Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr explains why he abstained from voting last night

Pat Starr, Northeast District

For Immediate Release

On Tuesday night, December 5, 2017 the Sioux Falls City Council was asked by the Huether administration to cast a vote on a proposed mixed-use parking development deal in down town Sioux Falls. It was a complicated deal that proposed a City financing deal of $21.3 million for the parking ramp and a $30 million privately funded building.

During the public’s one and only opportunity to offer input to the City Council on this project Mayor Mike Huether, with the consent of Council Chair Rick Kiley, abruptly halted public testimony and said that it was over. I did request that the Mayor reconsider his and Councilor Kiley’s decision but was told we had heard enough.

I could not in good conscience sit in the room with the public silenced and stopped from being heard by their elected officials. We are elected to office to listen to our citizens and to use this information to act on their behalf to the best of our ability.

Three weeks ago the Huether administration dropped a done deal on the Council and the citizens of Sioux Falls claiming this scheme has been discussed for many years. In fact, this was the first time the Council had a chance to publicly review and question the program.

The people were shut off access to their elected officials. These officials are charged with spending their tax money.

Through mayoral control of and City Council leadership rules, this was the 1st chance for the public to be part of the decision-making process. They were insulted and told their input was not needed and certainly not valuable.

If the citizens can’t be heard by the Council, then why should my voice be heard or my sacred vote be cast, if the citizen’s voice is shutoff? How do we as elected officials truly represent the people?

At this time I offer my sincere apology to those residents who appeared at the Council meeting last night and were not allowed to speak. I value your opinions and wish that you could have been heard.

With that being said, I am calling upon Mayor Huether and Council Chair Kiley to also apologize to those citizens wronged and to pledge it will not happen again.



3 comments ↓

#1 Reliable Voter on 12.06.17 at 10:41 pm

Good for Starr, but no apologies will be coming to the folks left waiting to testify on Tuesday. Starr is public spirited enough to think it’s possible to promote and value listening to citizens.

As for Huether and Kiley – you can’t shame the shameless.

#2 Warren Phear on 12.07.17 at 9:11 am

Hope Bruce gets this video up soon. Pat acted appropriately.

#3 Yaaaah Starr!!!!! on 12.07.17 at 10:23 am

Starr is a courageous Man’s Man!!!! …..similar to our military volunteers.

The other “little boy”-so called men on the council are an embarrassment with big egos. Proof being their facial and eye messaging disrespectful antics and their predetermined huddling to ram through the mayor’s spending agenda. How disgraceful they are!!!!!!!!!! They reveal their own character and care not about the citizens they were elected to represent.

Repeat: DRAIN THE SOOFOO SWAMP 2018 & 2020!!!!

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