Local Political Hero of 2019; Theresa Stehly

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. (Stehly at one of her numerous outreaches at Benson’s Flea market.)

I’ll get the uncomfortable part out of the way first. Theresa is my friend, a very good friend. In fact almost every time I have a conversation with Theresa, she asks how I am doing first. My career, my family, my faith and my health. She starts most conversations this way and I am sure she does it with all of her friends. She cares, even if she has a big mouth. It’s kind of cool, and it’s kind of her.

So why would I place my friend on this pedestal? Even if I didn’t know her personally, you have to admit you can’t ignore her perseverance. I have often said that Theresa may not get much legislation on the Sioux Falls city council passed, but she makes a difference. Here are a few examples;

• Potholes. After her and councilor Starr’s proposal to give a million dollars towards potholes fails, the mayor ramps up the program and puts several crews on it.

• The same could be said about the tornado cleanup. After she pressures the administration for city assistance, the city employees step up and provide the assistance. It goes one step further with Governor Noem securing Federal FEMA aid.

• After she meets with the prison warden, the mayor decides to use more prison labor. Which I think is a great step towards rehabilitation and repaying a debt to society, as well as learning good work and life skills.

• She helps compromise a deal with Lifescape’s street closure proposal, making the much needed organization in the community work with neighbors on a solution.

• One of the only councilors to respond to constituents on a regular basis, turning her part-time position into extra overtime and compassion for citizens.

• Organizing a meeting with Whittier Neighborhood businesses to work on solutions for intoxicated transients.

• While her texting legislation of the city council fails, she has gotten them on their toes to pay closer attention to the meetings instead of their phones.

• Bringing beekeeping to Sioux Falls, even though some Negative Nancy’s on the council have treated potential beekeepers as public nuisances instead of encouraging natural food production.

• Giving almost daily reports on social media about city issues and publishing a monthly column, ‘The Stehly Report’ in a weekly shopper.

• Making Sioux Falls neighbors well aware of annexation intentions and putting the meetings in the fore front.

• Having the courage to call out the conflict of interest hiring of the new internal auditor with no auditing experience.

• Doing the same with the online tool salesman who got appointed our technology manager of the city so he could fly around the country and tell us the latest museum he is boozing at on Mayor Bloomberg’s dime.

• Shortly after the local paper railed on her about ‘grandstanding’ they reported about the failed Bunker Ramp downtown something Stehly has fought hard from the beginning due to corruption, special deals, wasting taxpayer money and the general lack of government transparency.

• Speaking of Big ‘T’ and the ‘T’ word. While Stehly has gotten a lot of flack about her big mouth, it has helped to open government up to the people. Her almost daily and weekly rants about open government and transparency has gotten her a reputation, and it’s not so bad. She has the elite in town trying to raise $150K for her opponent, even though she has not announced. Of course they are scared, they should be. Loose lips sink ships, and the big ship builders in town are worried about another 4 years of Stehly. She has interrupted their ‘progress’ at the detriment of the rest of us working stiffs.

While her ‘style’ isn’t always in favor, her results have been astounding. That’s why I am calling Theresa Stehly the local government hero of 2019, and if she runs again in 2020, she will win in a landslide, spending only the pennies she pulled out of the seats of her late model Toyota, to the detriment of failed, corrupt, state employees blogging from podunk towns 40 minutes away.


#1 King Archie Bunker Ramp on 12.28.19 at 2:15 am

I don’t know Theresa. I hope to meet her someday, but I did vote for her in 2016 and I will vote for her again in 2020, if she decides to run, that is.

I don’t agree with everything she does, or says. Most likely she and I disagree on many national and state issues, which are not of importance to a city council, however. But I will most likely always vote for her as a candidate for city council though, because I believe she is sincere in what she does and truly cares about the citizens of Sioux Falls and their concerns.

Perhaps, I should just leave it at that, but when I think of her politico persona, I am reminded of what Michael Moore said back in 2016, when he tried to explain to the national media why people in the Rust Belt were going to vote for Trump. He said, because it was going to be the “biggest fxxx-you vote to ever be casted in the world.”

Now, I hate to compare Theresa to Trump or invoke swearing, because I like Theresa, but not Trump, but there is a little “Archie Bunker” in us all – as Norm Lear once said on 60 Minutes – and my Archie will always error in favor of Theresa and her good so as to temper and satisfy any potential full Archie. Because the Bunker in me and all of us, should be the only Bunker in us and controlled, but unfortunately because of the politics of others – not Theresa, however – we have an other Bunker to deal with, and its a ramp; and so I raise my finger to it, while my other fingers on my other hand will cast an appropriate ballot for the one who truly cares about the citizens of our fine town, and her name is Theresa.

( and Woodstock adds: “My favorite was Lionel”….”He always knew how to masterfully temper the ‘Archie’ as well”….)

#2 Saugerties on 12.28.19 at 7:32 am

Scott, I gotta band it to you. You almost wrote a whole post without calling someone or someone a name. Good job.

#3 Largess monitor on 12.28.19 at 9:34 am

I was again reading with interest the KELO story https://www.keloland.com/keloland-com-original/state-auditor-has-advice-to-help-prevent-municipal-fraud/ about audits and noticed this statement:
“Cities as large as Sioux Falls may have a regular audit by an outside firm. The city also conducts internal audits.”

City of Sioux Falls has several questionable scams being run in several departments benefiting special groups. Theresa’s efforts to have real audits done is what many in this community who are benefiting from the largess concerned. This may be why there is an effort to raise $150,000 to defeat her. The largess is too large to be questioned?

Our internal audit is controlled by compromised individuals who do not want real audits performed.

#4 Plausible Deniability on 12.28.19 at 10:30 am

I’d like to see a spreadsheet bulleting the accomplishments of Stehly (as you articulated above) against the rest of the council…especially the pathetic smug seat warmers like Selberg, Soehl and Kiley. “Siouxperheroes”. Puh-LEEEZE.

#5 The Guy from Guernsey on 12.28.19 at 2:24 pm

As pertains to accomplishments of ‘the rest of the Council’, let’s go ahead and get that list started.
The risk, of course, is that Alex Jensen’s ventriloquist handler(s)* could comandeer the list and point out, “See! These are the things that Theresa Stehly tried to stop during her term in office”.
Let’s make it a list of which Howdy Doody Jensen’s sidekicks Buffalo Bob and Clarabelle The Clown** would be proud.

1) Spending $22 million for the Village on the River project (aka The Bunker Ramp fiasco).

* Ever notice how the current-only-declared candidate for the at-large council position has never said anything independent nor authentic to support his candidacy? Even Howdy Doody was able to offer to his adoring fans the illusion of moving his mouth. Only movement I see to this point in the at large council race are the flapping gums of the candidate’s handler(s).
** Association of specific names of real people to these two characters are withheld to invite creativity of interpretation by the reader (but you just know ‘who’ each of these could be, don’t you?), but mostly to protect Mr E from various forms of retribution including, but not limited to, legal action.

#6 l3wis on 12.28.19 at 4:05 pm

Guy, as you know, I moderate my comments. In other words, I read them, all of them. Sometimes I delete, sometimes I edit horrific spelling mistakes, but most of all I edit content that is, well, not good.

Your latest comment has to go down in 2019 as one of the best. Smiling right now.

#7 l3wis on 12.28.19 at 4:09 pm

“The risk, of course, is that Alex Jensen’s ventriloquist handler(s)* could comandeer the list and point out, “See! These are the things that Theresa Stehly tried to stop during her term in office”.

Interesting, because many in our circle of local politics have called Jensen ‘The Puppet’. If only he was as cute as Howdy.

#8 D@ily Spin on 12.28.19 at 5:57 pm

Stehly represents the general population. Her ethics, honesty, and awareness exceeds that of other councilors. She’s one of the only councilors not taking bribe cell phone calls at regular council meeting votes. She’s popular. It will send a message after city crooks spent $150k and she’s re-elected.