Entries Tagged '1st Amendment' ↓

Interesting time for an appeal of this ordinance

It doesn’t take a constitutional scholar to realize the ordinance the city is attempting to repeal is a clear violation of 1st amendment rights. Doesn’t matter what city board you may sit on, nobody can hamper your free speech rights which include giving money to a candidate. While ethically questionable in some cases, completely legal.

So why has the city decided to now repeal this unconstitutional ordinance after a recent election (Item #B)? Makes you wonder how many appointed officers violated the ordinance in the past or even in this past election? Hey good for them, they were well within their rights. It’s the timing that smells fishy.


Project NICE? More Like Project Nosey.


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Argus Leader’s Joe Sneve writes great essay about public input


Proudly hanging on Detroit’s office door

For some strange reason the Argus decided to not post their reporter’s essays online, only in a print version last Sunday, so I’m sorry I can’t link Joe’s entire piece, but can give you tidbits.

He wrote glowingly about public input and the importance of it;

Almost every Tuesday of the year, dozens converge at Carnegie Town Hall to handle the city’s business. Some get paid to be there. Some don’t.

. . .

Many people fear public speaking including me.  Yet people still come to the various meetings and their passion for their community overrides that fear. They want to be heard.

. . .

“Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed – and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy.” President John F. Kennedy said that to the American Newspaper Publishers Association in 1961.

What happens in our chambers happens across the country in cities large and small. And each time, it’s inspiring.

A small board, elected to represent. A mayor, elected to lead.

And residents – taking their own time to understand issues, and using their power as voters and community members to be heard.

As a journalist, I watch it play out every week.

And each time, I’m awed by the courage.

Joe teaches us why public input is so important to a democracy.

In the EC lawsuit, city claims the Argus is misusing ‘Grammar and Punctuation’

Oh, this is a good read (DOC); 299786924-City-of-Sioux-Falls-Defendent-Reply-Brief

Which seems like a cock fight between attorneys, the hearing on Monday outta be entertaining;

Second Circuit Court Judge John Pekas is scheduled to hear the case at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the Minnehaha County Courthouse.

No matter where you stand on the law or legal language of these statutes, it all seems irrelevant to me. Any document or settlement produced using tax payer money should be made public. It’s not like we are protecting the integrity of a man who shot himself with a 5-foot branch and a rifle in a grove of rural trees, this is about siding that was poorly installed on a building. Who are we protecting?

I also find it even more ironic we are spending MORE tax dollars on private attorneys to keep something a secret. Screw who won the spelling bee here, that should be a red flag enough to tell us something truly needs to be hidden.

Poly nails it! The Events Center ‘snack police’ have struck!

Goddammit! You will eat our moldy bread, drink our over-priced ruffied drinks, or you will sit in the car;

Guests will still see similar security procedures as they have for other concerts. Bags will be checked and hand held metal detectors will also be used upon arrival. But for this show, the new security element is a bag restriction. No bags larger than 13″ by 15″ or 6 inches deep will be allowed for this performance.

In other words, any bags that can carry in extra snacks, booze, bottled water or whatever will be monitored.

The honey moon period is over folks for the Events Center. How ironic that the concert they choose to implement this fascism is at an already duplicate act.

These posts write themselves.

Argus Leader agrees, agenda musical chairs not a good idea

While we are called ‘hurtful’ and ‘meddling’ with city business, seems the city’s newspaper agrees with our stance, status quo is working just fine;

We all know that deadlines force decisions. Moving the deadline to get on the agenda to Monday will just delay the decisions and actions required to bring the issue to the council in the first place.

As if to illustrate that point, Hogstad told Argus Leader Media that even if the deadline where changed to the 24-hour system that in most cases the agendas will be available on Friday in most cases.

Which begs the question: Where’s the problem?


There are no problems, that is why after pressuring them, they are considering leaving it as is, which still permits contracts to be presented as a late as 5 PM on Monday.

This is about a bigger issue, some councilors and the administration trying to eliminate public input. They tried once before and got shut down, they must have short memories.

The rumored plan is that Councilor Rolfing plans to take the council chair position after the election (he is assistant now) and make a concerted effort to eliminate public input, or push it to the end of the meeting or at the 4 PM informational.

Not only do I not forsee that happening, I would like to go back to old form of public input in which the mayor and council actually interact with the public when questions are asked. I would also like to see a different council chair elected, several are gunning for councilor Erickson, who can actually complete full sentences when arguing a point . . . I’m just saying.

This of  course will depend on the next council makeup, which looks promising.

Councilor Erpenbach tries to splain away the agenda posting dates, blames hurtful people

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Agenda item #23 from the Sioux Falls City Council meeting on January 19, 2016 was conceived as a way to justify taking away the public’s right to know what was going to happen in city meetings.

Michelle Erpenbach admitted she needs the Friday posting deadline so she could do her homework in preparation for the Tuesday sessions. So do we. If this item is allowed to pass on February 1 we will no longer have enough time to contest agenda items.

Public input was respectful and strong earlier in the meeting. By the time this item was brought up the presenter the council knew the room was not with them. Michelle made some inappropriate comments about the citizens in attendance. She didn’t seem to understand the crowd was with her until she decided to chew them out.

Lori Hogstad took one for the team and admitted she authored this change. We’ll accept this but she also said she could put the Friday back into the ordinance. We are counting on it.

Sioux Falls & Brandon Public Schools seem to be confused about the term ‘Public’

”He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.” – Ben Franklin

Voting is the cornerstone of a free democracy, so where should this exercise take place? Well, probably in a public place, but Brandon & SF School District officials are saying “Not so Fast”;

Sioux Falls Schools officials have told county election managers that Hawthorne won’t be available for voting this election, citing security concerns.

Bob Bray, risk assessment manager for the Sioux Falls School District, said the building’s layout and scheduling make it hard to keep voters and students separate.

First off Mr. Bray, kids can be shot anywhere, parks, churches, walking down the street, and an election being held in your school is NOT going to increase that risk, and I almost question if you are using school shootings as an excuse.

Secondly, schools are publicly funded, and I almost question the legality of the districts denying access for an election, and would challenge Auditor Litz to dig up the laws on it.

Thirdly, the irony of all this couldn’t be more hypocritical. In a state where we scream and hollar about gun rights and being able to carry guns anywhere, we turn our backs on the very people who carry these guns and say, “Not in our facilities.” Well we can’t have it both ways. Until we change our culture about guns in South Dakota, there will still be shootings, whether they are accidental, intentional, or in a church or school setting, elections have little to do with when they occur.

Let’s end the paranoia, and stop the musical precincts;

Minnehaha County Commissioner Dick Kelly said he’s concerned the move will contribute to voter confusion during an important election.

“I think it is unfortunate you have to vote here one day, vote here another then vote here the next,” Kelly said

Litz agreed the search for polling places is a joint effort, requiring cooperation between the district and the county.

Never thought Bob and Dick would be the words of wisdom on this one, but they are right. Consistency helps with voter turnout.

Residents of Hartford, SD want to recall mayor for limiting public input

I have been watching this issue over the past week, and to say it has peeked my interest would be an understatement;

More than 300 residents agreed with Randall, believing that Mayor Campbell is not a good fit for the city of almost 2,700 people. But Randall says this hasn’t been the first time Mayor Campbell has behaved like he did last Tues.

“Numerous times folks have gotten up to approach the podium to ask for permission to speak and before they got to the podium the Mayor’s motioned them and say you’ll need to sit down, we’re not going to hear from you right now.”

Not sure if many of you remember, but I was involved with the successful recall of a mayor in Yankton a few years ago (doing editorial cartoons about the issue).

What is shocking is that the small town of Hartford is flexing it’s 1st Amendment rights and recalling a mayor based on free speech. I revel in their activism. We have a mayor in Sioux Falls who not only has tried to limit public input, he has jailed people before they could even show up to testify. He also keeps as many contracts and settlements as secret as possible, even hiding the documents from the city’s legislative body, the city council. If Hartford is successful recalling a mayor based solely on his acknowledgement of the 1st Amendment and Constitutional rights of citizens, it seems Sioux Falls has a strong case to send our current mayor packing. Who is with me?

Mayor’s Neighborhood Brickwalls Summit, 11/14/2015

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Our intrepid mayor of Sioux Falls seems to think the US Constitution, Charter and written laws are brick walls to overcome. Listen to him discuss his quest to make over the city into his image at the Neighborhood Summit on November 14, 2015. His “to hell with the laws, Council and citizens” must be overcome if we are to have a clean and safe city for all.

The brick walls he is upset with are based on rights guaranteed by our U.S. Constitution, South Dakota Constitution and the Sioux Falls Home Rule Charter. Why does no one challenge hizzoner when he defends his administration’s lawbreaking actions?

In this Summit part 1 Mayor Mike let’s us in on his lawless vision of government by and for the specials at the expense of the rest of us.

Since the city of Sioux Falls heavily edits or blocks meetings videos we now offering a direct link to our collected city videos through www.siouxfall.org.

So we ask “Neighbors are only good if they conform to his vision?”