The City of Sioux Falls is taking this seriously

After watching this morning’s Corona Virus briefing and the health board meeting today and ending with the city council meeting I think it has finally sunk in that this is very serious, and I was impressed with the Mayor, the Health Director and the City Council for taking more preventative steps. They are not suggestions anymore folks, we need to listen to our elected leaders and heed the warnings. This can ultimately not get any better unless we take precautions, and your city government just stepped it up today, I thank them for their actions.

All week long I have noticed many patrons at the Match Pointe Tennis Center, The Sanford Fieldhouse, and tonight several people golfing at Great Shots. It surprised me that facilities that are under the umbrella of a healthcare system would have their recreational facilities still open to the public. Hopefully the new ordinance the city council passed tonight will close that down.

Also today I was sent this from the city charter concerning elections and if the city council has the power to change a date;

Section 6.01  City elections.  

(a)   Regular elections.  The regular city election shall be held in even numbered years. Conduct of the election shall be in accordance with provisions of state law. The date of the city election shall be set by ordinance as the second Tuesday in April. The city may combine its election with that of the Sioux Falls School Board.

As I see it, while the city has to follow state law with how the election is conducted, the city council has the power to move that date no matter what the state legislature decides. Under our Home Rule charter, it is our council that makes the decision of the date of the election. No matter how the legislature votes on this on Monday, I still think the city council has a legal right to move the election if they need to. I’m no legal scholar, but I think the language is pretty clear who picks that date, and it’s not the legislature.

Also the city has taken action to inform the public with these billboards;

The City of Sioux Falls has about 10 billboards up around town to build awareness about social distancing.

They feature a big picture of  Mayor Paul Tenhaken with this quote:

‘By staying apart, we will stick together’

The billboards are up in strategic spots, including 41st and Western and 12th and Kiwanis.

The TenHaken administration is using every means available to get the word out on ways to stop the spread of COVID-19.

I hope the billboard company is doing these at no cost to the taxpayers, but I don’t know the answer to that. But what concerns me is why do they have a picture of the mayor on them – smiling no less? It reminds me of our job recruitment billboards with the former mayor on them. I think this is a horrible time to be campaigning for the next election on the taxpayer’s dime. I would have just put the quote up by itself, and I’m not even sure this is an original quote from Paul? It’s bizarre and certainly in bad taste.


#1 “Name in quotes for no reason” on 03.26.20 at 6:30 pm

For a minute there, I was worried you had sustained a head injury. Then you found something to complain about, and I knew you were ok.

#2 l3wis on 03.26.20 at 6:49 pm

But don’t you think in the middle of a health crisis in our city it is bad taste to put your smiling mug on a billboard warning citizens of this crisis. I have learned years ago that when you want to get an important message across you keep it simple. I would have put up a solid black billboard with the wording in white reverse text. NO pictures, and not a quote.

#3 l3wis on 03.26.20 at 6:50 pm

And I would have put the covid website at the bottom.

#4 scott on 03.26.20 at 6:54 pm

i’ve noticed in the last couple of days pth has made this all about him. poor me. this job is hard. my mom called me about how stressed i am. i sure hope he can make it through this.

#5 l3wis on 03.26.20 at 6:57 pm

That’s what you get when you elect a color blind graphic designer to manage a city during a crisis.

#6 Warren Phear on 03.26.20 at 7:12 pm

Watched the whole meeting. Was impressed by all til Pat Starrs resolution came about. Pat put forth a good idea. Made sense to me. In life and death situations always, always, err on the side of caution. Brekke helped craft the resolution. Stehly backed it. Both made very common sense reasons for backing Pat Starr. I was a little puzzled why Pat looked so down before the discussion even began. Then it all came together. The rubber stamp five, even in a time when we desperately need unity, rolled out their customary 5-3 vote. Any idea that is not theirs, and put forth by any of these three is an automatic 5-3.

They disgust me.

#7 LJL on 03.26.20 at 8:08 pm

I stooped ay Hy Vee at lunch hour to grab a weeks worth. Appears to me that a hell of a lot of elderly in this town aren’t taking this seriously.

A tremendous amount of people are miserable as we try to keep our vulnerable safe.


#8 KSID on 03.26.20 at 9:08 pm

Pat Starr did a great job, he should be the Mayor and were stuck with Mayor Ten.

#9 klet on 03.26.20 at 9:09 pm

I was for it but now maybe for it well maybe , which council and mayor would this be.

#10 Moses6 on 03.26.20 at 9:11 pm

I would say the mayor has done a poor job of handling this crisis,is he maybe thinking of higher office.

#11 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.26.20 at 9:13 pm

Unstable Genius, I mean “NIQFNR,” you must be an admirer of Kim Jong-un, huh? #CultOfPersonality

#12 Steve on 03.26.20 at 9:34 pm

Yes, another 5-3 vote. Like that never ever happens. If one of the RS5 would of offered the amendment, they would be all over it, kissing each others hineys in praise.

#13 Steve on 03.26.20 at 9:42 pm

I should also mention that it was good to see this Mayor finally wearing a tie to a meeting. Am curious if the decision to wear it was his? Glad too, that there was social distancing between the Mayor, the attorney, and Councilor Erickson.

#14 l3wis on 03.26.20 at 9:58 pm

Steve, you are either being snarky or missed the 4PM meeting where Erickson is practically sitting on the city attorney’s lap.

#15 Steve on 03.27.20 at 7:34 am

Yes, being snarky and did watch the meeting. Can Kiley ever talk and quickly make his point?

#16 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 03.27.20 at 1:40 pm

Sitting on his lap? I did notice a new sassy du and heels, however.

#17 Viral thoughts on 03.27.20 at 2:54 pm

Right now, Walmart is reporting that tops are selling better than bottoms. Obviously for many, a Monica must be coming over, while many give the image that they are getting the job done during video-conferencing; and even if, in more ways than one.

#18 Mike Lee Zitterich on 03.27.20 at 3:18 pm

For all news, facts and purposes, The State Statutes do set the date for all Municipality Elections on the Second Tuesday of each Year, and it restricts that municipality from changing that date to January 15th of that Election Year. So we cannot change the date if we wanted to, it is to late. The Statutes does give us the right to postpone an election, but restricts this to “weather related”, and under Statute 12.2.5 it allows each political sub-division to move our election and include it with the June Primary Election, but that sub-division upon application submit that filing petition with the County Commission between February 15 and March 1st.

Some people have said that The CITY OF SIOUX FALLS can move its city election or postpone that election for a later date. But I cannot find the statute that gives that right.

9/13/1 is quite clear that we must set our general election each year on the second Tuesday of April, and if we even wanted to change that date, it restricts us to no later than January 15th of the Election Year. Some people are pointing to 12/2/5 as their reasoning behind moving our election, also states clearly – Notwithstanding any other statutes,which points it back to statute 9/13/1. We can postpone an election, but only for “weather related”, we can combine the election with the June Primary, but again, we are past the effective dates of doing so, and keep in mind – SDCL 9.13.1 super cedes SDCL 12.2.5 in this case.

WE CANNOT postpone, change our dates, nor combine our election with the June Primary WITHOUT a vote of the legislature. It is NOT a guarantee that will will happen. This little panic simply occurred to late in the election season. WE ALL must prepare to vote this coming 14th of April (2nd Tuesday of the Month). Below I provide the LAW –

9-13-1. Date of annual municipal election–Hours of voting. In each municipality an annual election for the election of officers shall be held on the second Tuesday of April of each year, at a place in each ward of the municipality as the governing body shall designate. If the governing body of the municipality chooses a different election day as provided in this chapter, the governing body shall establish such election day by January fourteenth of the election year. The polls at the election shall be kept open continuously from seven a.m. until seven p.m..

12-2-5. Elections of governmental subdivision held in conjunction with June primary election. Any other provision of law notwithstanding, the members of the governing body of any governmental subdivision may choose to hold their elections in conjunction with the regular June primary election. The combined election is subject to approval by the county commissions of the counties in which the governmental subdivision is located. Expenses of a combined election shall be shared in a manner agreed upon by the governing body of the subdivision and the county commissions involved. All other governmental responsibilities associated with holding elections under the provisions for that subdivision and Title 12 shall be shared as agreed upon by the governing bodies. The governmental subdivision clerk shall publish the notice of vacancy between February fifteenth and March first. No nominating petition may be circulated for signatures until March first. Nominating petitions shall be filed under the provisions required for that subdivision by the last Tuesday in March. The clerk shall certify to the appropriate county auditor the candidate names and ballot language to be voted on by the first Thursday after the last Tuesday in March.

Unless someone tells me I am wrong, explain to me where I am wrong …. I sourced the laws above.

– Mike Zitterich

#19 l3wis on 03.27.20 at 3:40 pm

Mike, you need to stop writing novels to get your point across. It very simple, while the state statutes do cover how elections are conducted, as a home rule charter city we can choose from three dates. If the election cannot be held in April 14th, the council can certainly pick another date. If the state wants to sue SF over it, I say go for it, but with the circumstances as they are, the state would lose.

#20 Mike Lee Zitterich on 03.27.20 at 4:00 pm

The COUNCIL cannot just pick a new date anytime it wants, they must do this before January 15th of the election year. The “statute” is quite clear. Here is a new piece of valuable information I just received you will all love to hear…

The state legislature has a DRAFT bill published online that addresses our election (and all local elections throughout the state). This is slated to be considered next Monday on veto day. The major highlights are:

1. Any election that was to be held between April 14 and May 26 SHALL be postponed in the interest of public health.
2. No changes to the candidates, it does not reopen who can get on the ballot, that stays frozen since it is already done.
3. The governing body locally (like our City Council) has to select a new date, a Tuesday in June 2020.
4. You can combine with the primary election day on June 2, 2020 (which makes a lot of sense).
5. The election official will take reasonable means to notify the voters the election is postponed.
6. The election official will publish in the official newspaper for 2 weeks the new election date and the ballot language.
7. If absentee voting starts before you postpone, it must stay OPEN until the new election date.
8. In the event public health is still judged to be in jeopardy in June, the governor has the sole authority to postpone elections again until no later than July 28, 2020 on a Tuesday in July.
9. The entire law sunsets on December 31, 2020 (it is a one time fix).
10. It is declared an emergency and will go into effect immediately upon passage and signing by the governor.

Please note the procedure that has to take place:
1. Next Monday legislature has to pass it and Governor signs.
2. City Council convenes an emergency/special meeting with local ordinance to delay the election to a date in June (we talked about primary day). City Council passes that ordinance which would take effect immediately.
At that point election would be delayed officially. Absentee voting is slated to start on Monday so likely it will open and be open until an election happens, which gives people a lot of time to vote by mail or in person at absentee voting center (very prudent given the situation we are in). Stay tuned for further updates.

The actual draft bill in PDF form:

#21 LJL on 03.27.20 at 5:12 pm

You need a better hobby Mike.

#22 The Guy From Guernsey on 03.28.20 at 11:13 am

AFA the exchange with jizlord, is this just not PTH putting to practice that tool in his tool bag which was highly valued by the Rounds For Senate campaign.
In this time of stress and struggle, PTH is returning to his roots.
Doxxing, It’s what he does!

#23 The Guy From Guernsey on 03.28.20 at 11:18 am

In before Woodstock (I hope) with this musing, “jizlord1?!?! Why is it always a Raiders fan …”

#24 "Woodstock" on 03.28.20 at 12:41 pm

“I’d be careful fighting with Raider Nation”…. “I heard, that their “tools” are duct taped to their fingers”….

#25 Socially Distant on 03.28.20 at 10:37 pm

Why not open collar and unshaven for the billboards?

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