Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Charter Revision Commission' ↓

Danielson writes guest column about ethics complaint

Bruce’s column appeared in today’s Argus Leader, read the whole column HERE.

The Home Rule Charter is our city constitution. In theory it is to protect us from abuse while giving local government more latitude to meet statutory needs such as fixing streets, utilities along with fire and police protection. I am a strong proponent of a balanced government structure, without authoritarians ruling the day or weak elected officials being pushed around. We need a balance.

1. The charter establishes a mayor to be elected by the people to lead the city government and its employees.

2. The charter created a city council to be a policy making body to set the rules for the mayor’s administration to follow.

3. To keep everyone on a straight and narrow path, the charter has a section called ethics to keep everyone in order.
The secrecy in SF city government is bad enough, but without a strong balance of ethics, we as citizens have NO recourse.

VOTE YES on Amendment ‘F’

I know I have mentioned before the Amendments and voting yes on all except the mayoral term limits. But I want to talk about the importance of voting YES on ‘F’. The city of Sioux Falls should not tolerate discrimination on any level. VOTE YES on ‘F’!

charterf

 

Did the Sioux Falls City Attorney’s office improperly use an Executive session?

Last week after the conclusion of the Sioux Falls City Council informational meeting, they held an executive session. Per state law those meetings are VERY specific because of the secrecy and privacy involved;

Consult with legal counsel about proposed or pending litigation or contractual matters pursuant to SDCL 1-25-2(3)

But that may not have what happened in the meeting. According to a South DaCola foot soldier, a conversation was overheard that the meeting was a strategic planning session on how the rental car tax was going to be presented by the council. Hardly a contract agreement. This should have been brought before the Charter Revision Commission, in public.

Still no verification if this is what was discussed, but if so, it seems to be a stretch of the law;

     1-25-2.   Executive or closed meetings–Purposes–Authorization–Violation as misdemeanor. Executive or closed meetings may be held for the sole purposes of:
             (1)      Discussing the qualifications, competence, performance, character or fitness of any public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee. The term “employee” does not include any independent contractor;
             (2)      Discussing the expulsion, suspension, discipline, assignment of or the educational program of a student or the eligibility of a student to participate in interscholastic activities provided by the South Dakota High School Activities Association;
             (3)      Consulting with legal counsel or reviewing communications from legal counsel about proposed or pending litigation or contractual matters;
             (4)      Preparing for contract negotiations or negotiating with employees or employee representatives;

             (5)      Discussing marketing or pricing strategies by a board or commission of a business owned by the state or any of its political subdivisions, when public discussion may be harmful to the competitive position of the business.However, any official action concerning such matters shall be made at an open official meeting. An executive or closed meeting shall be held only upon a majority vote of the members of such body present and voting, and discussion during the closed meeting is restricted to the purpose specified in the closure motion. Nothing in § 1-25-1 or this section may be construed to prevent an executive or closed meeting if the federal or state Constitution or the federal or state statutes require or permit it. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.Source: SL 1965, ch 269; SL 1980, ch 24, § 10; SL 1987, ch 22, § 1; SL 2014, ch 90, § 2.

 

The city needs to eliminate TIF funding in 2016, once and for all

Isn’t it ironic while the school district asks for higher teacher pay, the city screams for another penny in sales taxes, and the county, well the county is just flat broke, they have no issue with handing out millions in TIF funding this past year.

You can’t help to notice in the news this week the city is boasting about $675 million in record building permits, and every developer, banker and his cousin are bragging up the record construction.

Which is all very fantastic, while my wallet size remains the same as my property taxes go up.

Doesn’t it seem pretty obvious with record construction (99.99% of it without TIF funding) and the need for additional property tax revenue, the time is now to put an end to TIFs? What is there purpose anymore? To spur development? To clean up blight? To help affordable housing options? Well the last two TIF’s were for luxury condos and workforce housing downtown (which is code for NOT affordable housing, but cheap enough for a working stiff to afford rent, paycheck to paycheck).

There may have been a time and space that TIF’s were needed to spur growth and development in this town, but at this point, it just seems like extreme overkill and corporate/developer welfare.

The developers will be just fine, have them experience the free market like the rest of us working stiffs, and pull the TIF funding program from the city’s charter once and for all.

 

Let’s Fix the Home Rule, Charter Revision Commission, 9/9/15

Do we fix or replace? The Home Rule Charter has been so abused by out of control administrations we must consider its future.

In 12 years the city has dropped down into the sink hole of debt we may never be able to climb out. We are being taxed and levied fees at greater rates than ever before with little to show but larger egos. We have an administration abusing citizen’s rights in an attempt to mold the town into some kind of image we are not part of but have to pay for.

The Charter Revision Commission is appointed to look at the needs and make suggested corrections for voters to approve in 2016. We all know the Charter needs help, so let’s get involved to fix it.

There will be at least 4 more monthly meetings to present ideas. Here are the Charter Revision Commission Members:
– Robert Thimjon – Term Expires – March 2020 – Chair
– Susan Aguilar – Term Expires – March 2019 – Vice Chair
– Jill Entenman – Term Expires – March 2019
– Justin Smith – Term Expires – March 2019
– Pauline Poletes – Term Expires – March 2020

The first meeting was organizational. Each of the next 3 meetings will cover 3 sections of the Charter in order with Public Input allowed on each. It appears there will also be general Public Input at the end of each meeting.

As active participants in the 2014 city election, Greg Neitzert and Bruce Danielson spoke up during Public Input with ideas for the Commission to consider. They have promised to return with more ideas on the Initiative and Referendum process, direct election of City Attorney, appointment process to boards and commissions, Chair of City Council actually runs the meetings with mayor in attendance, clarification of the rule of law, and legal due process must be properly served by city agencies including Code Enforcement (no more drop and run process service or we think we mailed it stuff).

As it is, the Charter is so full of holes from top to bottom we are running out of fingers to plug it. With our “strong” mayor form the leader claims there is no way to stop him or the administration from taking away our rights. We need you to be involved to plug the leaky Charter.

If you have ideas, bring them to the Commission. Two people showing up at a meeting is not going to fix the Charter. Call AND write the members then show up to press your point of view. From all we can tell, there has not been public showing up to these meetings in the past. They need to see people!