My first term as Mayor of Rapid City has been a productive one.
Successfully proposed to City Council ordinances 6078 and 6079, an act to lengthen terms of elected officials in Rapid City. The City Council changed from two year, to three year terms beginning in July 2016. The mayor’s term will change from two year to four years beginning July 2019.
Successfully proposed to City Council ordinance 6092, an act to simplify, clarify and make efficient the process for declaring a “Snow Alert” for downtown Rapid City. This initiative added a text alert feature whereby residents, business owners and employees can subscribe by texting 898211 to RCSnow.
Initiated monthly meetings between City and County elected officials and staff. This has resulted in the transfer of drainage lots, new ownership and maintenance agreements, and a new stop light at the intersection of Sheridan Lake and Dunsmore Rd. Current discussions range from City/County fireworks enforcement to future land use. Meade County and the City of Box Elder have been added to the list of attendees.
Achieved ADA compliance in all areas of the Civic Center with the exception of the Barnett Arena. Handrails, bathrooms, access doors and parking lots were all updated and are now in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Completed a new City website. A modern and efficient look that is also compatible with mobile devices. Better data storage and archiving are behind the scenes benefits of this improvement.
Customer service surveys and training for Public Works and Planning Department employees. Survey results indicate that:
65% of customers were able to complete their business in one visit to City Hall.
75% of customers had their issues resolved in under 20 minutes.
66% of customers had the issue resolved in the amount of time they expected.
23% of customers had the issue resolved in less time than expected.
11% of customers had their issue resolved in more time than they expected.
Customer service training was completed in July 2016. Now, a focus on institutionalized policies (culture) is on-going.
Made all official correspondence from the Mayor to the City Council public, with copies going to all interested local news agencies.
Consolidated economic development efforts by eliminating Black Hills Vision and de-funding the Ellsworth Task Force. This has led to significant changes in how we address workforce development, has created an economic gardening project (growing our existing businesses rather than just recruiting new) and will help economic development efforts become more self sufficient in the future.
Changed the Vision Fund from a five-year process to a one-year process. This will result in more relevant and timely awards of Vision Funds and will reduce risk to the City and taxpayers.
Eliminated the Code Enforcement Board of Appeals and replaced it with a simple, administrative appeals process.
Led the effort to bring an end to the President’s Plaza project. A new process will be formed and progress will occur on the lot in the 500 block of St. Joseph Street.
Led the effort to allow Rapid City youth to ride the RapidRide public transportation system for free. This has resulted in increased school attendance and will provide safe, efficient transportation options for current and future Rapid Citians.
Initiated Priority Based Budgeting which will transform our current line-item budget to a program budget system. This will allow us to articulate costs of virtually everything we do, to give us the tools we need to stop funding of outdated programs and increase funding of top priority programs.
Led the effort to host a shop local campaign and provided training to local businesses to rebrand in order to become a destination in order to increase local sales.
Hosted the annual South Dakota Municipal League conference for elected officials and staff from across the state.
Passed a resolution making Rapid City a “Hidden Heroes” city in collaboration with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. This brings much needed recognition to the families of U.S. veterans suffering with physical and emotional wounds.
Initiated the Lakota Nation Invitational 40th Anniversary celebration committee, bringing much needed recognition to the LNI basketball tournament, its athletes, coaches, and fans.
Created a Government Efficiency Task Force to better understand the City’s relationship with some of its partners and to examine the need for continued and improved partnerships and/or funding.
Leading a community effort on affordable housing. The effort will result in a truly affordable housing project in Spring 2017 with another following soon after.
Defunded the Compass Program. A well-meaning audit program that was ultimately incapable of producing results. This resulted in an annual savings of over $200,000.
Offered a retirement incentive to retirement-eligible City employees which will result in an annual savings of over $300,000.
Added two engineering technicians to the Public Works Department, resulting in an estimated reduction in consultant expenses in 2017 of $400,000.
Adding an agriculture component to Rapid City’s economic development efforts. Somehow we have forgotten our economic roots. South Dakota is an agriculture state first.