Is it time for a city ordinance to eliminate spending tax dollars on ‘educating’ the public on ballot measures?


The following Argus Leader article from today’s paper highlights the problem all the citizen efforts will face. What’s to stop City Hall employees from discussing openly who/what the people should vote for? With our lack of ethics law, what’s to stop decisions being made affecting who can vote.

Is the city wrong in this attempt to sway a citizen effort’s defeat? What do the city ‘leaders’ have to gain? Why do the efforts of city bureaucrats mean more, than the citizen efforts? We will see the same thing happening on the other three issues.  The pool issue is but a small part of the larger picture of what is happening in Sioux Falls and South Dakota.

We will be seeing city hall led efforts to take charge of the non-ballot discussion to sway the pool vote. Our salesman mayor only knows how to sell something. The only way a salesman gets gratification by closing another sale, damn the costs that’s someone else’s job to worry about.

Maybe it is time for a city ordinance banning the use of taxdollars being spent on ‘educating’ the public on citizen initiated ballot issues.

Should elected officials be able to speak freely to the public about their opinions on certain ballot issues? Most definitely, in fact the First Amendment protects that right. But should an elected official or a city director/employee be able to use taxpayer resources to educate the public about a ballot issue they want defeated or even approved? State Law says it cannot, but the city seems to be using a ‘loophole’ claiming they are ‘educating’ the public. Baloney.

When you present the public (leak it to all the major news media) 75% more drawings of an indoor pool, then an outdoor pool, and clearly make the indoor pool look more favorable, while spending $46,000 on these drawings, you are clearly trying to sway the public to vote against an outdoor pool.

I have no issue with Walmart, SON, Community Swim, Veterans for the VA or even the snowgaters organizing and paying for an education campaign. As private enities, they have that right. But they should not be expending tax dollars to sway a vote.

Since the city seems to want to ignore state law, or use loop holes to continue to ignore it, what can we do as citizens to stop the taxpayer funded ‘education’ program?

Ironically is probably another ballot issue to close the state law loophole. Who is willing to come forward? Soon?


#1 pathloss on 01.29.14 at 8:54 am

When city officials make a choice it’s gonna happen. Doesn’t matter if it makes no sense or if the public agrees.

Some of the foolishness:
An Events center with no parking.
Downtown vacant parking garages.
A new grade school with no sidewalks.
A new middle school one mile down a dirt road.
A tunnel under I-229 with 8 fire plugs.
Under designed parking expansion at the airport.
Landscaping for a private hotel.
Planning 2 new public funded hotels.
Discouraging private hotels at the EC & airport.
Building an indoor pool on federal property.
Money for pickle ball.
Public funds for a private tennis facility.
Public funds for retail development.
No public funds for infrastructure repairs.

#2 pathloss on 01.29.14 at 8:59 am

This is what happens when there’s no checks and balances aka democracy. It’s when Home Rule Charter goes awry and political types induce kleptocracy.

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