After 90% of the Public said to leave public input as is, city council votes against them

FF 18:00 for beginning of meeting.

Councilors Kiley, Selberg, Soehl and Neitzert voted for moving it, Brekke, Starr and Stehly voted it down. Erickson was absent (she supports moving it).

There was over 35 people and two hours of testimony tonight to keep public input as is. Only TWO people spoke against it, one was a former public employee (Former School Superintendent) and a former county commissioner, legislator and city commissioner, Anne Hajek. Go figure, right? NO business people showed up to speak against it, in fact two well known businessmen Craig Lloyd and Tom Walsh argued to leave it as is, just to work on controlling the decorum.

Councilor Stehly read an email from former mayor Munson who also said to leave it as is, but control it better.

The way I look at this, it will only make the meetings longer, you watch . . .


#1 l3wis on 06.12.18 at 9:31 pm

LOL. I just realized I posted this before they even voted. How predictable is that?

#2 Matthew Paulson on 06.12.18 at 9:38 pm

They still haven’t voted as of this comment.

#3 Matthew Paulson on 06.12.18 at 9:39 pm

Also, there were a total of 37 people that commented (according to Joe Sneve).

#4 Warren Phear on 06.12.18 at 9:57 pm

Scott, nothing unusual about calling all out the obvious before the vote. Just like any typical second reading. Nothing, regardless how much sense it makes, will change a pre-concieved mindset.

On a much brighter note. I think anyone who watched tonites proceedings has got to be impressed by the fortitude shown by councilors Stehly, Starr, and a very, very impressive Janet Brekke.

#5 "Very Stable Genius" on 06.12.18 at 10:00 pm

Now the critics have the opportunity to control the immediate narrative of future controversial issues. Just watch, this move will come to haunt the establishment and a majority on the Council…

Oh, and has Neitzert ever read ‘Animal Farm?’ If not, he should. And Soehl needs to find his democratic roots, because its now obvious that his Democratic roots have rotten.

And Hajek was against it? Really? Wasn’t Hajek the first woman to run for mayor of Sioux Falls (1998)? Oh waited a minute, it was Pam Nelson (1991), but don’t let KELO onto that fact…. (What?… You want to do a story about me?….. Sure! (Even though its not true.))

#6 "Very Stable Genius" on 06.12.18 at 10:10 pm

But, but he promised though……

FF: 02:22

#7 l3wis on 06.12.18 at 10:13 pm

Paul has no idea of the beast that was unleashed tonight.

BTW, did you like me using Pam Nelson in my testimony tonight? I didn’t bring this up, but if they are worried about decorum at meetings, don’t let Pam testify.

#8 Pat on 06.12.18 at 10:28 pm

We elect people to do the work of government. Then we seek to micromanage them. If they break a principal then do a recall vote. This is not a matter of principal. The elected body should be able to determine their meeting agenda. No one’s constitutional rights are squashed by the moving around of the agenda. If they are then the order of the agenda needs to be in the constitution along with lots of other rules.

#9 l3wis on 06.12.18 at 10:37 pm

I agree with you. But cutting off someone’s arm because they have a hangnail is not the solution. Have a discussion about it, put in solutions that have been tested and work. I have a million ideas about how to improve public input, but this is NOT the solution.

#10 Pat on 06.12.18 at 10:43 pm

There is discussion happening. It’s called first and second reading. Tonight was the perfect example. Amendment offered. The same thing can happen next week. People are screaming about ramrodding. There is no ramrodding. A councilor is acting within their authorized ability. People should stop screaming about the ramrod and offer a resolution to mandate a different system.

#11 "Very Stable Genius" on 06.12.18 at 11:16 pm

Does the current Charter allow this, and if so, how many signatures do we need to recall individual Council members?

#12 Peter "mega" Pischke on 06.12.18 at 11:40 pm

Disappointing but not surprising outcome.

Stehly is correct that this very well could leave to the city feeling split in half all over again.

Insane amount of public comment and very strong reasoning was shared by many.

The council wouldn’t even delay the vote a month so some discussion could take place.

I really am happy with Stehly, Starr. and Brekke.

BTW What the fetch Erickson.

#13 anominous on 06.12.18 at 11:50 pm

Good. This move will free up more time so they can make the opening prayer even LONGER.

#14 "Very Stable Genius" on 06.13.18 at 12:05 am


A recall, I guess, is based on State statute and not a City ordinance:

However, the statute claims you need 15% of the registered voters in the last City election to sign it, for a recall to take place.

On May 1st, the last City election, there were 104,984 registered voters:

So that means you need 15575 signatures within 60 days to effect a recall, but in the case of individual Council districts there is on an average 26246 registered voters; which means you would have to get more than 2/3s of the registered voters in a given district to sign the recall petition, but that would be a high order.

Perhaps, it would be best to first seek a declaratory judgment from the Court that defines “municipality” in the context of the aforementioned statue as meaning a given Council district, which would then mean we only need 3937 signatures to recall a Council member from a given district, while we would still need 15575 to recall a Council member At-Large, however; but in at least the latter scenario, we could work with an universe of over 104000 registered voters for the necessary signatures…

The State statue also limits the reasons for a recall, but I would classify these pending actions by the Council as fitting under the definitions of “oppression” and “gross partiality.”

Its definitely something to think about, but we should begin with the declaratory judgment filing, however. If some of us decide to go forward with this, that is… 😉


#15 Bruce on 06.13.18 at 5:00 am

An option of recall is available by law and Charter.

We would need to collect in 60 days, signatures of 15% of registered voters within the city of Sioux Falls at the last General Election.

SDCL 9-13-30. Petition for recall–Number of signatures–Grounds–Time limits–Challenge to petition. A petition signed by fifteen percent of the registered voters of the municipality, based upon the total number of registered voters at the last preceding general election, demanding the election of a successor to the mayor, commissioner, alderman, or trustee sought to be removed shall be filed with the finance officer and presented by the finance officer to the governing body. The allowable grounds for removal are misconduct, malfeasance, nonfeasance, crimes in office, drunkenness, gross incompetency, corruption, theft, oppression, or gross partiality. The petition shall contain a specific statement of the grounds on which removal is sought. The form for the municipal recall petition shall be prescribed by the state Board of Elections pursuant to chapter 1-26. No signature on a petition is valid if signed more than sixty days before the filing of the petitions. When a petition to recall is filed with the finance officer, the finance officer shall present the petition to the governing body at its next meeting. Only the petition signatures may be challenged in the manner established in §§ 12-1-13 to 12-1-16, inclusive. A failure to challenge petition signatures pursuant to §§ 12-1-13 to 12-1-16, inclusive, does not prohibit an interested person from challenging the filing of the recall petition or the sufficiency of the specific statement of the grounds of the recall petition.

A challenge to the recall petition regarding the specific statement of the grounds of the recall petition must be filed in circuit court within five business days of the filing of the recall petition. The circuit court shall conduct an expedited declaratory judgment hearing with no right to trial by jury.

Source: SDC 1939, § 45.1325; SL 1963, ch 280; SL 1968, ch 184; SL 1979, ch 50, § 6; SL 1983, ch 52, § 6; SL 1987, ch 67, § 13; SL 1992, ch 60, § 2; SL 1997, ch 48, § 1; SL 2009, ch 34, § 2; SL 2016, ch 49, § 1.

From the Charter Bookmark Section 2.06 Vacancies; forfeiture of office; filling of vacancies.

(a) Vacancies. The office of mayor or of a council member shall become vacant upon the person’s death, resignation, removal from office or forfeiture of office in any manner authorized by law.
(b) Recall . The power of recall of the mayor and council members shall be allowed as set forth in SDCL Title 9.
(c) Forfeiture of office. The mayor or a council member shall forfeit that office if the mayor or council member[:]
(1) Lacks at any time during the term of office for which elected any qualification for the office prescribed by this charter or by law,
(2) Violates any expressed prohibition in section 7.02 of this charter,
(3) Fails to maintain residency within city limits, or in the case of council members elected by district, fails to maintain residency within that district; however, any council member may complete their elected term of office if residency outside their district is caused during their term of office by a district adjustment pursuant to Section 6.02.
(4) Is convicted of a felony, or
(5) Fails to attend 50% of the regular monthly meetings of the council during a fiscal year, or three consecutive regular monthly meetings of the council, without being excused by the council.
(d) Filling of vacancies. A vacancy in the office of mayor or in the city council shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term, if any, at the next regular election following not less than 60 days upon the occurrence of the vacancy, but the council by a majority vote of all its remaining members shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy until the person elected to serve the remainder of the unexpired term takes office. If the council falls to do so within 30 days following the occurrence of the vacancy, the city election authorities shall call a special election to fill the vacancy, to be held not sooner than 90 days and not later than 120 days following the occurrence of the vacancy, and to be otherwise governed by law. Not withstanding the requirement in section 2.11, if at any time the membership of the council is reduced to less than six (6), the remaining members may by majority action appoint additional members to raise the membership to six (6).
(4-13-04, § C)

#16 Bruce on 06.13.18 at 5:02 am

There is an easier and better route to change we are exploring. If you are interested in being part of the process, contact me by email at:

#17 anonymous on 06.13.18 at 8:08 am

Selberg, who for all intents and purposes has done nothing on the Council the 2 years he has served suddenly takes on a controversial issue like public input.

His new position as Vice-Chair of the Council has obviously empowered him.

Could it be that it is actually our new mayor who is pushing this agenda?

#18 D@ily Spin on 06.13.18 at 9:39 am

The new council composure looks to be another Huether SS. Amazing how 4 of them consider themselves greater than the people they should represent. I feel the next vote will be tied with TenHaken breaking the tie.

#19 l3wis on 06.13.18 at 9:39 am

The more I think about this, the 4 councilors that voted for this move look incredibly stupid. Their was so many more options to fix public input. I sometimes wonder how people like this get elected. I would also like to thank the Union once again for endorsing Soehl, he’s your boy now.

#20 D@ily Spin on 06.13.18 at 10:11 am

“The words they speak from their mouths are as wise as the winds they fart from their ass.”

Leonardo da Vinci

#21 Jeff on 06.13.18 at 11:46 am

Dear Ehrisman, I hope that you, Bruce and all the other clowns who yell weekly at council meetings are proud of yourselves for ruining public input for everyone else.

#22 l3wis on 06.13.18 at 12:40 pm

Jeff, you know it’s funny, last night a few councilors mentioned that people were talking about things during public input that are not germane to city government. Besides about 2-3 people who come to ask for handouts (which ironically makes them no different than a developer asking for a tax rebate or free infrastructure) I have ALWAYS talked about city government and how to make it better, and my message has always been the same, stop lying to the public and be more open. If Bruce and I calling for more transparency in our city government ‘ruins it for everybody’ we certainly have a very jaded majority sitting on our council.

#23 Bruce on 06.13.18 at 1:22 pm

Welcome to the clown car Jeff. Scott is right, we come before the council to discuss real issues. I personally do not appear without an item involving a city of Sioux Falls concern.

Let’s consider why public input is important to me:
1. Event Center construction issues including the siding mess the previous administration decided to hide from us
2. City building Construction Manager at Risk scams and issues
3. Technology problems
4. Data manipulation by city officials
5. Use of city / public funds to assist campaigns
6. Physical abuse by city officials at Council meetings
7. 4th amendment unlawful search issues
8. City of Sioux Falls code enforcement arrest procedures
9. Illegal code enforcement
10. Traffic problems
11. Deaths caused by lackadaisical city officials not doing their jobs
12. Illegal property seizures
13. Court documents being erased before their use in court cases
14. City employee training issues
15. Thanking city employees for problem solving with creative ideas
16. Commending council members doing doing the proper thing

If you need more, let me know, we can roll the videos and research the record because we have saved the stuff for future researchers because the city would not give or save data for us so we created a website called

So Jeff and all the critics of our involvement, I live the George Bernard Shaw Quotation:
You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?”

#24 Peter "mega" Pischke on 06.13.18 at 2:55 pm

I get where you’re going with this Jeff, but frankly there is nothing Bruce or Scott could of done last night to make any difference positive or negative.

All the councilors knew how they were going to vote. The pretty much ignored the comments shared, even when they argued in favor of moving public input.

Its as if no one came to speak last night at all.

#25 l3wis on 06.13.18 at 3:01 pm

Peter, it as if we weren’t even there. They had their talking points prepared before the meeting. The 2nd coming of JC could have happened in the chambers last night and they still wouldn’t have changed their vote.

#26 anonymous on 06.13.18 at 6:18 pm

Based on the comments Councilors, Brekke, Starr and Stehly made during the council’s discussion, I believe they were listening to all who gave public input.

#27 MOSES on 06.13.18 at 7:34 pm

Can we recall Soehl, it looks like he is part of the gang of 4