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Pennington County Republican Women host a debate on ‘home rule’

The home rule system, instituted in many communities across South Dakota, would allow the city...
The home rule system, instituted in many communities across South Dakota, would allow the city more freedom from the state government to control local affairs.(Nick Nelson)
Published: Jun. 17, 2021 at 4:26 PM MDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 4:27 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Debate continues in the Rapid City community about switching the city’s form of government to a home rule system.

The home rule system, instituted in many communities across South Dakota, would allow the city more freedom from the state government to control local affairs.

Both the Home Rule Charter Committee, and an organization opposing home rule called “People’s Rule,” were invited to participate in a debate during the Pennington County Republican Women’s meeting Thursday.

Home rule proponent Jason Green said that the system would allow more personal freedom and responsibility among city residents.

”You don’t have to ask the state legislature for permission to do anything,” Green said. “You can do the things that the citizens want if they’re not prohibited activities. So, it’s important for Rapid City to move to the next phase as the municipality grows and as the expectations of the citizens grow.”

Jordan Mason, who opposes the home rule charter, argues that the system would be too powerful at the local level.

”I don’t like the idea of the government moving too quickly,” Mason said. “They say flexible, I say brash, and a bit authoritarian to be blunt. But, the idea, for example of cutting emergency ordinances down to only one reading offers less opportunity for public involvement.”

The Home Rule Charter Committee was formed in 2020 and presented its case to the city council last month.

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