Can the city council legally eliminate public input?

The Sioux Falls city council is set to debate public input again on Tuesday night (Item #35). While I support the changes (5 minutes on 2nd reading) you know my real opinion on the matter, unlimited on 2nd readings if it is quasi judicial and affecting property rights.

According to Roberts Rules the council does have the right to limit public input, they are even able to tell us when we can have it, and for how long. The chair also has the right to limit during the meeting. This is all according to Roberts Rules of course.

But could there be a Constitutional right (1st Amendment) that says total elimination of public input at a meeting on any reading is legal? While city’s like to hide behind Robert’s Rules and city charters they really are sworn to uphold the US Constitution. I also am unimpressed when city attorneys ‘TRY’ to be constitutional scholars and dance around an excuse. I haven’t seen it yet from Kooistra the current CA but Fiddle-Faddle did it all the time. I’m waiting for Kooistra’s ‘Grand Moment’.

It’s always fascinating to me to listen to local governments debate ‘public input’. I often find it an incredible waste of time and resources. Just let people talk. OPEN GOVERNMENT UP! Sunshine is a good thing!

If you don’t want to listen to your constituents, please resign.


#1 SD Vet on 12.01.18 at 10:05 pm

TenHaken aint Huether and Kooistra ain’t Pfeifle. Stop fighting the last war. Bloggers trying to stir stuff up for clickbait. Tiresome.

#2 l3wis on 12.01.18 at 10:33 pm

SD Vet, I get what you are saying. I want to clarify, when I do posts like this it is because I hear ‘rumblings’ about things to come, and I have found when you get ahead of these kind of things, sometimes you can kill them before they see the light of day.

#3 Theresa stehly on 12.02.18 at 12:08 am

SD Vet..Unfortunately, the citizen’s opportunity to address their elected officials at Council meetings is in jeopardy. There are things going on that the public is not privy to yet. I’m hopeful that we will work out a positive outcome for due process and equal and fair treatment for all.

#4 Joe on 12.02.18 at 7:49 pm

No. The City Council can’t ban public input. In fact, the SD Legislature recently passed a law mandating public meetings provide an opportunity for public input.

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