BELLE FOURCHE – The Belle Fourche Common Council is one member short with the resignation of Councilmember Jim Smit. He resigned his council seat on Thursday, Oct. 26.

Smit had sold his home in Belle Fourche and decided to relocate.

“It was my choice to leave,” he said. He added he was “moving on” out of the county and could no longer be part of the Common Council because of the sale of his home.

According to Belle Fourche city ordinance 2.04.115-Common Council vacancies if a vacancy occurs the vacancy needs to be filled by a special election. Only those residing within the ward in which the vacancy exists can vote in the special election to fill the vacancy.

The ordinance also points out that a date for the special election must be set within 20 days of the vacancy. Nominating petitions must be prepared and filed at least 30 days before the date of the special election.

There has been no comment from Mayor Gloria Landphere at the time of print.

From the Belle Fourche City Ordinances website To find the ordinance online click on “Ordinances” on the left hand side of the homepage, then in the search bar enter “common council vacancies.”

2.04.115 - Common Council vacancies.

"A. If a vacancy occurs on the Common Council or in the office of Mayor, the vacancy shall be filled by a special election. Only those electors residing within the ward in which a Council vacancy exists shall vote in a special election to fill a vacant Council seat.

B. Within twenty (20) days of when the vacancy began, the remaining Common Council members shall set the date of the special election. No such special election may be held less than ninety (90) days before the annual municipal election.

C. When a vacancy occurs, the Finance Officer shall publish a notice in the official City newspaper stating that a vacancy exists, that the vacancy will be filled by specialelection, the date of the election, and the time and place where nominating petitions may be filed for the vacant office. The notice shall be published once each week for two (2) consecutive weeks beginning at least sixty (60) days before the date of the special election. A notice of special election shall also be published as provided in SDCL 9-13-13 and 9-13-14.

D. Nominating petitions for a vacancy shall be prepared and filed as provided by SDCL 9-13-7 and shall be filed at least thirty (30) days before the date of the specialelection."