I guess Huether was explaining his four legs of government today during the listening and learning session at the Rollin’ Pin, and he was using a chair to demonstrate it.
I have a guest post coming from someone in attendance. I guess the person taking the photo, really had him on his toes.
UPDATE: If you have been to Learning and Listening sessions over the past few years of our Mayor’s tenure you get used to him being excitable. This past Saturday at the Rollin’ Pin was no different. I decided to attend this meeting because it was advertised on the City’s website as an official event. Official city events cannot be confused as campaign events. So I decided to take a few notes. The mayor knows me because I presented the Citizens for Integrity petition to the Tuesday night council meeting. As the event began, he spent a lot of time staring at me as I took notes.
Our new petition effort was organized because we have a city government led by a salesman. This mayor leads by selling, non-stop, all the time, everywhere. With an audience of about 40 members in place, the mayor began with inviting us to tour the Event Center this Saturday and Sunday. If you can’t make it this weekend, it will be every weekend through March. As if we did not know this after the mass mailing campaign piece in our water bills…
Now the mayor was on a roll, hitting the high points of his mayoral successes of fixing roads, cash flow, and of course the EC. He approached the group of retired senior citizens to encourage them to get back into the workforce. You know the ‘active generation’ members make good employees or is it slaves?
The mayor decided to entertain us. He picked up a chair, flipped it over and proceeded to tell us of his version of successful work as mayor. We received a demonstration of management and economy or something using the upside down chair. Weird. And the group was puzzled. We once again learned he didn’t know anything about Costco before they showed up. Wow, a ‘successful’ salesman with no knowledge of Costco, one of the most successful retailers in all the world, paying living wages? Hummmm….
He decided to talk about the ballot issues. We got to see how snowgates work during his walking arm chopping demonstration. Twice. After a few more comments about the use of snowgates, he proceeded to blame the snowgate petition / ballot effort for his delay in implementing them. Yea right, we messed up his reelection campaign.
Next we heard about how Sioux Falls deserved an indoor pool and how in his opinion an outdoor ballot effort was wrong. A retired woman who admitted she did not plan to use the pool but since Sioux Falls has heard about an indoor pool for a long time, ‘we’ deserve it. This got the mayor really fired up. Another member of the audience had been to an fitness center indoor pool on Saturday morning and there were a lot of users of the pool. This in his mind justified the city building an indoor pool. Now the mayor was excited appearing to realize he was in a ‘friendly crowd. Mike now recited the need for an indoor pool and began to ‘educate’ us. He let us know he did not agree with the outdoor pool and began to tell us why. He told us Don Kearney and Jeff Schmidt will be starting a series of education sessions this week, please read the City’s Webpage for dates and times. (Lest we forget, why is it the city’s business to build a pool to directly compete with the fitness centers?)
Without any delay as he was walking away from me to press a point, then he came back at me and I said,
“Mr. Mayor, Mr. Mayor… Is this an official city meeting or a campaign event? If it is an official city meeting you cannot advocate a position.”
Oops the voice inside me came out… The mayor and I sparred for about 5 minutes. Mike stated he was mayor 24 / 7 he could say anything he wanted when he wanted. My questions and statements were consistent, If it is an official city event, he cannot state an advocacy position. Also, since this event was posted on the official City Website, it is a city meeting, not a campaign event so no more campaigning.
The mayor was not happy. I was told by the mayor if I did not like what he was doing, I should run for mayor. I reminded him, we started the new petition drive to stop official interference in the citizen’s debate.
The other two ballot issues were hardly mentioned after our warm discussion. At a point, about 20 of the audience members got up and headed to a funeral. I guess the mayor’s event was the pre-funeral stop. The meeting continued but never returned to the ballot issues. We got back to city questions.
We also learned from an audience member, she had the money to go out of town for events but wanted more free events to attend in Sioux Falls. Why can’t the city entertain me, for free?
There will be members of our group attending ‘education’ events to remind the city paid employees to watch what they say. Their boss’ version of education if strangely close to advocacy. We are taking notes. To those who plan to attend this meetings, take notes. When a city employee or mayor attend these meetings as an official of the city, don’t be afraid to correct them. They are wrong. They are breaking state law. They are breaking current city code. Our petition effort will tighten the loophole they feel they have to usurp the people’s right to petition their government.