UPDATE: Brekke – Government Secrecy Press Conference

UPDATE: I guess my initial takeaway is that this shouldn’t surprise anyone. I think people are getting so used to the games with transparency it just seems par for the course.

I think the biggest thing here is the confidentiality EO. As Janet pointed out words like ‘sensitive’ don’t really mean anything, and can be interpreted however. For example, if a maintenance employee told the Argus that the city spent $2 million dollars last year on toilet paper, and the mayor found out who told them, they technically could tell this employee that it was ‘sensitive’ information and terminate them. Basically a scare tactic to keep city employees from saying anything. While these kind of ‘rules’ exist in the corporate world, they have NO place in city government. Records should be open (besides litigation and personnel). City employees should not have to fear losing their job over it.

There is also a question of violating Federal whistle blower laws. Since the city receives Federal funds, those laws apply to city employees. City employees should have the right, Federally to report any misuse of Federal money or fraud. Federal Law almost always trumps state and local laws and ordinances.

As for the city clerk, I will say what I said when they hired Mr. Greco. They should not have hired him. The clerks office has two certified city clerks, one of them applied for the job after Lorie quit, she should have gotten it, instead, the HR department, controlled by the mayor not city council, picked someone with no certification, Greco wasn’t even registered to vote. We could go back and forth all we want about the lack of certification, the truth is, it should have never been an issue. Some would say that we would have lost one of the assistant clerks. Oh well, I think one main clerk and an assistant is enough. I would even go further and say we also should terminate the budget analyst since nobody knows what he really does, besides openly mocking councilors during public meetings like he did last Tuesday. Any duties he has could be easily handled by the Operations Manager. After they fired Debra it seems the office has gone to Hell in a handbasket, we had to hire 3 people to replace her, and they have less duties, and they take orders from the mayor.

It is also important to note that the city clerk is the responsibility of the city council, not the administration. He could have been sent to certification school on day one if they wanted to send him. I will be curious to hear what his excuse is, I’m sure it is some obscure rule pulled from the rear of Bill TheToole, the HR Director.

Another day of secrecy, what’s new?

You can the replay here;

Transcript and Index of Press Conference; Brekke-PC-transcript, Brekke-PC-Index

Below is a copy of the Executive Order by Mayor Huether on employee confidentiality. Signed in February of 2016;

These documents show the stripping the city clerk of the duties of official city record keeping; Clerk-Record-Keeping

These documents show samples of executive orders by the mayor; Example-Exec-Orders

These documents show an index of where executive orders are now stored; Exec-Order-Index



9 comments ↓

#1 LJL on 04.02.18 at 11:33 am

Not really all that out of the ordinary. Says nothing about sharing opinions.

I do believe city employees feel they risk their employment by speaking freely after the Deb firing.

#2 The D@ily Spin on 04.02.18 at 11:38 am

I thought from your earlier post the Brekke news was at 2pm at the library.
Huether’s actions are likely unconstitutional. Accurate record keeping is required by law and is subject to public access. He’s hiding not just something but everything. It’s time for another SD Supreme Court Sunshine Lawsuit.

#3 LJL on 04.02.18 at 11:51 am

On the matter of the city seal, until someone can prove the mayor is purposely tampering with documents, he will claim it is just a maneuver of convenience and speed.

Again this is another example of why the strong mayor system is shit and purposely created for corruption.

#4 The D@ily Spin on 04.02.18 at 2:09 pm

What troubles me most is Huether has proven he is above the law and (indeed) proud of it. Strong Mayor Charter is not democracy. Leaders at all levels of government are not responsible for their actions. EB-5 went unpunished at the state level. Trump should have been impeached by now.
Are we losing our rights and our freedom? Is this the start of another Reich? Will Huether take credit?

#5 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.02.18 at 2:24 pm

This is just all further proof that the Aliens have replaced Devil’s Tower with the Falls as their first choice for a future landing spot…. And the City is apparently getting ready for this inevitability with exercises in stronger executive orders and the use of the word “sensitivity,” especially….. No wonder the Events Center is used primarily for country music entertainment. It is all obviously a part of a greater “sensitive” project or plan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSbigjiKLoU

#6 The D@ily Spin on 04.02.18 at 2:42 pm

For my Circuit Court Case 08-2478, I subpoenaed pertinent records from the city. They provided boxes of out of order papers. I paid for days of clerical services to sort through it. In the end, nothing was relevant. Also, they presented evidence of a document I signed. They added a second page I’d never seen in a different lettering. It was thrown out. I presented 11 pieces of evidence that’s become a part of the record. I won in the lower court.
The city delayed several years and appealed into SD Supreme Court 2011-SD48. They lost constitutionally and the court seriously scolded them. They altered the Charter some but later changed it back.
Since 2012 there has been numerous court cases against the city. They always lose but refuse to alter the Charter or compensate for legal expenses.
The big case is coming. I fear the next mayor will be occupied with litigation. At this point, they don’t serve us and we’re paying taxes for nothing but overhead and interest on overwhelming debt.

#7 voter on 04.03.18 at 2:24 pm

If she is elected, I will expect the same ‘rock the boat’ attitude when she sits on the Council.

So often, there are lots of campaign promises and then when elected they go into hiding!

#8 TS4D14 on 04.03.18 at 4:27 pm

Voter, I’ll have to disagree with you. She has a 20 year track record as the city attorney to prove you wrong.
She truly cares that this council and mayor arnt following the rules

You have to remember her legacy was she wrote the rules and instituted this form of government.

#9 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.03.18 at 4:38 pm

voter,

Well said, I think they call it being “co-opted.” That is why it should be mandatory that every newly elected official should have to read ‘Animal Farm’ before taking office.

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