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Mayor Sam Kooiker touted the benefits of consolidating about half of Rapid City's committees, boards and task forces in the last four months at a press conference Thursday morning.

The chopping started in October, when the council approved eliminating 37 boards. Many of those boards were unnecessary, Kooiker said as part of his quarterly progress report.

"There were still appointments being generated and it was just creating uncertainty and redundancy in the process," he said, adding that customers, applicants, citizens and employees all suffered from the lack of clarity.

There were so many boards that city staff had a hard time counting them all, Kooiker said.

"We tried to pin that number down, and we finally just settled with 80-plus, because it seemed every time we seemed to get a number we discovered another board," the mayor said.

Community Planning and Development Services Director Brett Limbaugh's department oversaw about 30 of those 80 boards. For him, the consolidation means considerable savings in staff time and resources.

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A number of standing committees took up about 1,350 staff hours per year, Limbaugh said.

The most recent consolidation — approved Monday night by the city council — combined six building boards into one Code Enforcement Board of Appeals. It eliminated boards for electrical, mechanical, gas, plumbing, residential contractor and sign contractor appeals. The consolidation also saves applicants time, Limbaugh said.

"If we have one board, they can take all of their appeals to them rather than going from appeal board to appeal board to appeal board," he said.

In the past four months the city also has created four new boards and committees: the Sustainability Committee, the COMPASS Committee, the Storm Drainage Task Force and the Code Enforcement Board of Appeals.

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

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