When I first heard petition circulators were being ‘harassed’ and followed around by Parks workers, the SFPD and a Canaries baseball manager it didn’t surprise me. Even HyVee gave them the boot (Yes, this is a private business, and YES they asked permission and were not granted it.)

Of course certain people don’t like democracy and constitutional rights impeding on their family fun, oh the shame, as ‘Bill’ commented in a different thread;

Petitioners get pushy with people just trying to take in a game in a family environment. They complain to management and mgt calls Police. Police tell them to not be pushy or harass people and keep their space. That ain’t a conspiracy folks; that’s common sense. Stop taking yourselves so seriously! If SON wants a vote then they should get one. They probably won’t like the result though. Not many people in SF feeling sorry for them.

Asking someone to sign a petition if they are a registered voter IS NOT HARASSMENT. And asking someone to sign a petition at a baseball game? I could not think of anything more AMERICAN! The only thing that would make the situation better would be if it was raining apple pie and hot dogs.

Besides the obvious 1st Amendment rights issues, this is a bigger problem, that doesn’t just stem from the SON group, they have just uncovered the ongoing transparency and freedom of speech intolerance of the city and most importantly our mayor.

This statement and quote should say it all,

Mayor Mike Huether said by email that he didn’t know about the issue, and that “I can assure you we have better things to focus on in city government.”

Right  . . . . Mike. What the mayor should have said is,

“This is appalling that the SFPD is interfering with citizen advocacy that is fully legal and within their 1st Amendment rights. We will have a conversation with these officers so it doesn’t happen in the future.”

Of course, that statement would have come from a mayor that is concerned about transparency. Mike is more concerned about ‘controlling the message’ and squashing free speech. If you don’t think the directives to the Parks department employees and SFPD wasn’t coming from high atop the totem pole, you are pretty foolish and naive. There has even been rumors circulating that city employees were directed to NOT SIGN the petition.

The mayor had a similar response to me when I sent out an email to the council and him after our blatant censorship during the snow gates election discussion at a city council meeting;

However, in fairness to Councilor Erpenbach and the process, ALL OF THE COUNCILORS were notified about the managing the debate time or “20 minute conversation” at 1:47pm on Monday.  Your comment about “making up the rule before the meeting started without informing your fellow councilors” is not accurate.  Whether or not the Councilors made the time to review it or whether or not they wanted to be open and transparent or not to you and to the public, I can’t verify.

I asked councilors about this, both Jamison and Staggers said it was sent in an EMAIL on Monday. Staggers said he doesn’t review his emails everyday and wasn’t aware of this RULE change until Erpenbach brought it up in the meeting. Either way, it should not have been sent in an email, and further more, the public should have been informed about this change 24 hours in advance of the meeting. We were not. But like the comment in yesterday’s paper, once again the mayor tries to wash his hands of having anything to do with it. I call Beautiful Sunshine on his butt once again.

Since Mayor Transparency has taken over these very non-transparent events have taken place;

1) The discussion to fire a city clerk in private, breaking open meetings laws

2) The denial that head librarian Sally Felix was fired

3) The repeated ‘surprise’ press conferences about city news without including or informing the council

4) Using tax dollars to promote the EC without telling the cons of the project before the vote

5) Misinformation about the true cost of the EC, which is still occurring. By using a construction management company, they can cover up what is being paid out.

6) Keeping the EC naming rights deal in secret

7) Claiming we have an ‘above average’ city surplus or cash on hand without telling us much of the money in our piggy bank is ‘borrowed money’ being held until contractors need to be paid for the EC work.

8) The continued failures of SIRE (the online video and document viewing software the city uses on their website, which costs taxpayers around a $1000 a month)

9) Agenda documents not appearing on SIRE until the meetings start, even though the the agenda is posted 24 hours in advance (The city council received a copy of the city budget 7 minutes before the mayor presented it to them publicly.)

Now the mayor can claim all he wants that he is transparent, but saying something doesn’t make it so, actions speak louder then words, but when you are a salesman (mind you that he sold the worst most subprime credit card in the industry) all you really have is words. But I wouldn’t expect anything less out of man who accused me of being godless in a public meeting and a guy who can’t laugh at himself. But none of this is very funny, in fact, it is really F’ing serious.

Is the ACLU and NCAC watching and listening? I hope so.

By l3wis

5 thoughts on “We should have seen this coming”
  1. Excellent post DL.

    I find it interesting when people are embarrassed by their lack of subject knowledge, attack. Instead of asking questions to add to their knowledge base, become argumentative.

    If a ‘special’ person with a vested interest in a project is asked to sign a petition, they use their influence to putdown the petition movement. These ‘specials’ don’t want to explain explain their position because it will usually expose them to the lies they have espousing or the greed they have foisted upon us.

    Due to the maneuverings of the mayor, council, city officials and ‘specials’, there has been a series of decisions and votes limiting the people’s right to know. The people of Sioux Falls are tired of it. This petition drive is just another demand from the people to be heard and not just listened to with smirks.

  2. Let me say this, you all know that I could never win a measly school board seat let alone council, commission or mayoral. Why should I run anyway? I like blogging way too much, BTW, even if I won a seat on one of these boards, I couldn’t get much accomplished.

  3. Asking someone to sign a petition is not harassment. But if someone asks me to sign a petition about another swimming pool fight, I will throw up for a week!

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