Entries Tagged '1st Amendment' ↓

Is the Sioux Falls Planning Commission skirting state public input law?

I noticed this on the Planning Commission’s agenda page;

This is what was done at the previous meeting;

As we know, or maybe not, state law changed that ALL public meetings have to provide GENERAL public input at ANY time in the meeting. The Planning Commission decided to skirt this at their latest meeting. Are they violating the NEW state law? Not sure, but would not surprise me, their arrogance is usually insurmountable, mostly due to planning staff who backs them up.

UPDATE: Why is a Zeal Center board member trashing councilors on FB?

As you may or may not know, the Zeal Center is part of the USD Discovery Center (that recently got funding from the city council for infrastructure) and share many of the same leaders, like Rich Naser.

UPDATE: I am being told Zeal is a joint venture between the Chamber and the Development Foundation and the USD Discovery District is a USD project. Rich Naser works on both of them, but Zeal receives no DIRECT city funding but the Development Foundation DOES.

One of the board members of Zeal, Matthew Paulson, decided to trash city councilor Stehly on FB recently (she supported the funding).

While Matt certainly has a 1st Amendment Right to say what he wants about an elected official, NOT sure it shows a lot of professionalism when your organization just got a big chunk of money from the city’s taxpayers in which Stehly approved of. Remember, the city council holds the purse strings (not so much under the last mayor). Maybe the next time The Discovery Center or Zeal come asking for funding they won’t be getting much support from city council.

Maybe TenHaken needs to take his own advice when it comes to employees and social media

I’m guessing the city’s wellness coordinator may have an issue with this.

Remember what TenHaken said in 2012 about employees sharing political views on social media;

Ten Haken said he is no stranger to a good political debate on his Facebook and Twitter, but airing out your political feelings online can be a social media ‘don’t’ because it can come back to haunt you.  Rants and fights online can not only wreck personal relationships, but even put your job in jeopardy.

“It’s just safe to kind of walk the middle of the road and if you’re going to post about politics.  There’s nothing wrong with engaging in politics, but just not in such a polarizing way,” Ten Haken said.

Paul went on to comment in the thread;

Paul Ten Haken on 09.24.12 at 6:50 am

The takeaway from the story is that employers (self included) don’t necessarily appreciate overly controversial bantor and talk that can create a rift in a company’s culture. Politics, religion, sports, etc. are certainly not taboo, but extreme left and right views can make an employer question the “fit” someone will be in a work environment that the employer has painstakingly built.

And who can forget his Deputy COS’s comments just months (7/11/17) before being hired to work for the administration;

It seems Paul needs to step back and take his own advice before hiring certain individuals to work for the city.

Trump & Libel

Not sure if you had a chance to watch Trump’s speech yesterday (about 30 minutes of blubbering) but you can find it somewhere.

During his rant he mentions twice to Thune and Rounds that we need better libel laws so people like the president can sue over ‘fake news’. I know that it is difficult for sitting politicians to sue but former Senator Larry Pressler successfully won a suit over libel in 1998 after a book accused him of being gay.

I guess what I would tell Trump is, go for it. If the news isn’t telling the truth, please by all means, prove it in a court of law. The problem is, I don’t think our Liar in Chief stands a snowball chance in Hell of winning a libel case. It requires you to offer evidence and proof what is being reported is untruthful.

BRADY MALLORY INTERVIEWS TRUMP

I was actually pretty impressed with Mallory’s eight minute interview. He hammered Trump on crop tariff’s and Obama’s recent comments. While Trump blew a lot of smoke (like saying the tariffs will help the farmers in the long run), Brady did a great job of standing his ground. BRAVO.

Is the SFPD monitoring public input and commentary?

Last night I heard a rumor that the Sioux Falls Police Department has been monitoring citizens at public input and journalists who may be saying disparaging remarks about the department. At first I was a little amused by the rumor and I asked, “You mean like in the book 1984?” and this person replied, “Pretty much.”

I’m not going accuse the current mayor of concocting such a policy, or even if he is aware (though he probably is). I have a feeling this started under the last administration due to his never ending paranoia about what the media said about him (mostly because he got caught in several lies). I’m guessing the new Chief, Matt Burns was probably directed by him to start watching people.

At this point I only know about a handful of people who actively being ‘watched’ for what they say or do. Obviously city officials read my blog, I have no doubt about it, and while I am not bothered by it, I am concerned about other private citizens being monitored for practicing their 1st Amendment rights. It is unconstitutional and if the rumor turns out to be true, it could set the city up for a very unfavorable constitutional lawsuit especially if entities like the ACLU and NCAC (National Coalition Against Censorship) get involved.

My hope is that this has just happened randomly and is not an ongoing procedure. We have a lot of issues in our community when dealing with crime, especially Meth addiction and Human Trafficking. I think the SFPD needs to focus on those problems and NOT worry about what the citizenry is saying about them.

• On a different note, I did hear that the SFPD will get body cameras this year.

• There was also over 100 code enforcement letters sent to the Norton Acres section of Sioux Falls. They were annexed in decades ago but have NO curb or gutter. It’s a mix and match of different homes and mobile homes. The code enforcement office was trying to make the neighborhood adhere to standards that neighborhoods within the city proper adhere to. My first suggestion before cracking down on the homeowners in that neighborhood would be for the city to fix the roads and update the street lighting. I guess the mass code enforcement blanketing has been called off for now.

FREE Speech is the foundation of our country

I spoke at the city council meeting Tuesday night about the importance of the 1st Amendment and FREE SPEECH. It truly is the greatest right we have as Americans to dissent our government, remember this while celebrating our Independence today!

Man wins 1st Amendment Supreme Court case for being arrested for his city council public input testimony

The SCOTUS opinion was just released on June 18, 2018. ONLY Thomas dissented in this 8-1 decision.

Just what did I talk about at public input?

There has been some criticism from councilors and from the media about the frequency of certain commenters at public input. As I have noted, I ALWAYS talk about things concerning our city. I don’t talk about state government unless it has to do with city business and I don’t talk about Federal Government. I don’t even talk about my blog or personal things like community art shows. If I was trying to get ‘publicity’ wouldn’t I be talking about different things at public input besides city business, I don’t. I attend public input not only to address my concerns with city government, but the concerns of many citizens in this community who either don’t have the time to attend city council meetings or are to shy to comment. I read the minutes of the 26 meetings I spoke at, these are the topics I covered. I sometimes address several topics during the 5 minute period I am afforded. As you can see EVERY SINGLE TOPIC has to do with city government. No carrying on about personal government subsidies or how no one listens to me. Some say you can contact your city council outside of public input. I do, I also blog about a lot of stuff that I never address at public input. I will say this though, a majority of the council WILL not respond to emails or phone calls. Sometimes city employees/directors won’t either. That is why public input is important, it is a time to address concerns, in public and on the record. This is how you get results.

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UPDATE: Why Public Input was moved to the beginning

UPDATE: It seems the Argus Ed Board agrees, don’t move public input.

These are the original Council Meetings (1st and 2nd readings) when public input was moved. It was sponsored by Councilors Kevin Kavanaugh and Curtis Rust. There was ZERO discussion on 1st and 2nd readings, and ALL 8 councilors voted for it. Kevin basically said, “We are here to do the public’s business. We should hear from them first.”

Funny how a good idea had NO opposition when passed 16 years ago. Just another reason why it needs to be left alone.

Minutes, etc, from meetings: 08192001 Minutes – Item 24 Minutes 09032002 – Item 18 Ord 68-02

FF 57:00 (1st Reading)

FF 2:30:00 (2nd Reading) If you go to end of the meeting, where Public Input used to be, you will see Cathy and Melanie Bliss thank the council for moving it, and Mayor Munson apologizes to them for having to wait in the past.

Councilor Stehly sends out Postcard on Public Input