So Far, So Okay
(photo from Twitter.com)
When Mayor Allender did get a chance to address specifics he didn't offer much. I asked him about any plans or initiatives he had to restore Rapid City's manufacturing base to its pre-2008 recession levels. During the campaign he'd made much of the fact that there was little if any rebound in manufacturing during the two-term tenure of incumbent Sam Kooiker, implying that he, Allender, had some ideas to engineer a turnaround. I was curious as to what they were, but all I and the audience got was a promise to put together a solid economic-development team that would address the issue. I don't think I missed anything, but if Allender wants to expand on his agenda with some specifics, he's welcome to do so here.
Rapid City lawyer Jay Davis asked about the mayor's decision to pull official notices from the Indian-run Native Sun News, to which Allender responded that it was strictly a business decision. I got the sense from Allender that he believes running official notices in NSN is a redundant effort, considering the notices already run in the much more widely-circulated Rapid City Journal. Though I take issue with that conclusion, the answer seemed adequate enough to me. We elected him to make these sorts of decisions and I accept this one. But why Allender chose to gratuitously describe the give-and-take between him and NSN's editorial management after he pulled
|Wesolick (L.) & Walsh|
GREAT Job With The Forum, Guys
(photo from www.facebook.com)
Allender also fielded questions related to economic development, generally, and made the same pitch that he'd made in his campaign: Rapid City needs to work at being an attractive center for developers and entrepreneurs. According to the mayor, nearby areas like Summerset, Rapid Valley, and Box Elder present more favorable climates for business development and expansion than Rapid City does. He plans to put together a team of economic development experts to deal with the situation, I look forward to the creation of such a board and eagerly await the list of specifics that emerge from its deliberations on how to improve the business climate in Rapid City.
Expecting those specifics to come directly from the mayor at this early stage of his tenure is unrealistic. It's wait-and-see time. My general sense is that Allender will be a competent manager, though the spark of leadership isn't discernible yet. As with everything else about his administration, we'll see if circumstances will ignite it.