Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr did the right thing

Sure, we can discuss the minute details about how Pat handled this (did he walk out at the right time? Was it professional? etc., etc.) but when you look at the BIG PICTURE something I reminded the council to do when looking at the parking ramp project to begin with, I think Pat walking out was the right thing to do, especially since he had no other options. The Mayor and Kiley already said there would be no more input, could Pat really have gotten the rest of the council to overturn it? Probably not.

As Tim Stanga brought up during the meeting (and Belfrage discussed it on his show today) the council’s minds were already made up before the meeting even started.

What was disappointing the most about the input about the ramp itself was the fact that we heard NO testimony from the developers, we also had NO testimony from the city’s legal counsel about the liability of Hultgren and Drake.

It was obvious that the mayor wanted to bury the hatchet as quick as possible, it was obvious when he was acting like a restless child when Stehly brought forward amendments.

But what is more troubling is that Kiley and Huether reaction to Starr’s statement that he is the one being ‘unprofessional’. The entire council and mayor BESIDES Starr acted like complete children throughout the meeting, as I have pointed out earlier. I don’t blame Starr for not wanting to be a part of it. I also applaud him that his name will not appear on any of the documents or votes on the project (that I think will never happen due to lawsuits, lack of investors, bankruptcy OR all of the above – remember, the developers have already said they have no investors yet, or a hotel franchise).

Huether and Kiley were acting like jackasses when it comes to public input, as they normally do, and they finally got called out on it. If anyone should be embarrassed it should be them. Honestly Starr looks like a Star in this manner.


#1 The D@ily Spin on 12.07.17 at 11:46 am

It’s obvious 6 on the council and the mayor do not represent citizens. Once again the 6 drink the mayor’s Kool-Aid.

#2 Corso on 12.07.17 at 1:10 pm

Not so fast. It takes far more courage to stay in a fight and do your duty then to walk away. Shameful.

#3 Emoluments Clause on 12.07.17 at 1:39 pm

You damn right he did!

And as everyone meets the mayoral candidates over the next few months, make sure to ask them if they think it is right for the City to be doing business with Legacy and Hultgren right now. And then ask or challenge them to make their comment to that question public!

#4 l3wis on 12.07.17 at 2:27 pm

Corso – What fight? Pulling out a rubberstamp and approving a contract with a couple of possible crooks without a fair hearing?

#5 My Mistake Mike on 12.07.17 at 2:59 pm

MMM & Kickstand Kiley looked foolish … before, during and after this incident. Starr did the right thing. There was no reason to arbitrarily cutoff public testimony after one hour. If those were going to be the rules, it should have been made clear in the beginning.

The two in “leadership” positions needed to act bigger. Resorting to name calling makes them look more weak and inept than they truly are. You’d think after 7 1/2 years, MMM would learn how to legally run a meeting? And chiding the audience for “not acting professional” when they applauded Starr took the cake. The citizens were the only ones NOT being paid to be in the room on Tuesday night!

#6 observer on 12.07.17 at 3:12 pm

i generally agree with neitzert, but if this thing goes south, he’s going to be the one who looks the worst as he became the front man for it. there was no fight here, it was decided weeks/months ago. “nitwit, i’ve been on the council for almost 8 years but still don’t know how to make a motion” rolfing, “poor me, i’m offended by that” erpenbach, “i’m smarter than you” kiley, “try to play both sides” erickson, and “i’m keeping quiet on anything controversial” selberg were all in the bag with the self serving clown we have for a mayor. starr and stehly had nowhere to go. i’m for added parking downtown, but in my opinion, this was the wrong plan with the wrong developer. i hope for our sake as citizens/taxpayers/user fee payers i’m wrong. time will tell

#7 Bruce on 12.07.17 at 4:24 pm

Pat Starr did the absolute right thing at the Council meeting. He was gracious and dignified through the entire ordeal.

Rex Rolfing was absolutely pigheaded and wrong when he continued to pipe up with reasons to have Starr expelled from the meeting. He has proved how small his thought processing is.

The mayor and Kiley were very childish through the issues. The city attorney was asked to give a Robert’s Rules refresher and the city clerk showed up to read the wrong Charter / ordinance information. What a group.

My Mistake Mike is right, the only ones who were the audience and I also include Theresa and Pat. Marshal Selberg’s responsive published quote was spot on the next day, the public should have been able to continue unmolested by the mayor.

The mayor used up 4 minutes and 11 seconds to tell us what we had already heard. If he had not interfered, the public could have been done faster. There was a man who wanted to say something and the mayor gaveled the meeting to a close as he walked up to the podium. MMM wanted out of there.

#8 anominous on 12.07.17 at 5:13 pm

Surprised Kiley didn’t frog-march Starr back in there. He is really handy at that.

#9 Meow on 12.07.17 at 5:39 pm

Starr clearly tried to do what he always does and got called out. He is always trying to play both sides which means keeping the naysayers happy, but trying to not commit and also keep the mainstream happy too. He always has an excuse or special reason.

If it was really about those who could not speak, he should have made a point then or walked out then. FYI. There were many opportunities to speak. He did not make that point because obviously he didn’t know what he was doing. He waited till after all the council discussion was complete, waited to vote, placed a non valid vote and walked out after figuring out he could not abstain. He looked like an idiot because he clearly didn’t know what he was doing. He looked like baby because he walked out. He looked like a poor leader because he couldn’t make a decision.

Classics poor Starr leadership. But good job trying to spin it the next. I guess the Mayor isn’t the only one with a house of mirrors and smoke machine.

#10 Sandman on 12.07.17 at 8:49 pm

Come on Detroit… You know the Councilors have their minds made up on 99% of their votes before the second reading happens on anything. To believe otherwise is either willfully ignorant or dangerously naive.

#11 WRONG on 12.08.17 at 8:38 am

Great call Meow. Starr was not only an embarrassment to himself but he was an embarrassment to our city.

#12 l3wis on 12.08.17 at 9:07 am

Were any of you in the chambers when this occurred? You miss a lot of the interaction between the councilors and mayor when you can’t see the full diaz. IMO, Pat was the only one acting professionally. He sat their quiet and never said a word except that he wanted to hear more testimony. The other councilors were giggling, pointing, rolling their eyes at each other, playing with their phones, having side conversations, etc, etc. It looked like they were playing spin the bottle at a slumber party. To say ‘Pat’ was the unprofessional one is laughable.

On top of that, Pat has never said how he was going to vote on the matter. In fact, I really believe he was waiting for more info before deciding. Remember, some of the councilors may be privy to certain details of a project, but not all of them. Tuesday night there were several things we did not know, and the developers didn’t even come up and explain, how could Pat vote on it?

Is Drake and Hultgren legal liabilities? Who is the hotel franchise? Are there investors and funding setup, even if we can’t know their names?

As for Pat breaking some kind of procedural rule, I guess Kiley would be in the same boat. Notice that while they were discussing the Excel energy expenditure, Kiley sat there and didn’t leave the room and abstain until after the discussion. Just like Pat he remained in chambers while discussing an item, then walked out. Kiley is the last person to point fingers about ‘doing his duties’.


#13 The D@ily Spin on 12.08.17 at 9:39 am

The city council is subject matter for a Sitcom. What happens on Tuesdays is comical. They have a good time slot. This could be another Seinfeld or Friends. Then they can waste public money yet there would still be advertising revenue to use for infrastructure and bond payments.

#14 Meow on 12.08.17 at 11:35 am

Spin, spin, spin. I thought laundromats were banned.

Starr had a temper tantrum, not a protest. He walked out and failed to perform his duties. If he wanted to protest he should have voted no and made a statement at the time. Not after running it through the spin machine and twisting he reasoning a day later. The media has been easy on him.

Professional would have been doing your job, voting, and possible speaking up. He did none of those. That equals unprofessional. Leaders have to make tough decisions, he couldn’t like always.

#15 Emoluments Clause on 12.08.17 at 11:58 am

Listen, regardless of what you think of Pat’s motives, what we should all be concerned about is the fact that the City is still doing business with Legacy and Hultgren, while Hultgren is still under OSHA scrutiny for the building collapse – even if it is under appeal – and that Hultgren’s head was on the B of D for Legacy up to and until the collapse, and apparently still a cooperative and accepted partner with them once again given the current parking ramp deal, while we still wait for the OSHA fines to shake out.

If you apply the current City logic, when it comes to Legacy and Hultgren, then it is fair to say that if a Sioux Falls police officer shot and killed a suspect, that that police officer should not be placed on administrative leave until full review of the incident by the proper authorities is completed…. And at least with the police officer scenario, it is safe to assume that there might be a just cause, but where is the just cause, when Hultgren – based on its own Facebook posting – “willfully” (That’s OSHA language by the way) removed a load bearing wall which they never had the proper permits to do, which resulted in the death of one its workers?….

#16 Warren Phear on 12.08.17 at 12:20 pm

Was just wondering. Who makes the decision where councilors sit at council meetings?

#17 l3wis on 12.08.17 at 1:21 pm

EC – Heck, the city even requires administrative leave when an officer shoots at a shadow of a branch in a park 🙂

#18 Meow on 12.08.17 at 2:27 pm

Focus. This article is about Pat the faltering Starr. This article is spin to bail out Starr. Pat is wishy washy like a laundromat.

#19 l3wis on 12.08.17 at 2:34 pm

Meow, it is pretty obvious you have some kind of personal vendetta against Pat, even before he walked out Tuesday Night. So, no spin, what did he ever do to you?

#20 Emoluments Clause on 12.08.17 at 3:48 pm

l3wis – Yep, if Barney takes the bullet out of his pocket and fires it, we all get excited. When an – most likely – underpaid worker dies on the job site and his employer is later fined by OSHA, our local political leaders look the other way and its business as usual…


#21 moss on 12.09.17 at 1:58 pm

Just remember Rex is for REX,

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