During Tuesday night’s city council meeting Mayor TenHaken asked councilor Brekke to ‘Whip the Vote’ (FF: 1:02). It didn’t go over well with Brekke. She made it clear to him that’s not how things work (in municipal government). The council has the right to bring legislation forward before the meeting or to ask for a reconsideration during the meeting. Brekke had already talked to her fellow councilors about the plurality ordinance in advance, when it failed she tried to amend it. This happens on the fly.

While it is a positive thing that PTH realized he was in the wrong and apologized to Brekke (I guess in a public setting) it still doesn’t change the fact that we have a very partisan City Administrator. City government doesn’t work like Washington, there are distinct differences. It is a non-partisan form of government set up to serve all involved, the taxpayers of our city. We don’t want them to vote on ‘party lines’ because there isn’t any, but seems for the last several years the councilors belong to either the Developer Class Party or the Citizen Party – a terrible divide.

This goes back to the mayor not knowing his roles and duties under charter. He is the city administrator in charge of making sure the city operates smoothly within the budget set forth. In other words, he is the employee manager. It is NOT his job to set policy. He should not even have voted on the ordinance. It should have just failed on a tie. I think if the mayor wants to get involved in policy votes he needs to explain his vote. He knew well in advance that he might have to break the tie, he also expressed to the media he would probably vote NO if the opportunity did arise. So tell us why? I don’t think he knew why, because it was just another vengeance vote with the other 4 councilors. A horrible way to set policy, I’m sorry to say.

6 Thoughts on “Mayor TenHaken apologizes for ‘Whipping the Vote’ comment

  1. Confused on February 21, 2019 at 2:58 pm said:

    What group does Joe Kirby and all the others who had emails read at the meeting belong in? Stop trying to constantly turn everything into class warfare. You and Stehly like Joe when he wants the 34% threshold. However, listen to what he says about the role of the council, part time board of directors (his words).
    If the council became what you wanted I believe Kirby and the others would quickly be in favor of the majority rule currently in place.

  2. It’s not about what I ‘want’. It is written in the charter that the council sets policy while the mayor administers the city employees. If you think that should change, convince the Charter Revision Commission to put it on the ballot.

  3. "Very Stable Genius" on February 21, 2019 at 3:33 pm said:

    I can see it now, a 3 year old PTH staring at a video on MTV:


    (“But then again, Orange City still doesn’t get MTV, do they?”)

  4. Citizens Party like the one full of progressives, liberals and environmentalists? Or like a party full of citizens? Is every party a citizens party because we are all citizens? Wouldn’t a citizens party want the person with the majority votes to win? It would be what most citizens want if it is the majority right? I’m confused too.

  5. "Very Stable Genius" on February 21, 2019 at 3:43 pm said:

    Oh, and did you see that KELO piece last night, where a woman who testified against pre-K public funding claimed that such an idea was merely meant to promote a pro-LGTB agenda?… That woman reminds of the same people who back in the late 1960s would write letters to the editor claiming that a change to daylight savings time would confuse the cows….


  6. IDK, I’m talking about the partisan division of the City Council in a hypothetical sense, I wasn’t talking about voters in Sioux Falls. I know it’s hard sometimes, but try to keep up.

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