Sioux Falls City Council Operations Meeting full of some very dark proposals including killing public input

The City Council had its Operations Committee meeting in the dark of the morning Thursday at 10 AM. I wonder why there was NO public input? Trust, me, this was done on purpose so the public could not attend, especially with some of the crap they were proposing. Once again, like the mayor, the majority of the council, the RS6 now, HATE transparency and openness, it is at the core of their very dark agenda for the city.

The meeting started out with a proposal for more per diem money to the council for logo wear city council apparel. I think right now they receive around $50 a year and they want to increase it to $150 per year. What confuses me is that they could just buy each councilor a simple magnetic name badge (for around $15 bucks) that they could wear on any piece of clothing, heck, buy them two. Just another example of how they waste taxpayer money on something they don’t really need.

I found it interesting that CountCilor Alex Jensen wasn’t wearing city logo wear but a First Premier pull over, nice touch. Reminds me of when Jim Entenman was wearing his Harley Davidson shirts to council meetings. Got to get in that shameless promotion yah know. Also, we can’t forget the thousands of dollars that were funneled to Alex’s campaign thru his employer’s upper leadership and various mischevious PACs. You better wear the damn shirt Alex!

Another change is for the consent agenda. They want councilors to give a 24 hour notice to city hall if they are going to pull something from the consent agenda so the city director/manager responsible for that item can come to the meeting to answer questions, because their time is valuable or something. Nutzert rambled about wedding anniversaries and kid’s birthday parties. Because, when you make a 6-Figure a year salary from the taxpayers of this city you shouldn’t be bothered for 5 minutes to answer a question about city spending when you should be a Chucky Cheese with your kids. Puhhhleese. There has always been this consistent argument, that I knew would gear up after the RS6 was installed, that city employees personal lives on a Tuesday night are somehow more important than the public’s business. They know they have an expectation to come to these meetings, and like I said, they get paid a hefty chunk of change to do so. If you can’t make it because of an important family event, ask someone from your department to fill in. This seems like a responsibility of the director in charge of that department instead of the city council.

They said city councilors don’t have to give the notice, but if they don’t there is no requirement for the director to show up. So basically it is a ‘Pass’ for the very people who are supposed to be serving us (because you know, they get a paycheck to do so).

I have often argued that the consent agenda should be read at the meeting, and after it is completely read by the clerk, items can be pulled. That’s true transparency.

During the meeting, non-committee member, councilor Brekke chimed in from the podium and suggested that the mayor’s office started giving informational meeting updates like they used to, but ended suddenly. We all know why, because of his simmering hatred towards transparency. Just look at the Covid press conferences, vanished, while our numbers are spiking.

The meeting got more interesting with a move to eliminate open discussion at the beginning of the informational meetings and renaming it council comment or report. Basically they can comment about something they are working on, but NO policy discussion, they once again blamed time constraints even though there is NOTHING in the city charter about time constraints or time limits at meetings. If a meeting runs to long, they can recess and come back at another time. Heck the Board of Ethics recessed twice over Greg Nutzert’s ethics hearing. This is a way of keeping more policy decisions from citizens. Disgusting.

The best was at the end of the meeting when, ironically, during open discussion CountCilor Jensen suggested moving public input to the end of the council meetings and eliminating public input on 1st readings. Oh, he was very soft and careful how he presented it, but it was clear when he said something about doing ‘business’ first, what he meant. Councilor Nutzert quickly chimed in and said he would assist him on it, but they may have to take an all expenses paid trip by a right wing partisan hack group to come up with a plan (I jest). I have often argued you put public input first because the public’s opinion is much more important than the business of the council, you know, the people who fund this government and come on their own time to do so. A business coming for a rezone or license is part of an expense of doing business and has little to do with the issues and policies of this city. Citizens should always be at the forefront of local government. I knew this was going to happen when Theresa left, and they have the votes to get it done, so it will probably happen. While I will do my best to fight it, unfortunately this is what happens when a majority of the council has this fascist view of transparency. Total Darkness.



4 comments ↓

#1 Mike Lee Zitterich on 08.30.20 at 2:17 am

Thank You Scott for doing this again, you are a great writer, and even if we sometimes do not agree, you bring up much needed information that needs to be made public, let alone debated.

What do you know of the afterthought “original 13 amendment” to the United States Constitution? I emailed the council, Janet Brekke is the only one whom responded, that I propose that something like this be inserted into our Charter or the Code of Ordinance as extra teeth. I know the current council will not vote on it, but you and I both can agree, extra teeth to ban outside monies from foreign lobbies must be enforced.

1810 13 Amendment – “If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.”

My thinking is simple, ensure the public that absolutely no resident of this city will ever take bribes, presents, or gifts from anyone outside the Treasury or their own private bank accounts to travel outside their district.

As I proceeed to tell the Council by email …

The PEOPLE are speaking up, they DO NOT want any of ‘you’ or anyone whom is elected to serve as ‘representatives’ to take Gifts, Presents, Monies, Bribes, Royalties from any Foreign State, Territory, Country, Foreign Lobby, Person outside the whelm of “government”. Meaning, unless “WE THE PEOPLE” approve of, and vote to apportion any of our ‘tax’ revenues to compensate any of “YOU” to travel outside our “District” to lobby on behalf of the “People” of said district, to gain information, to learn of new educated tools, policies, codes, etc-etc which may help govern our district, then “WE THE PEOPLE” by means of public vote or vote of the legislative body we give P.O.A rights to, and only by using our appropriated tax dollars, give you the right to become ‘compensated’ for accrued expenses of travel (fuel, food, lodging).

I am a firm believer that “YOU” as Council Chairs ‘act’ as public servants of the people, for ‘free’ donating your time in order to speak up for the people whom elect you, but I also agree, you shall have the right to get compensated for ‘expenses’ of doing that duty, therefore, you shall NOT earn a salary, but you shall submit ‘receipts of items expended’ in the form of doing that duty. By codified ‘laws’ we shall restrict you to certain type of expenses, we shall restrict the # of hours you shall leave your home, place of business, your home district, where we ask you to meet at our Town Hall 3 days per month, to meet in board meetings monthly/quarterly, and we shall restrict you of where you may or may not go outside the City Incorporated Limits where we “ask” you to represent us to any Foreign State, Territory, Country. You shall NOT take any gifts, bribes, royalties, presents from any Foreign Lobby, State, Territory, from any Multi-National Corporation, nor any Person whom asks you to go on their behalf that may present a clear definition of prime evidence they (that person) may benefit from any proposed source.

I find it funny how Rick Kiley and Christine Erickson pushed for and proposed that transparency ordinance but yet their actions at the previous council meeting barred both Pat Starr and Janet Brekke from placing questions and concerns on the remand statement. What are they hiding, and what and why do they want to control the questions asked. So much for Transparency, heh.

Sorry for the long post, but I am glad you are back at it, and “WE” need more people like yourself, myself, and others to stand together to enforce our Charter, Code of Ordinances, and Unite People to force the Council to listen.

– Mike Zitterich
zitterich76@gmail.com
(605) 376-0527

#2 "Very Stable Genius" on 08.30.20 at 5:39 am

Have Alex’s campaign finance reports ever shown the in-kind contributions from his employer, First Premier, for putting his presence into their commercials, while he was a declared candidate for the city council?

My guess is that those commercials in total cost more than the prohibited $1000 campaign donation limit, right?
#WhatIsAGuyToDo? #PoloCorrect #FirstPedophilia

Also, keep in mind, that for this non transparent crowd overall, the fact that this town is no longer booming is the true Achilles’ heel for them. #Karma #Someday #BunkerMentality

#3 anonymous on 08.30.20 at 1:39 pm

Someone really needs to tell the ‘rookie councilor’ to stop wearing his work uniforms to public meetings!

He is in the People’s Town Hall doing the taxpayers’ business. I do NOT want to see him wearing clothing advertising First Premier Bank!!!

#4 scott on 08.30.20 at 3:06 pm

count jensen wears whatever his handlers tell him to wear.