By Richie Richards
Native Sun News Staff Writer
RAPID CITY - Native Sun News General Manager - Jackie Giago made her case in support of keeping the city council meeting minutes in the region’s most-read Native American newspaper.
Two weeks ago, Mayor Steve Allender presented his budget proposal to the city council. Along with many changes to his predecessor’s budget, was cutting the council minutes from the Native Sun News.
Mayor Allender has gone on record calling the publication of minutes in NSN a “duplication” and not necessary. The minutes have been printed in the Native Sun News for the past two years. Many tribal members living in the area have counted on these minutes being available as it keeps them informed.
Giago asked the mayor and council to consider keeping the minutes in the paper, saying, “Basically, what we are requesting is the Native Sun News be incorporated into the 2016 for the budget for the city minutes,” she said.
“Originally, we were told it was a $40,000 budget, and that’s a far cry from where we were. We ended up with, as of right now approximately, $3,149.50 as far as what we we’ve earned for the city minutes and $2,605.60 in human resource ads placed through the city. And the total is $5,755.”
Having the minutes in the Native Sun News newspaper is more than a budgetary acceptation by the city, but a business relationship with the city of Rapid City for a Native American-owned small business whose general role is information gathering and sharing. This open door relationship with the City Council brings the council’s business into the many rural and urban homes who do not have access to the internet or read the city’s legal newspaper - Rapid City Journal. “If we was to keep doing this annually, it looks like it should run somewhere between twelve to fifteen thousand dollars... This is to reach out to the Native American community that reads our publication... So we would like to be asking you guys to let us please be part of the city minutes again,” said Giago.
The budget must be voted on and adopted by October. This issue of excluding the Native Sun News from the budget is going to be contested and argued until both sides come to an amicable agreement. The taking away of information outweighs the cost of publishing the minutes for many in the Native community.