Snowgates Election: It’s in the city council’s court now

I’m good at making decisions, especially when it comes to terminating city clerks and water bill inserts, not so much on elections.

It is very evident that if the city decides to have a joint election with the school district this spring, it will be the SF city council’s decision to do so, not the mayor. The contract that the school district has signed already has been deferred, again, to the December 4, city council meeting (after the meeting was down for 20 hours, a continuing problem*). Which seems a bit odd, since council chair doesn’t seem to have a problem with making decisions without consulting the council first (Watch this exchange between Staggers and Erpenbach about the authorization of a water bill insert. FF to about 5 minutes before the end of the meeting). Everyone from the past city clerk to former mayors and city councilors have said the council must call this election and appropriate the funds, including former councilor, Vernon Brown – who has also signed the petition. They would be crazy to flout the public’s wishes on this petition.

Is the city council waiting to make a decision until the petitions are turned in? I do know that collection of signatures will end in November and they are expected to be turned in before the end of Decemeber.

I think this delay in signing the contract has more to do with the icy relationship between the city clerk, Lorie Hogstad, and Bev Chase, SF School District election official. Remember, Lorie and the city council leadership had no problem throwing Bev under the mini-van in the past joint election, and now, they may have to work together.

Karma is a bitch, huh?

*(The delay in videos of city meetings being posted on the city website has been going on for several months. First off, as a taxpayer, I pay for this service, it SHOULD work. Secondly, I shouldn’t have to load some special software to view the meetings. And thirdly, delaying a public meeting is a FORM of censorship┬áby holding back critical information to the public. If this continues, as it has for several months. I am considering filing an ethics complaint against the city clerk. Maybe this will get her to FIX the issue once and for all.)

6 comments ↓

#1 DDC on 11.15.12 at 2:25 pm

Why don’t they just stream the meetings live on Ustream and then simply upload them to YouTube afterwords?

#2 Guest Poster on 11.16.12 at 8:31 am

DDC, the council does not as a whole do not want to answer to anyone. The are our representatives only in name, save a few. They are there to protect and cover for the hospitals, Sanford and the administration. If the people became more involved in the process, they would lose their importance.

L3wis is right to push this. The open government is not part of the plan to operate Sioux Falls. There are millions of dollars to manage and pay off friends. Look at the links each of the members have to the ‘right’ groups in town to see why the people should have no access to the decisions.

Since few people go to the council meetings in person they feel they don’t have to answer to anyone. Erpenbach doe not care about anyone but herself and seeing her name on building plaques for eternity. The “Oh look at all these wonderful things we did for all the little people…” mentality.

Snowgates are one of those items to be saved for electioneering. We the people should never question the electeds motives because we little people have no information to base a decision. We little people also are not given access to their briefing books and meetings. If we had access we could actually question them in more detail. If we questioned them, we might embarrass them into actually doing their jobs.

We the people own this country, not the electeds.

#3 Detroit Lewis on 11.16.12 at 9:59 am

DDC – They ‘Claim’ that the video has to be hooked into SIRE so that you have access to the documents while watching the vids. But I agree, the videos should be separate from the SIRE vids.

I do think that this delay in vids is censorship and done intentially. Not sure if the city clerk, the mayor’s office in cahoots with SIRE or media services. But someone is fiddling with this stuff. I think they paid over $100,000 for this service, it should work.

#4 Detroit Lewis on 11.16.12 at 10:00 am

BTW, Vernon Brown has signed the petition. He is still on the fence about the effectiveness of snowgates but thinks voters should have the right to decide this issue.

#5 Poly43 on 11.18.12 at 9:12 am

I see the argus payleader is finally chiming in on what we’ve read here for quite some time. The argus is nothing without Jon Ellis. But one reporter for a major newspaper is a disgrace.

http://www.argusleader.com/article/20121118/COLUMNISTS0116/311180020/1001/news

#6 Anonymous on 11.18.12 at 8:22 pm

The law says the council can hold the snowgate election at the next ANNUAL election or call a special election. Problem is, SF is the only SD city that doesn’t have annual elections (because of home rule charter). If the petitions are turned in in early Dec, the Council could postpone the election for 16 months. I wonder if the legislature intended that a city could wait that long to respond to a citizen petition?

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