Kermit told me this afternoon that he will not be seeking a second term. His health and well being is taking precedent. I wish him the best in his retirement from SD politics, he will truly be missed.
Entries Tagged 'Kermit Staggers' ↓
Ayn Bird made a brief update message to a large interest Carnegie Town Hall meeting room crowd of reporters, potential candidates and of course the mayor. Kermit has been experiences health issues for the last few months creating a political buzz.
The Staggers family marched in, Ayn gave her message and they left immediately leaving a stunned news starved group. It actually was very much like many city hall pressers we have been attending, give the release and rush out of the room. This time it was the mayor stumbling for words and looking for answers.
Never underestimate Kermit Staggers.
UPDATE: As I suspected, Kermit’s family said they will be working through his health issues as he continues to serve on the council. Time to move along to other important business concerning our city.
Here are the actual charter rules for attendance. In all reality if Kermit only showed up to 3 more meetings he would be in compliance. But how can we expect the rest of the council understand their own charter? (DOC: Council Meetings
Kermit’s family will be making a statement. It is at Carnegie Town Hall.
My assumption is they will be speaking about his recent health issues and finishing his term as a councilor (which ends this Spring in a few months).
I have NO doubt in my mind he will finish his term out successfully and tackle his health problems. As for running for another term, I am not sure of.
Kermit has been a strong voice for the people, and agree or disagree with him, you will have to admit that the man has been dedicated to public service most of his life. He served as an Air Force intelligence officer, a state legislator and a 3 term city councilor.
I hope that the remaining city councilors and the mayor give him the respect and the space to finish his probable final term in public service gracefully. I know he would do the same for any of them if they were in the same boat.
As for his (well excused) absence, I could go on and on about the meetings the other councilors have missed over their terms to go on exotic vacations, visit their vacation homes in Florida or to leave early to see a rock concert. There must be respect amongst peers, and I hope they show Kermit that respect.
Nothing stands to ruin an organization’s spirit and sense of group pride quicker than an acrimonious debate. When debate gets heated and personal, good members quit, and the antagonists generally don’t have what it takes to keep the organization going.
Nobody likes acrimony, and nothing need keep you from having a spirited debate while still keeping discussion focused on the issues. The following list contains some points to keep in mind when the soup gets thick at meetings where you talk about a dues increase or what to do with a budget surplus:
Listen to the other side. You expect the presiding officer to protect your right to speak even if it turns out that you’re a minority of one. You also expect the other members to hear you out and to allow you the same time as everybody else to get in your two cents’ worth. Give your fellow members their rightful turn. Listen to them — you may hear something that affects the way you think.
Focus on issues, not personalities. It’s best to just stick to the issues. You may disagree with the point, but you won’t feel personally attacked if everyone sticks to the issues.
Avoid questioning motives. It’s not a good idea to say, “Mr. Chairman, the dweeb who just spoke is obviously trying to raise the salary of the executive director because he wants to get the director fired and hire his own brother-in-law.”
The dweeb may, in fact, be glad to see the director go, and he may indeed be working to set up a raise for the next employee, hoping it’s his brother-in-law. But when you’re in the meeting, express your opinion based on the proposal’s merits. Try saying, “Raising the salary of the executive director is unwise at this time because we haven’t yet completed the assessment of a performance review.”
Address remarks through the chair. One of the ways things can deteriorate quickly is by forgetting the rule that requires you to address the chair, not a member directly, during debate.
Use titles, not names. Things are more likely to stay impersonal if you avoid using names during debate. Refer to “the secretary” instead of “George.” Refer to “The member who offered the motion” rather than “Myrtle.” It feels a bit formal, but the idea is to keep the focus on issues, not individuals.
Be polite. Don’t get the floor and start reading some paper, don’t argue with the presiding officer except by legitimate appeal, and don’t do anything that otherwise disturbs the assembly.
Michelle (a Democrat) Erpenbach seems to be concerned about councilors serving as party precinct peeps (mainly because they are not serving in her respective party), she says it is a matter of ‘council ethics’.
But the city’s Board of Ethics has determined, along with City Attorney Dave Pfeifle, that while the courts have held that the exercise of sovereign power generally refers to someone serving in some legislative or policy-making capacity for a sovereign government, a precinct officer in a political party wouldn’t meet that definition.
So it doesn’t violate the letter of the city charter.
But there’s this Canon of Ethics created by the council that is meant to govern members’ conduct. Right now that canon says councilors have a civil responsibility to support good government by all ethical and legal means.
For Erpenbach, that means staying clear of any hint of political involvement.
“Our charter says we run as nonpartisan candidates,” she said. “When I go door to door, and people ask me if I’m Republican or Democrat, I tell them I am running for a nonpartisan seat.
“Now we’re having this discussion. I do not understand how you can be so active in your political party politics and still be nonpartisan.”
Where does that line ‘Hint’ at political party involvement? Basically what she is saying is that if you are a registered Democrat or Republican and you vote in your respective party’s primaries, you are practicing partisanship as a sitting council member. I know, laughable at best.
Erpenbach isn’t going to vote for it. “Our Canon of Ethics gets to the idea of service,” she said. “It’s really about citizens’ expectations about what they want from the people on the council. … and that is providing equal access to everyone.”
She ‘howls’ about partisanship and ethics but says nothing about the MONSTER conflict of interest Karsky has with the Chamber, and the ethics of him sitting as a board member that does mountains of business with the city. Let’s talk about the equal access of citizens and NON-Chamber members when it comes to councilor Karsky, that is a discussion I would LOVE to have.
Kermit of course blows off Michelle’s silliness, confessing it really isn’t a big deal;
“A precinct committee member, at least in the Republican Party, we don’t do a whole lot but go to conventions. We select people to run for constitutional offices. It’s a nice time,” he said.
Kermit, kind of sounds like your Republicans are ‘Rock’in It’!
Councilor Kermit L. Staggers gave a presentation on the conference that he attended in Denver, Colorado, in September. He shares a ton of great information about modern public transportation. The review focused on three key presentations. He was assisted by Elijah Byrd, his grandson, who was instrumental in preparing the presentation.
Wonder if the ‘Austin Texas Four’ (councilors) are going to do a presentation on their trip, where it required four of them to attend. I also don’t remember the council voting on authorizing that trip, or heck, even a mention of it.
Love all the questions they asked Kermit after his presentation. I guess it was so thorough, no questions were required
Mr. Danielson’s case is NOT the only one. Several citizens have been coming out after the verdict on Friday that they are also being ‘criminally’ charged for violations. So now we have a code enforcement department that is treating people who have things ON THERE OWN PROPERTY like common criminals instead just civil code violators.
Let’s just say for now, I am done talking about the indoor pool. To tell you the truth, I was never to concerned about the pool itself as I was about the process. I think the process was handled horribly, before the election and right up until the council vote to approve the facility, and that’s what I want to talk about.
This wasn’t the first time that certain councilors and the mayor have bullied other councilors at meetings. It doesn’t matter what the agenda item or topic is, I feel that there should be a thorough discussion on EVERY agenda item. Let’s face it, the council makes some pretty important decisions about our money, they should do their jobs as our city’s legislature and study each expenditure very carefully.
What does this mean? It means that sometimes a lot of questions need to be asked, and that means there are NO time limits on this questioning. I have never found anywhere in the city charter that says the council has to finish their meetings at a certain time. They are certainly entitled to a recess if they are running long, or they can also defer agenda items to a later meeting, but this current trend of limiting public testimony and even limiting questions a councilor can ask has to end (I think the longest council meeting I watched was over 4 hours long).
Let’s take Tuesday night’s meeting as an example. It wasn’t the first time the Mayor cut off councilor Staggers and called a vote, it was even worse because councilor Rolfing leaned over to Kermit’s direction and said, “You have talked enough.” And as Staggers was trying to talk and being bullied by the mayor, the city clerk, DeniseTucker continued the roll call vote before anything was resolved between the mayor and Staggers.
First off, Denise fails to know who she works for, she is council staff, not the mayor’s. She should have suspended the roll call until Huether and Staggers resolved the testimony issue. Secondly, the meetings are called ‘City Council meetings’, not ‘The Mayor’s city meeting’. These meetings are legislative sessions for the council. The mayor is a part of that body, but he is only there to break ties. Besides being obviously rude and disrespectful to his fellow elected officials, the mayor is negligent in allowing the council to perform their respective duties when he bullies and censors them.
The irony of all this is that the council will spend hours each year scolding and publicly embarrassing business owners over failing alcohol compliance stings (something that doesn’t affect the city budget that much, and is mandated by the State) but when they are spending almost $20 million of our tax dollars, suddenly there must be a limit on the time it can be discussed.
Does councilor Staggers carry on sometime? Sure. Is he repetitive in his questioning? Sometimes. But I didn’t feel he had did either of these things Tuesday night. This was an important vote, it needed to be vetted fully. If I were in his shoes Tuesday night, I would have walked out on the vote, and not came back to the meeting until the mayor gave him a public apology. I was also disappointed in the council for allowing the mayor do this to him. Not one single councilor defended him.
I think there is no hope for the mayor. He is used to being the school yard bully at his previous job so he continues to do it as mayor. The NEW council needs to seriously look at changing the city charter/ordinance so that the mayor is not running these meetings anymore. He can sit in the audience in case he needs to break a tie or testify to a specific item, but he shouldn’t be running these meetings like a dictator.
Am I happy we are building an indoor public pool. Not really, but the community wants it, so it was inevitable that it would get approved. But the process that was used by the mayor and some city directors and councilors was abhorrent and possibly against state election laws.
If I was an indoor pool supporter, I would be embarrassed of how this pool got approved. Very embarrassed.
Remember when Michelle & Rolfing threw a fit because they didn’t want councilor Staggers to go to a convention on the councils dime?
Well Kermit explained his trip to the council at Tuesday’s informational (FF: 22:36) Instead of attending a right-wing cluster, he actually learned about sustainable development, affordable housing, public transit, affordable personal transportation and the Feds role in all of it.
The only thing Rex and Michelle were ‘suspicious’ of is that Kermit actually attended something productive. Can’t wait to hear Rolfing’s report on the League of Cities conference. We’ll see how ‘productive’ that was.