Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert’s misguided statement

Councilor Neitzert made this statement on FB yesterday, let’s break it down;

Regarding the Coronavirus response, we continue to receive updates daily. Decision making is fluid and dynamic, as the situation evolves daily if not hourly.

Yet for some reason, the citizens are not being shared this same information. They are being left in the dark, as we saw by the surprise outbreak announcement at Smithfield today. When public officials are sharing important information, they must filter it quickly to what is easy to understand and disseminate it immediately. This is NOT happening.

The timing of when we take action is just as important as the actions themselves. I cannot stress this point enough. It is key. 

Action should have been taken weeks ago! But like the weak coffee in the breakrooms of low paying employers across this city, our leader’s weakness to make life saving decisions is evident.

Our partners in the medical field and experts have made it clear that each action must be timed strategically in relation to the curve of the number of confirmed cases and hospitalizations we are seeing here locally. Not statewide. Not what is happening in New York. What is happening here in our metro area.

Really? When is our local healthcare providers funded by fee-harvesting credit card companies gonna share this strategic plan?

We consult daily with our partners at both hospitals and with our state department of health, who are part of our emergency operations center. If we act too early, **we will only delay the peak of our curve and unnecessarily extend restrictions and the tremendous negative impacts on our community**. Our response is measured and based on facts and data, modeling and current conditions in real time, rather than on emotion and fear.

So the sooner more people get sick, the faster this goes away?

It is imperative that we do the right things at the right time, to maximize effectiveness, to save the most lives, and to minimize the negative economic and by extension health impacts on our citizens from the consequences of our actions.

The economic impacts are happening, and will be long lasting. That is a forgone conclusion. Right know we must focus on health and not the size of people’s wallets.

Current restrictions that affect commerce and the economy affect tens of thousands of citizens negatively as well, from the loss of income, loss of food and/or housing security, homelessness, and various mental and physical health consequences. It is not a binary choice of “health” vs the “economy”. We are already seeing those negative effects locally, from those struggling to stay housed, to buy food, and to survive. Our homeless population and those on the edge of homelessness have limited options right now. People are being affected physically and mentally from the anxiety, stress, and depression this is causing. It should not be minimized, and it is important to consider it in our actions.

So when is this city government going to address this outside a FB post? Seriously? My brother has been unemployed for several weeks, and I said to him recently, ‘The working man is going to get ‘f’ked’ again, just like in 2008, and he said, ‘Pretty much.’ When are we going to make decisions based on the wellbeing of these people instead of the bottom line of few rich people in our village we call Sioux Falls?

We cannot minimize the side effects and consequences of our actions, which is another reason why it is so important to do the right things at the right time.

The ‘right time’ was weeks ago. We are past the point of no return. At this point we might as well stick our head in a wood chipper to hear the voice of reason.

Perhaps the number one goal is to make sure that we have enough beds and equipment at the peak to care for all of the patients that will need it, both those affected by Coronavirus and those who have other medical needs at the same time. That one goal if we can accomplish it will save the most lives. Our strategy, decision making and timing, made in close conjunction with the hospitals, revolves around that goal.

So when is the public going to hear this ‘master plan’? So far we have heard nothing except a holding pattern of a jet that is running on fumes.

Finally, we have to navigate our legal limitations, both the limitations on what we can do as a city where the state has preemption, but also recognizing that even emergency powers are not unlimited and that civil rights still exist during a crisis. We do have limits on what we can do, but we are finding ways to do what needs to be done. It is a delicate balancing act to take all of these sometimes competing goals into account.

In times of crisis, our country, our state and city government home rule charter have unique powers to react to these kinds or emergency situations. but you and many others in city government have chosen to stick your heads in the sand while Rome is burning to the ground.

I’m proud of our city, confident in our administration and emergency operations center, and proud of our citizens that are making the necessary sacrifices for the good of one another. We will get through this!

I’m not usually a praying man, but at this point, it seems prayer is our only hope, because our elected leaders are leading us to Hell and back.


#1 Steve on 04.08.20 at 9:05 pm

Councilor Neitzert….just a walking, talking puppet and a founding member of the RS5. Hopefully, voters will wake up for this election.

#2 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.08.20 at 9:49 pm

The flattening of the curve does not reduce how many are infected or killed by the virus when you do not have a complete shut-down, rather it only stretches the aggregate of that overall infected community over a greater matter of time so as to not challenge our health care system beyond its capabilities in time and place.

China, Italy, Spain, and NYC are examples that were not given that opportunity to flatten the curve before a great burden ensued.

This overall strategy with COVID-19 is much more about saving our health care system as it is about saving lives.

To the degree that our local and state political leaders know what they are doing at a time like this, their secrecy is an attempt to save the economy, the powers to be, and their political futures with a greater interest than in saving lives.

They don’t want to have chaos, which would be to “ride it out like a cowboy” with the virus, and thus, destroy everything possibly, but they also don’t want a complete shut-down, which could kill the virus and maybe kill our social and political structure as we presently know it, or knew it, rather they prefer a flattened, but stretched out reality, where the virus still exists, still kills, but still preserves the institutions which our political leaders and the powers to be now control and want to continue to control even after this virus dissipates.

There is an Orwellian quality to all of this, where preserving the institutions is masked (no pun intended) as an attempt to preserve or save lives. And where saving the economy is really about saving the power base for some or a few.

Now, there is something to be said definitely for saving institutions, or should we say civility. But this flattening of the curve strategy awards recent and past incompetence when it comes to dealing with a viral threat, and also continues the reign of politicians and powers to be so that they can continue their incompetent leadership, which will then only further usher in pain and death for their constituents in the future as well, most likely.

Their secrecy is about maintaining power and far less about stopping the virus as they maintain the curve to maintain their power base.

#3 D@ily Spin on 04.09.20 at 9:16 am

Neitzert’s novel is nothing but generic. A city councilor is but a cheerleader in Strong Mayor government. He’s setting this up for future quotation when he runs for mayor. He has activated exhorbitant campaign expense. Why when you have no competitor and the election is postponed for months? How about donating to funds set up to feed at home school children? Oh, this is not the year you’re running for school board.
He came into office representing people but transformed into just another politician.

#4 Briggs on 04.09.20 at 7:57 pm

He’s pathetic.

He also has become a liar. Look back to his 2016 promises on transparency.

#5 Reliable Voter on 04.10.20 at 2:18 pm

The Smithfield situation should give the NCAA executives pause about the city’s ability to plan and lead in a crisis.

#6 LJL on 04.10.20 at 3:16 pm

According to WH briefing today, DR. Deb Birx said SD is doing more testing and “contract tracing “by capita than most other states. Our decision to not quarantine but test and trace will be recommended for some other areas going forward.

I would guess the infected number from Smithfield will climb and the governor forces them to shutter 10 days.

#7 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.10.20 at 3:51 pm


I saw that comment by Birx, too. So where is the break down in communications between the political entities of our state, when it comes to Smithfield?

#8 Reliable Voter on 04.10.20 at 5:53 pm

45th in completed tests, includes Puerto Rico. Numbers are updated daily.

#9 LJL on 04.11.20 at 9:35 pm

My words were BY CAPITA. Try reading the actual words.

SD has tested a much higher BY CAPITA percentage of our population than most other states. That website does not list by capita.

SD has 860000 population and preformed 8004 tests. Thats about .9 percent.

MN has 5.82 million and preformed 35000 tests. Thats .06 of a percent.

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