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.
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.
For more information go to the city of Sturgis website, or call 605-347-4422.
The Sturgis city council authorized a municipal budget of over $20 million for 2016. 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.
For the city's voting history, visit Meade County's Elections Information website. The site also provides information on how to register to vote and a map of voting precincts in the county.
The Black Hills Pioneer, based out of Spearfish, is a daily published newspaper. Established in 1876. This paper is the oldest business in West River South Dakota and the only locally owned newspaper in the territory. The Pioneer serves Sturgis and Meade County as well as Lawrence and Butte County.
The Rapid City Journal, a daily published newspaper based out of Rapid City, also provides printed news for Sturgis. The Rapid City Journal began on January 5, 1878, as the Black Hills Journal. The Journal is the daily newspaper of Rapid City.