Mayor Sam Kooiker will face at least one high-profile challenger in this June's Rapid City mayoral election.

Sen. Mark Kirkeby, a 52-year-old Republican who has served in the Legislature for seven years, said Monday he intends to run for the position that pays $93,000 a year.

"This is on the immediate radar screen for me, but I can't emphasize enough I've got two solid weeks to go here in Pierre, and that's my focus: to be the best possible legislator I can be," said Kirkeby, adding "I do look forward to the campaign trail."

Kirkeby is a former Pennington County commissioner who has worked for the past six years as the development director at the Black Hills Salvation Army. He said he will bring political savvy and experience to the race.

"I bring some credibility, some excitement, some honor to the position of mayor," said Kirkeby, who previously worked as a real estate agent and broker. "I think the timing would be very appropriate for me in my career, both being a lifelong resident in Rapid City and having an awful lot of quality, tangible items on my resume."

Kooiker, who will finish his first term in June, defeated two-term mayor Alan Hanks by 478 votes in the 2011 election. The mayor's term in Rapid City is for two years.

On Monday, the 38-year-old Kooiker sounded like he would seek re-election.

"I ran on the promise to help city government be more user-friendly and responsive, including a stronger commitment to existing infrastructure needs, economic development and streamlining our processes," said Kooiker, adding that he'll made an official announcement in March on his future plans. "Now is the time for the people to determine if those promises are being kept."

Other high-profile candidates have indicated they will not run and none of the city council members have yet decided to challenge Kooiker.

Council President Bonny Petersen said she doesn't intend to run, and Council Vice President Charity Doyle has made clear she won't either. Council Member Chad Lewis, though sometimes critical of the mayor, said Monday he doesn't plan on challenging Kooiker.

"Everybody on the council thinks about it at some point, but I don’t think it would be good at this time. I’ve got family and other considerations," he said.

Other well-known community members have decided not to run. Former council member Dave Davis, an insurance salesman and frequent critic of Kooiker both at city council meetings and on his blog, has previously said he won't seek the office either.

Malcom Chapman, another former council member, said Monday he had no plans of running for mayor this year even while criticizing Kooiker's performance.

"There's a lot of discussion of people in the community who are thinking about it. I just think it indicates a lack of leadership coming out of city hall," Chapman said.

Pete Wernicke, chairman of the COMPASS internal auditing committee, said he wouldn't make another attempt at mayor. In recent months, Wernicke has been criticized by Kooiker, who at one point accused the committee Wernicke chairs of engaging in "witch hunts" against council members.

"It's almost like people don't want to have to deal with the ramifications" of campaigning, said Wernicke, who ran for mayor in 2011. "I already gave my shot at it. Myself, I'm just happy with the position I've got myself in now, with COMPASS, and it's where I belong. It's my effort of contributing to make a city run."

Council members Charity Doyle, Ritchie Nordstrom, Jerry Wright, John Roberts and Ron Sasso are also up for re-election in June.

Candidates can start circulating petitions to run Friday, March 1, and must turn in petitions with at least 50 signatures of Rapid City registered voters by March 26.

Contact Aaron Orlowski at 484-7069 or aaron.orlowski@rapidcityjournal.com

(98) comments

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Three thoughts:

1) Isn't it interesting in over 90 comments that there is maybe one that shows any level of enthusiasm for Kirkeby? And it is pretty minimal at that.

2) When Kirkeby wrote a RCJ opinion piece praising Deb Hadcock, I knew exactly who he was. Much like Hadcock, Kirkeby is not right for Rapid City. And since he has never managed people, I'd say he is highly unqualified to boot.

3) I am eagerly waiting for RCJ to do a expose on why Kirkeby dropped out of the race for City Council in 2002. A real newspaper would tackle this juicy little tidbit. Do we also get to know if he was ever fired or forced to leave a job? In other words, do we get to know his resume as well as we know the current mayor's? Will the RCJ vet this guy like they did Sam? The voters deserve to know at least as many details about Mark Kirkeby as they do Sam. Right RCJ?

Roland
Roland

Of course you dislike Hadcock, she despises Kooiker. No shocker there.

As far point 1, no argument. This reeks of lesser of 2evils.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Interesting that you don't mention Point #3. Kind of a touchy one, huh. It would be nice if we could discuss it here, but it would never get past the screeners.

Roland
Roland

I have no problem with that. I want to know as much about Kirbeby as I can.

Kirk vs Kook. Should be fun!

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Also, I'm not the only one who disapproved of Hadcock or thought she was totally inept on the Council. So did a majority of her (previous) constituents. It was hard to watch her performance and it finally grew too much to bear.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Yay! Equalization just sent me my assessment. 5% increase! WooHoo! What is that...5% per year for the last five years? I'm probably pretty lucky compared to others.

Something tells me Roland works for them because while I haven't seen a 5% increase in my pay, my property valuation has consistently grown 5% every year for the last five years. At this rate there is little chance that I can keep up. But I can tell, based on Roland's comments, that government needs my income much more than I do. Well, whatever I can do to keep government running. There has to be priorities, you know. Whether it's property taxes or property valuations, you can always bet government will get theirs first. What you earn is not really yours, until Roland gets his cut. In fact, they'll just deduct it right out of your paycheck so you never even miss it. Right?

Roland
Roland

That was productive.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

It probably wasn't productive, but it was true ... and from the heart.

Roland
Roland

I will let you know how I decide to spend your money, which apparently I am getting.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

OK, I'm eagerly awaiting your response.

Roland
Roland

I got myself some grillz. Thanks bro.

Roland
Roland

The $300,000 is actually 2.3%.

Anyway, here is the problem with what you guys are trying to do: You are trying to convince people that the property taxes they pay are going to go up 8%, and that is a flat out lie. As I already pointed out, peoples rates would have gone up 0.54%.

An increase in property tax revenue is not an increase in tax rates, as you would like people to believe. It is an increase (mostly) in the number of properties as the city expands. Guess what? As the city expands it costs more money to maintain it (you know, utilities, roads, emergency services). By your logic, when Rapid City is twice the size it is now, it should be able to provide the same services it currently does with property taxes staying the same.

That is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

You are trying to mislead people for the sake of making your guy look like a hero. A hero who is currently bragging about all the millions that are being spent on infastructure. Where do you think that money is coming from?

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

I just double-checked the numbers from the actual city budget, prompted by the previous post. The CPI would indeed have resulted in a 8.43% tax increase for Rapid City taxpayers at a time when we could least afford it. I am sure the Tax-Raising-Six would find a way to spend that money whether it was needed (or justified) or not. Government's thirst for our money is insatiable. Politicians thirst for power is equally insatiable, and achieved by confiscating more and more of our hard-earned income. And they will always tell you that they simply can not do without regular and significant tax increases. Rapid City is VERY LUCKY to have a mayor who will look that beast squarely in the eyes and veto their efforts to take (steal?) our income. Thank you for watching out for us, Mayor Kooiker!

beauzeau
beauzeau

One more budgetary tid bit to add some perspective on the revenue side, sales tax revenue is projected to be up 12% !!! over 2012. The projections are the actual revenue from 2011 plus 2% increase (which is conservative IMO).

I cannot fathom why anyone would cry poverty, and criticize the Mayor for not taking the CPI with revenue growth like that. I say BRAVO MAYOR KOOIKER !!

Roland
Roland

12%? What is your source on that?

beauzeau
beauzeau

12 % is right off the city's 2013 budget revenue page, maybe 17?

Roland
Roland

Lol...the city has never, as far as I can remember, had a 12% increase in sales tax. 6% is usually a good year.

beauzeau
beauzeau

have you even looked at the 2013 RC budget ?

Roland
Roland

Yes.

Roland
Roland

The 12% appears to be a projected amount. Your source indicated the city was short quite a bit of $$ from lower sales tax in 2012, which is actually counter to your argument that the city didn't need to take the CPI, which wouldn't have even come close to covering the reduced sales tax revenue.

beauzeau
beauzeau

LET ME SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT,,,

Roland;

From page 16 of the budget, growth alone was $624,449, which is over 5% increase, if you would add 3 percent for the CPI that would be another $300,000 give or take for a total of over 8% increase in property tax revenue for the city. Please excuse my gross exageration of saying 9%.

City property taxes are projected to go from $12,758,891.00 to $13,400,200.00 and that is without the CPI,,,

can we agree the record is now straight ? and that is,, you supported an 8% + increase in property taxes !!!

Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva

One thing I can say for sure, in light of his position regarding the forcing of Christian prayers down the taxpayers throats at government functions (that we pay for), is that voting for Mr. Kooiker is not a mistake I will make twice. The candidate who promises to uphold the constitution on this matter will have my serious consideration for a vote. This isn't 1850, nor is it Iran. Leave your superstitions and dogma at the door when it comes to government business.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Do you also oppose the 9 out of 10 members of the council who are siding with Sam on this issue? You'll be voting against them too, right? Do you also oppose the vast majority of Rapid Citians who support prayer before council meetings, as well as ball games, hockey games, legislature meetings, etc? Do you oppose In God We Trust on money? Do you oppose the Supreme Court Invocation? So basically what you are saying is that you oppose almost everyone? Well, I guess I am glad you are in the minority in my town.

Lorie Johnson
Lorie Johnson

Let me just set the record straight (again)...

The Rapid City Journal in an editorial endorsed the mayor's veto of the tax increase because:

1) His budget is balanced.


2) At least eight expiring TIF districts will increase tax revenue to city coffers.


3) Property taxes revenues to the city are already substantially increased due to growth.


4) It's irresponsible to raise taxes on citizens just because you can.

So, Roland, as mentioned before, you never saw a tax increase you didn't like. Tax and Spend liberals like you are the reason this nation is in the kind of fiscal mess (catastrophe) we are in. Fiscal hawks like Sam really perturb you, and we see that with every single one of your posts.

comeonalready
comeonalready

1) Remains to be seen. You still haven't answered my question about why the Mayor suggested we pay for expenses that will be ongoing anually with undesignated cash. Until you answer that, your points are just talking points not backed by anything substantial.

2) 8 TIFs by when? In 2013? How much will that bring in? Give me numbers.

3) Which are already spent, are they not?

4) I agree. You just haven't made much of an argument. Give me some numbers.

"Fiscal Hawk" - is that how he signs his letters that he sends out on our dime, and is that what is says on those pins he pays thousands of dollars for?

Roland
Roland

They can't answer these questions. All they can do is repeat the same old talking points. Facts confuse them.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Facts don't confuse us, Roland. You baseless attacks on a good man does.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Why are you asking me to provide numbers for a position the Rapid City Journal has taken? They are the ones who are consistently at odds with Sam, yet they agreed with his veto of the tax increase. If you want the exact numbers, ask them ... though I am quite certain that you are not really interested (or would be swayed by) any numbers.

Roland
Roland

Let me just set the record straight (again) since some of the people here supporting Kooiker want to propogate mis-information. With respect to the CPI tax increase (which was NOT 3%, or 8-9%):

From RCJ atricle on Aug 21 "Property Tax to Increase" at the very bottom:

[This article has been changed to reflect a clarification: The 3 percent increase is on the city’s portion of the property tax, and does not include various other property tax rates for school districts, the state and other entities. After the CPI is taken, total property taxes are expected to increase .54 percent.]

Bull
Bull

I don’t think I would trust Kirkeby to mow my lawn let alone be mayor of my city.

Kevin Cronin
Kevin Cronin

I'll second that!

Lorie Johnson
Lorie Johnson

The motion carries ... next item ...

comeonalready
comeonalready

Oh you guys are so clever.

Kooiker can start mowing lawns come this summer.

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

One thing about Roland, his arguments against anyone who supports the mayor are always vague and obtuse. Basically, they are just "political talking points". Never mind the facts. Never mind that Sam has delivered on all of his promises. Never mind that Mayor Kooiker holds the voters in much higher esteem than he does the Good Old Boy Network. Sam doesn't have to worry about petty little attacks by anyone, much less the city paper or bloggers such as you. His achievements are crystal clear and succinct to anyone paying attention. Government wants my money, I get that. Roland, (for some reason) YOU want my money, I get that. For once I have a person whom I voted for that stood up for me and stopped the money grab. It surely wasn't the President, yeah I voted for him. It was Sam Kooiker. He has earned my support more than once and I Stand with Sam. Good luck Kirkeby...you're gunna need it.

Roland
Roland

You accuse me of talking points, and yet you never offer any proof. Every one of your posts contain the phrase "Good Old Boys" network. So, exactly who is that? Bonnie Peterson? Give me a break Glock.

I give example after example of where Sam has failed (budget hearings) and you have no valid response, so you speak in broad generalities. What I get from you is all Sam has is his veto of the CPI (something he voted to take MANY more times than not as an alderman, by the way...) which was purely political. How much you are all talking about that now with the election coming up pretty much proves it.

Lorie Johnson
Lorie Johnson

Your examples require no response because they make no sense. Your statement that "Sam has failed (budget hearings)" is utter nonsense and no one in their right mind would ever try to debate you on such ludicrous turf. Your response to Sam's balanced budget is always that he is secretly spending, which has only been disproved about 300 times on these blogs, yet you keep repeating the lie. It's tiresome, but not unexpected. Desperation makes people do funny things.

Roland
Roland

You know what else is interesting? Look at how RC Fan presents his case for Kooiker. He gives him credit for all these things...and no credit to anyone else. Just like Sam tries to get people to believe he had anything to do with WL Plastics coming to town - he did not!

Read his Facebook updates - he wants to take credit for everything. Never does he give credit to someone else. Again, great leadership.

RC fan10
RC fan10

Umm I never intended to say that others didn't play vital parts in this!! I was simply defending the accusation that Mayor Kooiker hasn't done anything! Please don't put words or implications in my mouth that I didn't say.

Kevin Cronin
Kevin Cronin

Anyone who ever listens to Sam knows that he HATES taking credit for anything. He always talks about the team effort and the individual contributors that made any success happen. Sam spends a lot of time going around to the different departments and actually listening to the workers in those departments. Sam's gift is the ability to surround himself with fantastic talent that drives successes throughout the operation. I can only imagine why you think RC citizens MUST pay higher taxes in order for you to survive. But that kind of thinking really rubs me wrong. Roland, it's time for you to start being a contributor and not a taker.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Roland, you never saw a tax increase you didn't like ... EVER! I suppose to you, government living within its means is not nearly as important as increasing taxes to increase revenues into government coffers. Thankfully we have someone on OUR team: Sam. Sure the CPI will be taken at some point. When it is really needed, Sam will allow the tax increase. But fortunately, the budget is currently balanced, tax revenues are ahead of projections, building permits are up, etc. Listen, only a government wonk like you would raise taxes just because you can. The good news is that Sam will veto your efforts every time. That is enough reason I will ever need to vote for the man.

Roland
Roland

Political talking points is all you have.

Explain to me, and everyone, how the Mayor can say we don't need to take the CPI when he wants to spend undesignated cash to pay for raises and extra cops. That doesn't add up. What it does add up to is Sam playing politics. The only reason he pushed for the CPI vote to be seperate is so he could make a political issue out of it...and sure enough he vetoes the first one even though by his own admissions the city can't afford not to take it, and his OWN city Finance Officer said they should take it (does Sam have a degree in finance? Uhm...no...he has a degree in politics...and it shows).

Do you think anyone, including me, wants to see their taxes go up? No. But I also don't like being played. I knew when election time came around Sam and his people would start talking about that veto - and here we are! I called it back when it happened. This was 100% a political move.

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

Actually, I have a BA political science. Sam has a Masters degree in Public Administration which has emphasis in budgeting, statistics and accounting...Not to mention his years of experience as an Operations Manager of a multimillion dollar facility at Golden West Telecom. So yeah, your point is .. quite pointless and very illustrative.

Roland
Roland

Public Admin - aka POLITICS.

And yeah, Golden West was real anxious to hold on to him, weren't they?

Kevin Cronin
Kevin Cronin

Actually, Golden West of course did want to hold on to him. Good operations managers are hard to come by. What was your point again, Roland?

beauzeau
beauzeau

Taxes did go up Roland, by a responsible amount due to TIFs maturing, not the ridiculous 8-9 percent you wanted.

Roland
Roland

Myth. So enlighten me to how much that TIF was worth.

And where in the world did you get 8-9%?

Geez it is tiring correcting you guys all the time. Funny how it is all Sam fans who have all the information incorrect...

Roland
Roland

RC Fan:

OK, lets start to look at these great successes of Mayor Kooiker:
1. Reduced garbage rates after getting Fish to confess.
(He got them to confess? Personally? Really? *not* I can't believe Kooiker and his supporters are still hailing the Fish case, which has been a debacle for the city (and isn't finished, by the way...and as far as rates did you do the math on how much that saves each person? I believe it was posted in response to his Facebook comment...$1.40 a month! Yay!)

2. Cut the bureaucratic boards and committees in HALF (about 80 to about 40).
(This is probably a good thing. I will give him that. We will see if it actually helps or not.)

3. Vetoed the property tax increase.
(he vetoed this, when at the same time saying they did not have a way to pay for additional cops and increases in city employee pay - and his only method of payment for the ANNUAL expenses was undesignated cash. That is completely irresponsible, and that is NOT a balanced budget.)

Roland
Roland

4. Made it so that any future tax increases must be voted on separately, apart from a budget.
(purely a political move, as I have already explained and you all have failed to provide a decent argument counter to my point)

5. Instituted quarterly financial reports so no future mayors (like Hanks) can lie about spending into the reserves.

(ya, right! when he has spent into the reserves lets see how that gets spun!)

6. Reduced the budget length from 800 pages to 80.

(so fewer pages, LESS information, with some fluff added...to the same old budget. FAIL!)

7. Eliminated taxpayer-costing perks for his own office, such as Mayor's parking spaces and switched the Mayor's car to one of more appropriate size and cost.

(oooohhhhh...how much did that save us? Is that where he is getting the money for his pins and coins? The fact you even mention this is a great testimony to how little he has actually done)

8. Established a new polling place near Lakota Homes to make it easier for these citizens to vote

(easier for some citizens, not easier for others)

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

1. Wrong, 2. Correct, 3. Wrong. This is all well covered territory. We will not rehash it for the millionth time here. Needless to say, Roland, your consistency in opposing a single person who has done so much good is fascinating. Really.

Roland
Roland

Wrong? No. Offer up your argument. Sam said exactly that during the budget hearings. Now you are just lying like him.

Kevin Cronin
Kevin Cronin

Fish was a success for the city in that the theft has been stopped and changes made to ensure it won't happen again. I know, I know, you were happy to let the theft go on forever, but one person did cause it to stop, and Fish did confess, and they are paying the City back. That's called a successful resolution in anybody's book...except maybe a fringe extremest. So that's how incredibly wrong you are on point #1.

Sam did veto the CPI because it was not needed at this time, saving tax payers roughly 8.5% increase in property taxes. The budget is balanced no matter how much you want to stomp around and say that it's not. All of the financial reports are public and reported on monthly by the finance officer. Really, Roland, isn't it time that you came aboard a winning team instead of living a life of eating sour grapes?

Roland
Roland

Kevin, the increase was 9%. Flat out wrong. Did you get your numbers from Laurenti? Because he was corrected that his numbers were incorrect.

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

Sam is the first mayor to send out quarterly updates on the progress of our local city government. Sam took a horrible budget and expertly used talent around him to balance it while not having to cut a single department or service. Sam stopped the Tax-Raising-Six from hitting RC Citizens with yet another tax increase. Sam lowered garbage fees for voters. Sam increased the number of hours City Hall is available to customers, while reducing red tape and consolidating boards and committees. Sam is a fiscal hawk, and that is exactly why we are doing so well compared to other cities of our size.

Listen, I could go on and on with Sam's promises kept and complete devotion to us taxpayers. What amazes me is the way he is treated with open contempt by the Rapid City Journal and two of its reporters. Make no mistake, RCJ, it is that obvious!

I look forward to pulling the lever for Sam. The Good Old Boys (including and ESPECIALLY Kirkeby) don't stand a chance. Thank goodness.

Roland
Roland

Balanced budget? Seriously? Did you watch the budget hearings? Did you see Sam and his boys wanting to pay for yearly expenses (city raises, extra police officers) with reserve cash? Yeah, really balanced and responsible. I still don't think that question has been answered. So what we have is the same budget that Hanks passed every year in a different package with some extra graphs and charts. Whoo hoo.

As far as taxes, how long do you think the city can ignore its costs going up (thats called the CPI). We will see, but the you-know-what will hit the fan on that one eventually. Even his own Finance Officer said they should take it, and she knows a lot better than him. Only difference: her position isn't an elected position.

How easily some are duped.

RC fan10
RC fan10

Well, if Sam really has spent in the reserves (which I'm not saying he has; I'll have to do some checkup research), then it's still light years better than what Hanks was doing, which was spending into the reserves secretly and then lying about it!! Sam promised open and honest government, not 100% perfect government. We can point out every little imperfection, or we can see if he's going in the right direction. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind he is going totally in the right direction, even if we're quite where we want to be yet. In fact, that's why we need another two years of Sam, so he can continue what he started!

Roland
Roland

They have not sepnt into reserves (yet) but go back and watch the budget hearings. Their answer for everything is "undesignated cash." When that is gone, and it has been dwindling, then all that is left is reserves.

(I should have said undesignated cash and not reserve cash)

RC fan10
RC fan10

Mayor Kooiker has done a fantastic job and will continue to do so. I am sure the voters will choose him again over a guy who is really in Pierre simply because he ran unopposed.

comeonalready
comeonalready

oh my...could this nightmare be coming to an end?

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

Well, I can think of 6 people who the voters could send packing. Yes, the same six that wanted to raise our garbage fees and taxes when it wasn't necessary. And yes, it does include the self-professed "Mother Hen". Oh wait, she's not running again. Make that 5 people to send packing.

Roland
Roland

Of course. Everyone who has ever said anything negative about Kooiker MUST GO!

Must have been because they were all running for Mayor, right? Peterson, Doyle, Davis...oops they aren't running. Nevermind.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

No, not everyone. Just the pot stirring six (also known as the Tax-Raisers) ... and Clayton. So make it seven.

Lorie Johnson
Lorie Johnson

This is a win-win for SD voters! This gets Kirkeby out of the legislature, and since voters in RC are far to wise to make him mayor, he is out of the picture altogether. I definitely welcome him to the race and support this move.

mytown
mytown

I've know Mark Kirkeby for many years, and he has definitely got my vote. Mark is one of the hardest working, honest people I know. And he has the common sense to do what is right for the people of Rapid City. I encourage others to support Mark, you won't be disappointed!

Ed Randazzo
Ed Randazzo

Mayor Sam has been a courageous and highly focused Mayor. In the face of continual hostility from some Council members, he has maintained a steady hand on the helm. He stopped an inexplicable attempt to raise taxes just because they could and preserved the option for voters to alter the course of city government in a timely fashion as they see fit. Rapid City needs an experienced private sector business person's practical management skills not a political animal experienced in the growth and feeding of government who thinks the governor is the "supreme being."

Lorie Johnson
Lorie Johnson

I agree. Sam's private sector budgeting experience has served the community well. Without Sam, RIGHT NOW we would ALL be paying higher taxes across the board, as well as other city fees. Sam keeps the tax raisers in check, so thank God for that! Kirkeby will be a rubber stamp for the good old boys and a return of the city to the ugly crony politics of the past. Thanks ... but no thanks.

Roland
Roland

We will be paying higher taxes, when the Mayor and Council spend all the reserve cash and they have no other choice...

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

Secretly spending from reserves without advising the council is purely a Hanks (Good Old Boys) thing. Sam implemented a variety of new auditing controls and reporting to prevent it from ever happening again. Sam is all about transparency and keeping things out in the open for the voters to see. I know that you know that, which makes your comment highly questionable.

beauzeau
beauzeau

PPsssttt, hey Roland, the council cant raise taxes, the state sets the limit on property taxes as well as the sales tax rate. Sorry you were unaware of that. Had they taken the CPI, the "spending 6" would still be crying we are broke and cant fix anything.

Roland
Roland

Glock, Sam is transparent when it suits his purposes. I don't believe he ever answered the questions that were brought up by Davis (which it now appears were NOT motivated by him running for Mayor...like Sam's supporters on here all suggested...). How much does he spend on letters, coins, pins, etc? Thousands! Campaigning on our dollar. Yeah, very transparent.

Roland
Roland

So if the council takes the CPI our taxes aren't higher? How do you figure? What are you talking about?

Yes, the CPI results in slightly higher taxes. Some of us are willing to pay it to pay for the services we expect, because the cost to provide those services goes up for the city (that is what the CPI means). Sorry you were unaware of that.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

There is no reserve spending, so stop telling fibs Roland. The City Finance officer now, because of Sam, has to report this spending monthly at the council meeting. Just stop, ok Roland? You do a disservice to honorable people when you just make things up.

Roland
Roland

Make things up Frank? You mean like...COMPASS going on witch hunts and handling the investigation on Clayton? Those kind of honorable people? That kind of "making things up?"

Roland
Roland

Ya, focused on getting re-elected. Writing letters, handing out pins and trinkets, yada yada yada.

His big "new budget" is the same old budget in a different package. That was his big campaign promise, and nothing changed. As far as the tax increase, that was nothing more than a campaign ploy. There are still things the city does not have a way to pay for.

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

Sooo ... you don't like Sam because he writes letters and hands out pins. Gotcha! Just making sure I understand where you are coming from. Me, personally, I need a little more to go on than that.

Roland
Roland

Basically I am saying that is about all he does. Between letter writing, Facebooking, trips to nowhere, etc no wonder the budget wasn't fixed.

Yes, it irritates me that he campaigns on my dollar.

Kevin Cronin
Kevin Cronin

Roland, so you would be happy with SAM if he never traveled and stopped sending letters? You are just plain ,,, funny.

RC fan10
RC fan10

Completely agreed as well, Ed. When you try to be a reformer, people start to dislike you, and despite all the pressure Sam has stood firm. He will do another great job for the next two years as Mayor.

comeonalready
comeonalready

lol...reformed what?

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

If you haven't been following, it is not our job to bring you up to speed.

RC fan10
RC fan10

Um, where should I start?
1. Reduced garbage rates after getting Fish to confess.
2. Cut the bureaucratic boards and committees in HALF (about 80 to about 40).
3. Vetoed the property tax increase.
4. Made it so that any future tax increases must be voted on separately, apart from a budget.
5. Instituted quarterly financial reports so no future mayors (like Hanks) can lie about spending into the reserves.
6. Reduced the budget length from 800 pages to 80.
7. Eliminated taxpayer-costing perks for his own office, such as Mayor's parking spaces and switched the Mayor's car to one of more appropriate size and cost.
8. Established a new polling place near Lakota Homes to make it easier for these citizens to vote

I could go on and on....
Still wondering what reform??

dodasd
dodasd

Yeh Adelstein throw your hat in the ring. You have all the answers to R.C. problems.

Lorie Johnson
Lorie Johnson

LOL!

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

LOL ... squared.

citizen rc
citizen rc

someone else *please* throw your hat in the ring

Roland
Roland

I feel ya.

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

It's too bad you can't throw your hat into the ring ... since it's already there.

Roland
Roland

Sorry to say it isn't. You may not know as much as you think you do.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Whatever you say, Roland. LOL!

wxturd
wxturd

I think we're ready for a change. Kooiker enjoys fighting a bit too much for my liking.
I've only met Mark once, but he's got my vote.

RC fan10
RC fan10

Is it possible that he "enjoys" fighting simply because he is willing to stick his neck out there and push for some reform? Good political changes hardly ever come without a LOT of resistance...

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

I think he really enjoys fighting for his constituents and his voters. I like that in my representative. Tim Johnson could learn a thing or two instead of being Obama's rubber stamp. That's just one example.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Wow, that was fast, Aaron. You got that attack on Sam changed pretty quickly. I think you should stick to your guns and keep your story as it was originally published. Why the backpedaling? care to explain?

RC fan10
RC fan10

I can't believe that he deleted it at all! He's made his position pretty clear in the past...

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

That's true. His bias is apparent with nearly every article he writes.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Nice ending comment, Aaron. Widespread discontent? Really nice. Nothing like a little bit of bias to flavor this campaign. Great job Rapid City Journal. BTW, do you still use editors there or is everything pretty much random attacks on people now? Will Rapid city Journal be endorsing Adelstein or Kirkeby? It's pretty apparent who you will be attacking throughout the campaign sow e won't have to be guessing on that count.

Roland
Roland

Sam has been protected long enough.

Glock-1Omm
Glock-1Omm

Roland, please tell me, who protected Sam other than the voters of this city? I am dying to hear your conspiracy theories.

Roland
Roland

The journal basically got Sam elected. Sam got censured and rode that right into the Mayor's chair. Now it is apparent that the behavior that got him censured was not fabricated, it was real.

Now even the RCJ is seeing what they did.

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