officer Fay Bueno)