Rapid City businessman and blogger John Tsitrian is doing great work focusing on the practical policy side of his city’s mayoral contest between incumbent Sam Kooiker and challenger Steve Allender. Tsitrian now wants to test a main point of contention in the mayoral race, the business-friendliness of Rapid City’s permitting process:
Steve Allender’s challenge to incumbent Mayor Sam Kooiker for the city’s top job has focused on Rapid City’s permitting processes. Allender claims that they’re cumbersome and difficult to the point where the city is perceived as “anti-growth and anti-business.” For his part, Mayor Kooiker has claimed that during his tenure, Rapid City has been “streamlining processes to continue improving customer service and facilitating a positive environment for business growth” [John Tsitrian, “Memo To Rapid City Contractors, Developers And Others Doing Business At City Hall: I’d Love To Hear From You About Your Experiences, Good, Bad or Otherwise,” The Constant Commoner, 2015.05.14].
Tsitrian calls on the wisdom of the crowd to help settle this debate:
Just how tough is the process of going through city hall when it comes to moving business and development plans forward? If it’s hard enough to be detrimental to Rapid City’s economic growth, as Allender contends, I want to know about it from the people involved. Likewise if the present apparatus fosters that positive environment for business growth that Kooiker is promoting.
My solution? I’m throwing this blog open to those who have something to say about it from personal experience. Much as I’d love to have names attached to those who either praise or condemn, I appreciate the need for anonymity that some will require [Tsitrian, 2015.05.14].
Tsitrian says he’ll accept anonymous comments on this issue due to the “I’ve got to do business in this town” aspect of seeking permits from the city. Tsitrian will surely view such anonymous comments with caution, as we must wonder whether they come from real business owners and permit applicants or simply from one campaign’s clever social media marketing team. But he welcomes all who are willing to offer intelligent, experience-based input.
Rapid City Permit applicants, here’s your chance to set the record straight. Does Rapid City make your entrepreneurial lives too difficult? Are permits too complicated and costly? Head for The Constant Commoner comment section, or send Tsitrian an e-mail, and let’s hear the real story about business in Rapid City.