The Harrisburg City Council consists of the Mayor elected at large, who shall hold office for four years, and four aldermen, two elected from each ward, who shall hold office for three years.
The aldermanic form of government has as its chief executive officer a mayor who presides at all meetings but cannot vote except in the case of tie votes. The mayor is elected at large for a term of four years and is responsible for enforcing all the laws and ordinances of the municipality. The mayor can make recommendations to the common council and has the power to veto any ordinance or resolution or one or more items of appropriation ordinances or resolutions. The veto, with written objections, must be filed with the finance officer within ten days after final passage.
Previous and Current Mayors of the City of Harrisburg:
June 2020 - Present - Derick Wenck
May 2012 - June 2020 - Julie Burke-Van Luvanee
May 2005 - May 2012 - Reed Ramstad
May 1999 - May 2005 - James Aalbers
May 1998 - May 1999 - Charles Wheeler
May 1996 - May 1998 - Gary Lane
May 1990 - May 1996 - Scott DeGeest
May 1986 - May 1990 - Brent VanHolland
Nov. 1983 - May 1986 - Armond Sailer
May 1982 - Oct. 1983 - Dennis Vickerman
Prior to May 1982 The City of Harrisburg was run by Town Board.
Mayor: Derick Wenck
Ward I: Tom Anez, Kevin Maxwell
Ward II: Chris Kindt, Danny Tank
City Council (Consists of 2 Aldermen from each Ward)
The City Council shall consist of the Mayor elected at large, who shall hold office for four years, and four aldermen, two elected from each ward, who shall hold office for three years.
The City Council has both legislative and executive powers. The council is charged with the power and duty to make decisions for the municipality while the mayor is charged with the duty of executing those decisions. The concurrence of a majority of the aldermen is necessary for the passage of an ordinance or proposal which expends or appropriates money.
The regular monthly meetings of the City Council shall be held at the Harrisburg Liberty Elementary Administration Board Room or other designated place on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. except when Tuesday is a legal holiday, and in that case, the meeting shall be held on another specified date. Meetings may be held on other specific dates or places as set by the Mayor with the majority vote of the City Council.
At the first regular meeting after the annual election in each year and after the qualification of the newly elected Aldermen, the City Council shall elect from among its own members a President and Vice President, who shall hold their respective offices for the municipal year.
The President of the City Council in the absence of the Mayor shall be the presiding officer of the City Council, and during the absence of the Mayor from the municipality or his temporary disability shall be Acting Mayor and possess all the powers of the Mayor.
In the absence or disability of the Mayor and President of the City Council, the Vice President shall perform the duties of the Mayor and President of the City Council.
President - Alderman Kevin Maxwell
Vice President - Alderman Danny Tank
2021/2022 Board and Community Organization Liaisons
- Parks & Recreation Board - Alderman Maxwell
- HEDC/Chamber - Alderman Anez
- Library Board - Alderman Maxwell
- Harrisburg Community Foundation - Alderman Tank
- Planning and Zoning Commission - Alderman Kindt
- Disability Awareness Commission - Alderman Maxwell
Forms of Government:
There are five forms of government in South Dakota, all five are briefly outlined here:
Trustee Form: Between three and five board members are elected at-large for three year terms. The Trustees elect one of their own members to serve as the president of the board for a one year term. There are 160 Trustee Municipalities in South Dakota.
Aldermanic Form: These municipalities are governed by a common council, which consists of a mayor who is elected at-large and two aldermen from each ward. Terms of office are traditionally two years, but may be set by ordinance for up to five years. There are 128 Aldermanic Municipalities in South Dakota.
Commissioner Form: The board of commissioners consists of a mayor and two or four commissioners who are all elected at-large. The terms of office are determined by ordinance, but may not exceed five years. There are 12 Commissioner Municipalities in South Dakota.
City Manager Form: These municipalities are either aldermanic or commissioner form, but employ a city manager. In the Aldermanic Form with a City Manager, the mayor and alderman are elected in the same manner as described above. There are three municipalities in South Dakota using this form of government: Brookings, Vermillion, and Sturgis. In Commissioner Form municipalities that employ a city manager, the number of commissioners is nine, each elected for a three-year term. There are three municipalities in South Dakota using this form of government: Aberdeen and Yankton.
Home Rule: There are ten municipalities which have adopted a home-rule charter: Aberdeen, Beresford, Brookings, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Pierre, Pierre, Sioux Falls, Springfield, and Watertown. A home rule charter must be adopted by a majority vote of the electors of the municipality. Article IX of the South Dakota Constitution states, “A chartered governmental unit may exercise any legislative power or perform any function not denied by its charter, the Constitution or the general laws of the state. The charter may provide for any form of executive, legislative and administrative structure that shall be of superior authority to statute, provided that the legislative body so established be chosen by popular election and that the administrative procedures be subject to judicial review. Powers and functions of home rule units shall be construed liberally.”
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