Ron Sasso voted to keep taxes down, reduce fees, and keep government responsible. Not many people can say that when they have a record of votes---he can. He also made many positive changes to help Rapid City. That is proven leadership.

He made significant accomplishments during his term in office.
To see some of Ron Sasso's goals, click here. Most of the changes he brought forward were largely unnoticed by the media because they were needed, benefited Rapid City and were supported without controversy. Most council members do not bring forward ordinance changes because it takes a lot of time to develop them (most come from the Mayor's office). He looks at it as part of his job to help improve Rapid City.

This page is here to tell you what Ron Sasso has done to help make Rapid City a better place to live and a better place for businesses to relocate. Though there are far more things that he has been involved in and improvements that he's achieved, these are changes that he either brought forward or had a very large part in making them happen.

Improving Our Roads: One of the ordinance changes that Ron Sasso is most proud of is one that very few people are familiar with because no article was ever written about it. It is an ordinance that positively effects every road that is constructed in Rapid City and protects the City's and taxpayer's financial investment in our infrastructure. On February 22, 2012 Ordinance 5793 (An Ordinance to Regulate Streets, Sidewalks, and Public Places), passed unanimously. Ron brought these changes forward and pushed hard for changes that improved the quality control of our streets. This ordinance requires that streets are now built to the specifications that they were designed for and approved for. It provides for quality control testing of infrastructure as well as soil compaction tests. This means that our infrastructure will be built properly and will last longer---and if it isn't, the developer will be required to either repair it so it is built up to specifications or return some or all of their surety to the City (because we'll need to fix that infrastructure sooner). Additionally, the City Council must formally accept the improvements if they do not meet specifications before releasing the warranty/surety that the developer put up for the project---adding another formalized check in the process. This also provides a clear path for developers to know when their job and responsibility is done. This is designed to prevents road problems like those experienced in the Big Sky development (which has led to a very expensive, lengthy---and still ongoing lawsuit with the developer)---click here for details. Lawsuits like this should never happen again because there is a process in place to prevent them. It is a great ordinance all the way around. To give you an idea of the importance of this and the potential cost-savings, the repairs to the Big Sky development roads are estimated at $1.1 million. The cost of ongoing litigation for both Rapid City and the developer are extensive. No one really will win in that scenario. Ron Sasso eliminated this serious problem for the future.

Budget Savings: During the budget hearings in 2011 and 2012 Ron Sasso brought forward a proposal to make some modest cuts to the City's spending. Unfortunately there was not much support for looking at cuts. However, one of the proposed cuts in 2011 was to Destination Rapid City. Ron felt that given the success that we were seeing in Main Street Square, it was very reasonable to consider a 15% cut (which amounted to $15,000). Destination Rapid City took this under consideration. They looked at their finances for that year and then decided to turn down all of their proposed $100,000 funding. A $100,000 savings to taxpayers! Ron commended Destination Rapid City for being a great steward of City funding. Budget cuts are not something to be done lightly as each one can have an impact on services. However, over the course of any year there are many choices that can save money without making cuts. A good example is turning down a $100,000 contract for a garbage rate study.

Additional Road Striping: In response to concerns from senior citizens, Ron Sasso brought forward an increase to the City's road striping budget to allow for additional striping as areas fade. This was added to the budget and unanimously approved.

Library Computer Filters: An important issue that came up was resolved almost as quickly as it became news. Concerns had been raised about the Rapid City Public Library not having filters on their adult computers. An alderman had approached the newspaper rather than the Library Board. Ron took the lead and worked hard with the Library Director and the Library Board to resolve the issue quickly and amicably. In less than a week of the news article coming out, the board unanimously approved changes that both allowed for unfettered access when requested as well as filters to computers to prevent abuses of their systems and risks to children.

Improving Library Security: This has been an ongoing issue that has been addressed by the Library Board. Security is an issue which the entire library board and library staff are committed to improving. The changes implemented have resulted in a better and safer library.

Protecting Homes from Dangerous Trees: On December 3, 2012 the revisions to the City's tree ordinance was unanimously passed. Ron Sasso had brought these changes forward (now Ordinance 5878) after receiving a concern from a citizen who had old cottonwood tree limbs knock out her power lines. He found that there are many trees that may pose a risk but are not "dead or diseased" and cannot be ordered to have a branch cut down. The changes he made addressed an increasingly common problem. Click here for an article about some of the tree issues. These changes were designed to be proactive and have been used to address future problems from the October 2013 winter storm Atlas.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety: Ron Sasso has advocated for sidewalks to be installed whenever it is feasible and prudent. A good example is the sidewalk by the Rushmore Mall. That area went without a sidewalk for 20 years with foot paths worn in the dirt. He strongly supported this and it narrowly passed. He has supported and advocated installing more crosswalk signs in neighborhoods to protect pedestrians, runners and cyclists. Ron is supportive of the Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan to help make Rapid City more bike and pedestrian friendly, and ultimately our citizens healthier. Ron brought forward a change to repeal an ordinance that required payment of a registration fee for every bicycle that was owned. Ron's ordinance repealing the previous ordinance was unanimously passed (Ordinance 5925).
Previous City Council Accomplishments
Ron Sasso
E-mail: Click Here
Cell # (605) 593-3759
© Copyright Ron Sasso 2017. All Rights Reserved.
Paid for by Friends of Ron Sasso
City Council Accomplishments
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt
Other Important Items: Ron Sasso supported a warranted 8% decrease in garbage rates. It had appeared that garbage rates had been increased to cover costs of lost revenue at the landfill (estimates are as high as $1 million was lost in the Fish Garbage Scandal).

Ron Sasso also opposed taking the CPI tax increase because the mayor had presented a balanced budget without taking the CPI because sales tax revenues were much higher than originally proposed.
Ron also supported funding additional police officers for our City.

As the son of a fireman, Ron Sasso supported pay increases for both firefighters and police officers as they put their lives at risk every day.

Ron has strongly supported changes to City ordinances that
strengthened our code enforcement and accelerated the process to
get eye sores into compliance. This improves neighborhoods and the
entire city. It makes it a better place to live.

There are more things that Ron Sasso has accomplished, these are
just some of the highlights from his first two year term in
office. Most council members have noted that it typically
takes two years or more before a council member
understands the complexity of an over $150 million budget
and learns how to be an effective council member. Ron was highly
effective.
Pedestrian Safety Improvements - Crosswalk Signs (this is one is on Soo San Drive by Brookside Drive).
© Copyright Ron Sasso
© Copyright Jeff Schell
Rapid City's government should be open and transparent: eliminating back-room deals and minimizing executive sessions.

Open government starts with each elected official. If you continue down this page you will see
Ron Sasso's disclosure statments.

At the start of Ron Sasso's first term in office in 2011 the Statements of Financial Interests were not available on the City's website. He brought this to the mayor's attention and they were quickly made this information public. Ron believes this information should have always been readily available to voters. The disclosure statements remained on the city's website until recently when it was updated. Now the financial interest disclosure statements are no longer available online. This is something that needs to change. Citizens should be able to find out what financial interests (and potential conflicts of interest) their elected officials have.

Ron is in favor of minimizing executive session and providing as much information as possible. He fully support state legislation that would allow the ability to keep minutes of executive sessions.

During his first term he continued to push for more information to be available on the City's website. As a result, in 2013 Rapid City had the highest openness grade of any City in South Dakota (a "B"). Click here for the link. Sadly, much of the information that was made available during Ron's time in office is no longer available on the city's website. Ron believes it should be readily available.

Please feel free to contact
Ron with any questions or concerns you may have.
OPEN GOVERNMENT
Click the button to Like Ron Sasso's political page on facebook!
To see Ron Sasso's goals for City Council (2017) and his history of progress toward previous goals, click here. Even though he did not get elected, he still believes that the goals he put forth should be pursued by Rapid City.
Ron Sasso for Rapid City Council - Proven Leadership