The Charter Revision Commission, Welcome to the Killing Floor

I sometimes wonder when I am watching the CRC meetings if it is an actual citizen board meeting or a Shakesperean Tragedy.

They first started by killing the majority of the council approving bonds. They actually amended it so that it would be 5 votes (of the council) instead of 6 (which I could go along with since it takes the mayor out of breaking a tie). It failed in a 3-1 vote. Yes ONE vote killed it, the chair voted against it, and they needed 4 votes to pass. Hajek recused herself due to a conflict with her husband being a bond attorney. I think she would have voted against it to, so it was dead whether she was recused or not.

Then they wanted to change this in charter to make it harder to do petition drives that change the charter;

The petitions shall contain or have attached thereto throughout their circulation the full text of the proposed charter amendment and must be signed by registered voters of the city in the number of at least 5 percent of the total number of registered voters at the last regular city election, or the number of signatures required by state law, whichever is greater.

They basically think we need to follow state law when it comes to our city business in handling petition drives proposing charter changes. Bogus. The governor’s election has NOTHING to do with city charter. That number is over 1,200 more signatures as of the last election. They say they are clarifying the language to follow state law. So I wonder why they think they can try to change the ordinance in the middle of a petition drive? That has always been my beef. They are applying these proposed changes to Triple Check the Charter before the rule has been changed by the voters. Now they are trying to change the rules that they are already applying. Huh? I know, confusing as all get out. The rule should be changed before it can be applied.

All 5 members approved this being on the ballot. We will be informing citizens that this is bad and encourage them to vote against it. Charter change petition drives should be based on city elections. That is really what they should have proposed for a change and let the do-nothing AG and SOS try to change it (my guess is they would not lift a finger). Maybe I am talking out of my ass (I am told that a lot) so please correct me if I am missing something here.

They reject Councilor Brekke’s proposal to put in charter that the council sets forth a strategic plan (Member Zylstra voted to put on the ballot, all other members rejected it);

Adoption of a long range strategic master plan created by the City Council

CRC members basically say the council already has the power to do this (which is true) and it shouldn’t be in the charter as a stringent requirement. This is exactly why it NEEDS to be in the charter, it would force the council to do their jobs instead of letting the mayor be the legislative body and proposing plans. According to charter already, the council is the one that proposes ordinance changes and legislation and the mayor’s job is really pretty simple, run the day to day operations and manage city employees.

Another meeting where the CRC is the Judge, the Jury and the Executioner. I will clarify again, their only job is to place legal changes on the ballot, it is NOT their job to determine whether or not these are good or bad if they pass. That decision is up to the voters. They seem to be making the determination that voters will pass something bad unknowingly if they allow it on the ballot. It is up to voters to determine whether or not something is ‘bad’ for them, not a volunteer group of folks appointed by the mayor. They are chosen for their legal and management expertise (I assume) that is what they are supposed to be determining, if these proposals are LEGAL and NOT HARMFUL to citizens. I haven’t seen a proposal yet this year that is not within the constraints of the law, or harmful to citizens. They are killing these proposals based on what is harmful to the 1% in our community, and not what is good for our whole community. I have been thoroughly disgusted with the actions of the CRC this year.

They also make some action to change language on the city website about their duties. This was an extremely confusing discussion, because I guess they already made the change, but no one said what it said before or what it was changed to. City Attorney Kooistra mumbled something, but I was still confused.

Towards the end, the most interesting part was before public input. Instead of the chair inviting people up for 5 minutes of public input, he first asks the dais if there was an ‘OBJECTION’ to opening the floor to public input before allowing it. No one on the dais responds (why would they?!)

What the F*CK!? It’s on the agenda Chief Kills an Amendment. By state law that recently changed, you have to have it, whether you object or not. I would think a chair who specializes as a government affairs attorney would know state law? The problem is he ‘thinks’ he knows, and why he has choked the life out of all the proposals that have come forth, except one that actually hurts the petitioning process.

Councilor Brekke ends the S-Show by telling the CRC she will continue to work on her proposal for strategic planning. The CRC, or at least one member, Hajek, seems to think the mayor has a right to a strategic plan also. Once again, certain people on the CRC don’t understand that is NOT his job, it is the job of the Council. I am often amazed that people who have been involved with local government for a very long time, really don’t grasp how it is supposed to work. As Archie Bunker would say, “Jeesh!”

The meeting ends humorously by the chair telling us the CRC and himself have been ‘open and transparent’ from the beginning about how they would conduct their business (laying the groundwork of how things would be killed). He also gives a nod to my commentary (online). So now that the chair has brought up this ‘open and transparent’ process I would assume all emails and phone calls between CRC members over the last several months will be released to the public?


The scripted meetings by the Director (the chair) made it blatantly obvious that many ‘behind the scenes’ conversations were had.

I would like to congratulate the CRC this year for their continued obsession with killing progressive and constructive ideas.


#1 D@ily Spin on 12.12.19 at 8:47 pm

Since it’s Strong Mayor Charter, the next mayor should eliminate the CRC. It was created to amend the charter giving the public democratic reform. It’s done the opposite. It has restricted the council and given the mayor more power. Eliminate the CRC but add 2 more at large councilors with all business requiring a majority vote and take away the mayor vote? The mayor should set forth policy subject to council approval. Since Munson, mayors have been corrupt because they are fundamental dictators.

#2 SouthernExposure on 12.13.19 at 2:07 pm

And this is exactly why the school board, unions and by extension the dept of Education can’t be trusted. They blather to the contrary but they have little interest in their obvious mission of delivering an educated and productive member of society. It’s obvious that they are against a local empowerment.

#3 D@ily Spin on 12.13.19 at 9:14 pm

The political climate has become a cult of brainwashed republicans. I have more respect for gangs and organized crime. It’s unfortunate that the wrong group ends up doing time for menial crimes while white collar politicians and millionaires get rich from corruption scandals. If members of the CRC got caught receiving bribes, they’d be pardoned. Comes a point in time for revolution once the public realizes they’ve been scammed. Trump might escape impeachment because of Scientology type republican artificial intelligence. The constitution and basis for this country has become questioned. WW2 started from dictatorial ideology. It starts local like from the CRC but transfers almost immediately to national.

#4 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 12.14.19 at 2:16 pm

I couldn’t help but notice that call options for Dutch Mafia are up this week. Something must be in the making. If he’s spotted buying new ties, then I suggest you buy in quickly, but unload as soon as the new Culture Officer has everyone dressing like a congressional page.

( and Woodstock adds: “I don’t care for the fundamentals of Dutch Mafia”…..”I can’t figure out where they are getting all of their revenue”…..)