Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓
May 14th, 2013 — County Commission, Minnehaha County
The commission decided today to leave the petitioners policy in front of the administration building ‘As is’ with possible improvements. They have also posted the policy on the building for petitioners to read. The commission is also considering budgeting for improving the entry way to make it more ADA compliant.
I will applaud the Commission for listening to constituents on this issue and making a common sense decision allowing petitioners to easily petition their government instead of making it more difficult.
May 10th, 2013 — County Commission, Minnehaha County
Hopefully this will be the final time the CC talks about this issue. I think they will be presented with ‘final findings and solutions’ on the issue. Meeting is at 9 AM, Tuesday the 14th in the CC chambers.
April 8th, 2013 — 1st Amendment, County Commission, Minnehaha County
If you believe in any cause, like the right to vote, the right to speak publicly about the government, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, Equality, Marijuana legalization, ANYTHING it doesn’t really matter — if you believe the FIRST AMENDMENT is the foundation to our democracy then listen up!
The Minnehaha County Commission is meeting today to discuss the presence of petition gatherers outside the doorway at the County Admin building & Courthouse. Today’s meeting is just for discussion at 1pm, but a formal policy to restrict or ban petitioning could be voted on at the Commission’s weekly meeting tomorrow morning, 9AM in the Commission chambers (courthouse), and that meeting will be open to public input.
The County admin building is frequented by thousands of citizens on a weekly basis, to renew drivers’ licenses, car registration, voter registration, pay fines, file civil claims, and many, many more functions of the government that citizens are entitled. The County Admin building and courthouse are by far the best place to gather petition signatures from registered voters.
The First Amendment guarantees the right to all American citizens to petition the government for redress of grievances. This right is under serious attack at the national and state level, and now today, at our local County level. If we cannot petition the government in a taxpayer-funded town square to refer policies/legislation or propose our own ideas that affect everyone in the community, then our rights to petition the government and peacefully assemble are seriously infringed upon. Our founding fathers decided these rights were so important they put them in the First Amendment of the Constitution along with freedom of speech and religion, and there’s no excuse why these rights should be “restricted” or banned in a public place.
When I collected petition signatures for the South Dakota Coalition for Compassion in 2010, I got about 1-200 signatures each day outside the courthouse. This grassroots effort was successful after 6 months of collecting 33,000 signatures from around the state, and the vast majority of those signatures came from outside the County Admin building in Sioux Falls. The County Admin building in Rapid City was the second most productive location! With out these locations for collecting signatures I seriously doubt there is any real ability to collect enough signatures for statewide initiatives – SD is a rural and spread-out state without a lot of high foot traffic areas, we’re a driving community. I explored every idea, went to so many events, door-to-door, and tried the DMV, the library, the post office and any imaginable public place – and no other place was/is as productive (or appropriate) as the County Admin building. Mind you, it’s also very convenient for citizens to register to vote at the County building to be eligible to sign petitions.
IF YOU CAN HELP SAVE THE VALUABLE RIGHT TO PETITION IN OUR COMMUNITY – PLEASE COME TO THE COUNTY ADMIN BUILDING (WEST DOORS FACING SZECHWANZ) FROM 9:30AM – 12:30PM AND SIGN MY IMPROMPTU PETITION! This petition is a simple statement:
******* I support the right of citizens to gather petition signatures on the County Admin and Courthouse property! *******
My goal is to collect 100 signatures before today’s meeting, and 200 signatures before tomorrows meeting. The impromptu petition has no formal effect but will send a clear message to the County Commissioners.
Here’s a flashback to my 19-year-old self getting started in activism, by collecting petition signatures to put medical marijuana on the ballot! Enjoy!
April 2nd, 2013 — Minnehaha County
The county will discuss making changes to gathering petitions in front of the Minnehaha County Admin building this Monday (April 8) at 1 PM in the commission chambers. I still think there is an effort by certain county employees and commissioners to shut down the petition gathering process. Maybe some of those revelations will be revealed on Monday.
February 18th, 2013 — Crime, Minnehaha County
And she wants feedback from you;
I’ve been appointed to the Minnehaha County Commission’s Criminal Justice Planning Committee. We haven’t been notified yet when the meetings will start. However, I’d appreciate any advice or suggestions anyone has regarding how to improve things at the county level. There was an article in the 2/10 Argus on page 3A, “County to update juvenile detention policies, procedures.” Some federal consultants already did a review of the system and presented the county with a 64-page report. The public can access this report at www.minnehahacounty.org, then click on Departments, scroll down and click on Sheriff, then, on the left side under Department Information, click on Jail and Justice System Assessment. The entire report isn’t available yet; the sheriff’s office is working on technical issues as only the first page of the report shows up.
As identified in the Argus article, the committee will carry out a comprehensive review of Minnehaha County’s corrections facilities and future needs which is driven by several of Sheriff Mike Milstead’s goals which include:
-ensuring the county’s regional jail is used to house only inmates that need to be in secure detention
-replacing a two-decades-old Community Corrections Center that is on the point of outliving its usefulness
-applying, on a widespread basis, alternatives to incarceration such as electronic monitoring to free up jail beds for serious offenders and to keep low-risk inmates in the community where they have a better chance to become productive citizens.
Any feedback may be sent to me at
January 22nd, 2013 — County Commission, Minnehaha County
I would like to give commissioners Cindy Heideberger and John Pekas props for voting to keep the petitioner policy AS IS. Commisioner Dick Kelly made an amendment to their motion and asked that the policy be reviewed over a 90 day period. We testified that system works well now, and does not need to be changed. I argued that the county administration building is the perfect place for petitioners because that is where citizens are already coming to do business with their government. I also reminded the commission that the taxpayers own the building and pay for it’s function. I ended by saying if elected officials do not like petitions, they should do a better job as elected officials.
I also want to clear up any misconceptions of commissioner Barth’s role in the SF parks board, and any connections he may have, in an email from him today he told me this;
Good to see you and hear your views.
I am not in any way involved with the city park board. I have never been to one of their meeting and I don’t know if I am even acquainted with any members of the board as I don’t know who they are. No on has complained to me about the Spellerberg petition but I have had many complaints about petition carriers.
I had previously mentioned that Barth was the contact person for the county when it comes to the SF Parks board, apparently he is not. Thank you for the clarification Jeff.
January 20th, 2013 — County Commission, Minnehaha County
As I have reported this past week, the County Commission plans to boot petitioners out of the lobby.
I found out this past Friday, commissioner Barth was taking photos of a petitioner, which is a form of intimidation and harassment, I am assuming to build his case.
UPDATE: I also found out today that Barth is the county commission contact person for the city’s park board. Curious if the Park board had anything to do with this decision to all of a sudden limit (pool) petitioners?
Not sure where all this hostility towards petitioners comes from, but oddly, it almost always comes from elected officials – gee, I wonder why?
I hope to speak at the CC meeting on Tuesday about their silliness and paranoia.
January 16th, 2013 — County Commission, Elections, Minnehaha County
Minnehaha County Commissioner, Dick Kelly, just can’t understand why anyone would want to petition their government;
Commissioner Dick Kelly countered, “Everybody has the right to petition. The problem is they have to work within the accommodations we have. I thought last summer was really bad. Petitioners were out there for everything you can think of.”
Dick, you are correct we have the RIGHT to petition our government. We also pay for the heating and the cooling of the county administration building, it is a public facility, we own the place.
I have often said if our local elected officials did the WORK OF THE PEOPLE we would not have to have so many petition drives, but nowadays it seems like that is the only way to get anything accomplished in local government, unless of course they postpone an election
Instead complaining about petitioners Dick, why not just listen to the public and serve them better instead increasing their taxes and giving yourself a raise. Let’s talk about who is ‘BAD’.
January 13th, 2013 — County Commission, Minnehaha County, Property Taxes
I would like to personally thank the Minnehaha County Commission for raising my property taxes almost $40 a year so they can have a raise (for an elected, part-time position they CHOSE to run for). Rat Finks!
January 3rd, 2013 — County Commission, Minnehaha County
Am I the only one that catches the Minnehaha County Commissioners in constant contradictions?
Signaling Minnehaha County’s emergence from several years of budget austerity, county commissioners voted themselves a pay raise Wednesday.
The county has turned the corner on a period of “economic dire straits,” according to Commissioner John Pekas.
Okay, so just a few months ago we had to have an opt-out because of the increasing number of prosecutions, but now all of a sudden we have ‘turned a corner.’ Huh? Is Mayor Huether running the county commission also?