UPDATE: Please come and testify tomorrow night about public input

The Sioux Falls City Council will be addressing moving public input to the end of the meeting. While this is certainly a conversation we should have, it should not be done in the form of a proposed ordinance. There should have been a real public conversation about this. Why? Well I wouldn’t be opposed to some changes, but we never had that conversation.

16 years ago when they made the change to move public input from the end to the beginning of the meeting ALL 8 councilors voted for the change. (We will get video of that meeting in the morning to review – Thank you to City Clerk Tom Greco for expediting that for us). The argument at the time was citizens shouldn’t have to wait through long meetings. What has changed since than? Absolutely nothing.

By moving public input to the end, some have argued other people should have to wait also, like those receiving proclamations and awards. Wouldn’t that be fair?

My suggestion for changes would be moving public input to the same spot as the county does, AFTER consent and alcohol licensing and before regular business. I would also suggest we put public board appointments to the beginning of the meeting also so they don’t have to wait.

We are NOT naive, we know why some councilors are pushing to move it to the end, they don’t want to hear from the public, and when they do hear from us all the important business will be done and the news cameras will be gone saving them from any embarrassment that public input would bring up.

The chair has the power, and nothing will change after July 1st state law change, to address those who are disruptive during public input. They can gavel them and stop their testimony and ask them to sit down or leave. We have security at the meetings for a reason. Mayor TenHaken needs to assert his power and duties and act when people are ‘lacking decorum’.

As I have stated before, the regular old citizens fund this government, our ‘business’ at the council meetings is the MOST IMPORTANT and that’s why we should go first. They saw this 16 years ago, it still works and is not broken, leave it as is with some minor tweaks and let’s move on with more important things like flags and baseball stadiums 🙂

UPDATE: Councilor Selberg LIES in TV interview

First let’s address the hypocrisy of his reasoning;

There have been a few instances recently of vulgar outbursts and profanity. Councilors are reconsidering not how public input is conducted but when.

“We’ve had recently everything from four letter words to f-bombs and everything else,” says Councilor Marshall Selberg.

ONE person called the FORMER mayor names. ONE PERSON. Besides the fact that the former mayor is no longer chairing the meetings, and when he did he would taunt and laugh at commenters, changing the rules for EVERYBODY because ONE person had an outburst is a horrible way to govern. Ironically, the former mayor’s first secretary quit because she was offended by HIS use of ‘F-Bombs’ so frequently.

Selberg goes on to flat out LIE about what goes on in the meetings;

Public input is one of the first items at every meeting. Selberg says it can take up to nearly two hours at times creating a long wait for those who are at the meeting to be recognized or receive an award.

Public input has NEVER lasted two hours and awards and proclamations happen FIRST THING after the pledge of allegiance. They can leave immediately after that and DON’T have to stay for public input unless they choose to. Most leave and never hear public input. But it gets even richer;

He adds that children are sometimes present, and public outbursts take away from the “family friendly” environment.

Ironically most of the time the children that are present are brought there by parent council members who know EXACTLY what goes on in these meetings. They know first hand how controversial they can become. And secondly, as for Boy Scout troops, they are there to learn about government and how sausage is made, I think it is an incredible civic learning experience for them to hear people exercise their 1st Amendment rights. There is NO place in the charter that requires a council meeting to be rated ‘PG’ and that statement in itself is so ridiculous, maybe Selberg should resign based solely on his ignorance of the democratic process. A lot of blood, sweat and tears have been shed to make our country the greatest in the world, it wasn’t accomplished by reading poems about puppy dogs.

Contact you City Council about concerns;




Phone: 367-8808

Email: jbrekke@siouxfalls.org


Phone: 367-8818

Email: cerickson@siouxfalls.org


Phone: 367-8102

Email: rkiley@siouxfalls.org


Phone: 367-8109

Email: gneitzert@siouxfalls.org


Phone: 367-8819

Email: mselberg@siouxfalls.org


Phone: 367-8110

Email: csoehl@siouxfalls.org


Phone: 367-8809

Email: pstarr@siouxfalls.org


Phone: 367-8806

Email: tstehly@siouxfalls.org

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Lemming on 06.12.18 at 9:23 pm

Why should I be subjected to 45 minutes of actual city business before I get to see Davids latest Zombie Videos!? This isn’t right? They are stifling me! I want to hear about the problems with the VA every week and not about your silly zoning issues! Power to the people!