Sioux Falls City Councilors Brekke, Starr & Stehly offer solutions in these troubling times

Dear City Council Colleagues and Citizens ,

This morning Councilor Janet Brekke and I had a very productive conference call with our City Attorney Stacy Kooistra and our Council Staff person Jim David.

We discussed two items that I wanted to share with you:

1. We discussed a proposed  ordinance that Councilor Brekke and I are preparing that will include safety  standards for protection of employees during this Covid 19 pandemic.   Councilor Brekke and I have spent hours working on this issue and now more than ever we feel it is a necessary part of our safety standards. We appreciate the advice and counsel of our City Attorney  Stacy Kooistra. We will keep you apprised of the outcome of those discussions.

2. We also discussed the  distribution issues related to  Rental Assistance fund.  This fund has $1 million tax dollars in it.  I have been receiving communication from recipients of the funds as to how the fund is being managed. After the conversation this morning with Councilor Brekke and City attorney Kooistra, I  did further follow up and had discussions with Planning director Jeff Eckhoff, 211 helpline director Janet Kitterams and Community outreach member Rich Merkouris. They have all agreed that the payment policy to the landlords could be revisited.  

In the midst of these conversations, I have suggested:

****Reduce the award to 50%.

**** Stipulate that the remaining  balance is forgiven by the landlord who is accepting the payment. NO FINES CAN BE IMPOSED UPON THE RENTER.

****Stipulate  that the tenant will not be evicted for a minimum of 90 days.

The discussions are ongoing and we will keep you informed as to the latest developments.

Have a blessed, peaceful Good Friday and Easter.

Theresa Stehly


#1 D@ily Spin on 04.10.20 at 6:01 pm

I trust what these councilors propose. There must be restrictions and not handout.

Here’s an idea for the Argus. Include a face mask with Sunday inserts. Wouldn’t this increase subscribers?

#2 Chinese Ownership AND U.S. Workers' Safety on 04.11.20 at 11:55 am

1. Ordinance that will include safety standards for protection of employees during this Covid 19 pandemic.

Prime Example:


As of Friday, April 10, 2020, **190** confirmed cases and counting…..

According to yesterday’s AL:

The state is working to identify people who were in contact with those confirmed to have the disease. The state’s contact tracing — a process where those who may have been in close contact with an infected individual are monitored for signs of infection — across all positive cases has shown an average of 10 people in close contact to a positive case, said State Epidemiologist Josh Clayton.

Smithfield may have an American and U.S.-based management team, but it is a corporation which was acquired by the Chinese in 2013 (Hong Kong-based WH Group).

I watched last week’s Council meeting as Councilor Stehly was vehemently attacked by Councilor Christine Erickson with Councilors Kiley, Neitzert and Soehl chiming in. For what…….for opening the discussion of possibly codifying protection for Sioux Falls workers.

It is NOT City Councilors Stehly, Starr and Brekke who have shown a lack of leadership in this issue….

IT IS Governor Kristi Noem, SF Mayor Paul Ten Haken, City Councilors Erickson, Kiley, Neitzert, Selberg, Soehl, AND the Chinese ownership group of Smithfield.

And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, it is NOT Smithfield employees who have failed during this global pandemic, it is ultimately their employer who has failed to protect them by withholding information about the number of confirmed cases.*

*The first confirmed case at Smithfield was March 26th, it was not until April 8th, 14 days later, that this information was made public.

This is the reason we are now the 4th largest HOT SPOT in the U.S. for covid-19!