Can the EC Campus Task Force ‘Legally’ meet in private?

According to State Law & the SD Municipal League’s website;

The open meeting law is contained in SDCL chapter 1-25.   Municipalities are required to hold open meetings.  This includes any association, authority, board, commission, committee, council, or task force which is created by statute, ordinance, resolution and is vested with the authority to exercise any sovereign power derived from state law. (SDCL 1-25-1)

So since the mayor appointed the task force AND there is one of his staffers and a city councilor on the task force, how can they NOT be violating state law by meeting in private? Unlike an RFP selection committee that has to do with confidential contract negotiations, according to Deputy COS, T.J. TypeOver, all they are doing is having a ‘candid conversation’ about ideas or recommendations. This definitely needs to be in a public setting. I guess their fear is that Cameraman Bruce will show up to get their brilliant ideas on the record.

Also, Mayor TenHaken is breaking a critical campaign promise that he would make city hall more transparent. Not only do I challenge him to open this meeting to the public, but they should have it in a City Center conference room where it can be filmed and live streamed. When ideas are being openly discussed sometimes the ear of the public can be helpful in correcting something or expanding on a good idea to make it even better. I think we are really short changing citizens by NOT having these important meetings in public. It kind of sounds like some supporters of the candidate TenHaken have some ideas of their own that they don’t want the public to know about until it is too late to stop the train. I think we learned from Mayor Ramrod we are NOT going to do things that way anymore. Someone needs to send Paul the memo.

UPDATE: I also see they are going to be discussing the future of the Orpheum’s management in the meetings. Which is a little odd, because the gossipers at SMG have said their contract with the Orpheum ends July 1st.



13 comments ↓

#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 02.01.19 at 3:53 pm

They’re all graduates of the Dick Cheney School of Government.

#2 D@ily Spin on 02.01.19 at 5:00 pm

Perhaps the mayor is still getting acquainted with procedure and Roberts Rules. However, Home Rule Oligarchy allows the mayor to make his own rules. Real transparency will only happen when the Charter is amended or replaced with rule of law and democracy.

#3 "Very Stable Genius" on 02.02.19 at 3:41 am

This privacy, however, will make it easier for them to discuss a return to the area of the Delbridge collection and West Sioux Hardware as well.

#4 matt johnson on 02.02.19 at 7:36 am

I will first agree that it is best to have these things out in the open, but I need a little more info to agree that this is a violation of open meeting laws. Did the mayor appoint this group and seek approval by resolution? If not then there is not a violation- no statute, ordinance or resolution suggested the need for the study group.

#5 Where Is the Local Media? on 02.02.19 at 10:17 am

Four of the six facilities on the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Campus are OWNED by the TAXPAYERS.

The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Campus includes the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls Convention Center, Arena, Sioux Falls Stadium, Howard Wood Field and Sheraton Hotel.

The 2009 EC Task Force met for 13 months. All meetings were open to the public.

Why hold closed meetings now?

Poor decision on the Mayor’s part, especially when the fate of three taxpayer-owned facilities are up in the air: the Arena, the baseball stadium and the Orpheum.

#6 l3wis on 02.02.19 at 11:18 am

MJ, you may have just pointed out where the mayor went wrong on this by NOT having the consent of council.

#7 matt johnson on 02.02.19 at 12:47 pm

how did he go “wrong”- when their suggestions get implemented without appropriate consideration and action then it will be “wrong” – until then he is seeking advise again I think best discussed in public but not my call but just because you dislike does not make it “wrong”

#8 "Very Stable Genius" on 02.02.19 at 2:13 pm

You asked, “Where Is the Local Media.?” Well, if you go to the EC, you will notice that one of our local media outlets has purchased naming rights there. I guess that is where they are….

#9 l3wis on 02.02.19 at 4:26 pm

It’s WRONG because open and transparent government saves taxpayers money & prevents corruption. I think we learned that from the siding settlement, and God knows how many other things MMM swept under the rug. It is also WRONG because PTH promised transparency moving forward. It is also WRONG because this volunteer group of (elite) in our community will be making recommendations behind closed doors. Letting sunshine in, is ALWAYS the RIGHT thing to do, anything else is just WRONG.

#10 matt johnson on 02.02.19 at 8:51 pm

I think I have stated several times that I think this should be done in open; but your initial allegation in the blog is that somehow state law has been violated- but the group was not established by statute, ordinance or resolution so it can not be illegal- it might be wrong to do as established but lets get the facts right

#11 l3wis on 02.03.19 at 12:58 pm

MJ, but that is the question here, did PTH legally form this task force without council approval? I don’t think he did. I do know there are some lawyers looking at this, we will await to hear their opinion.

#12 Marketing Guy on 02.04.19 at 10:04 am

Perception is Reality.

How can a mayor with a marketing background believe it is a good idea to appoint a committee that will MEET IN SECRET for six months to make key decisions about four PUBLICLY-OWNED facilities?

No matter what recommendations come out of these secret meetings, he has created a situation where the taxpayers will always have questions about the outcome for these four facilities.

Huge political blunder.

Perception is Reality.

#13 "Very Stable Genius" on 02.04.19 at 6:54 pm

What did that little girl say? Oh yah, “…They know what to do.”

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