UPDATE: Mayor TenHaken and the Sioux Falls City Council continue their ‘HATEFEST’ on Transparency and Open Government

UPDATE: As you can see the council and mayor are moving forward with their plans (Items #40-41) on a night when most people will be paying attention to the election. The items are also misleading because in the titles it says NOTHING about moving public input or meeting time moving. Only if you read the red notes you will see the changes.

This change could also be construed as unconstitutional in the public input ordinance;

Notice that currently public input at the beginning of the meetings doesn’t allow you to comment on pending business coming up in the rest of the meeting, which is also unconstitutional, but they are saying with this NEW ordinance that you can’t comment on what happened during the meeting though the items have already been voted on and the business of those items is closed. The SCOTUS has ruled very recently that you can discuss ANY city business at public input whether it is on an agenda or not. I think they said as long as a citizen is commenting on business that is ‘germane’ to that government body, it is allowable. I guess now the Mayor thinks he knows better than the Supreme Court. Not only do they suck at transparency, they are getting very sloppy legal advice.


I just found out this afternoon that the mask mandate isn’t the only controversy coming on Tuesday. There are two items that will probably get first readings on Tuesday night also that have not been presented to the public in an informational, which is no surprise. I knew that both of these were coming after Stehly’s seat was bought by the banksters and developer welfare queens, and they have to do with shackling citizens;

• The first is a move rumored to be brought forward by Councilors Erickson and Jensen that would move the regular council meetings to 6 PM. This of course would give citizens very little time from when they get off of work to attend the meetings on time in person and an obvious assault on open government.

• The second is rumored to be proposed by Mayor TenHaken himself to move public input to the end of the meetings.

I have no doubt both will get the 5 votes they need to pass. These actions come after just a few weeks ago the Mayor ended the traditional mayor/director meetings with council leadership on Friday mornings and also the move to remove red notes from ordinances that are being changed.

This of course is NO surprise since this mayor and council has had a full on assault on transparency and their hatred of open government and more importantly citizen input and advocacy. They despise more than anything else and won’t be happy until they lop off the citizens rights to dissent their government, or at least make it more challenging to do so.

Messing with public input and citizens rights to advocate for themselves is a whole new level of disgusting behavior by this administration and city council. I would ask if they have any shame, but you know the answer.

So why are they so Hellbent on silencing the public? Because they have several plans to hand over MORE of your tax dollars to the elite who fund their campaigns and they are tired of the public making that process messy and in the open.

And if you think the steamrolling won’t happen, wait until Starr leaves the council (hopefully) and they replace him with another rubberstamper.

Prepare for your taxes and fees to rise exponentially while your voice and services get stifled. This is what happens when you let a non-partisan government get controlled by political hacks of the Republican Fascist Party with no governing experience and deep, deep, deep hatred of citizen activism and transparency.

We have a virus destroying our city alright, and the only way to stop it is with lots of Sunshine.


#1 Mike Lee Zitterich on 10.29.20 at 11:20 pm

IF any of those two issues get thru the council; they both need to pass the 30 day ‘referrendum’ period.

#2 D@ily Spin on 10.30.20 at 10:53 am

Disgusting. Teflon Ten can’t be stopped. The people no longer matter. Go ahead and close council meetings. The best we can hope for is shopping and services from out of state. If the state wants to do something, bring back no internet sales tax. I’ve noticed the mayor and council stay away from public appearances. I’d be embarrassed too.

#3 Been around awhile on 10.30.20 at 12:45 pm

Note, they are doing this on a night that most people will be watching the presidential returns and viewership for the council will be lower than normal.

Additionally, our local media and kissing up paper will not report the council’s activity.

This has been cleverly planned to slip it in without public knowledge to prevent negative reaction. That certainly reveals the character and commitment to the people of the rubber stamper 5.

#4 "Very Stable Genius" on 10.30.20 at 12:46 pm

Be careful! If the “Anti-Quotation Mark Boy” sees your spelling of “referendum”, he’ll knock you for it. He suffers from what I call: Intellectual chauvinism.

#5 Pundit on 10.30.20 at 2:45 pm

I’m going to go out on perhaps an unpopular limb and address the elephant in the corner:

Regrettably, I believe the repeated attempts to reduce/move public input can be blamed in large part on citizens who have abused the process. The Council Meetings are conducted according to Roberts Rules to maintain civility, decorum and order in the US governmental process. Several citizens (about 6 are easily ID’d) insist on abusing this forum by speaking frequently if not weekly, and speaking either on trivial personal matters, or in an excessively condescending, emotional or angry manner, or using base/disrespectful language.

The eyes and ears of the Council, Mayor and most of the audience slam shut at the sight of these serial abusers, and it casts an uncomfortable pall over the rest of the meeting held to conduct actually important municipal affairs which affect ALL residents of Sioux Falls. Few in the room or watching from home give two sh_ts about listening to their misplaced and inappropriate messages.

NEWSFLASH: It may be government of, by and for the people. . . .but the people who win the elections get to make policy during their terms. Like all humans, they’ll respond better to smart influence or even manipulation than disrespect and bludgeoning. Certainly, there are public issues which are vexing, and public officials may act in ways inviting scrutiny if not criticism. But like the old saying goes, “You can catch more bees with honey than vinegar.” And then there’s the concept of “Keep your powder dry.” The use of tact and a well-crafted, intelligent twist of phrase can have far more effect than a rant. And, intermittent public addresses will likely have more impact than insisting on being a regular bore.

If citizen activists wish to work to preserve Public Input, the most positive results may well be to “police your own.” Don’t let a few selfish, short-term loudmouths negatively affect decent citizens’ rights to an aspect of government access for years to come. Address these inconsiderate clowns 1-on-1 before or after meetings, and let them know they’re screwing things up for everyone else. Clean up Public Input and there’d likely be no justification, impetus or support among Councilors for changing/moving it again.

Sunlight as a disinfectant is a great concept, but even sunlight can’t make a soapbox in a pigsty a palatable forum. The Mayor and many of these Councilors have legions of mainstream constituents who wholeheartedly share distaste for routine, coarse public verbal outbursts. . . and will support and endorse efforts by public servants to quell that. I believe individual activists need to play it smarter – not louder – to be taken seriously by the majority of the public and most elected officials.

#6 Steve on 10.30.20 at 4:15 pm

Sneaky moves like this are what this Mayor is famous for. Of course, his six cronies will kiss his backside and blindly pass them. Will Sioux Falls ever have a Mayor again with integrity and that displays a strong moral compass? I just don’t see it. When he’s out of office, one of the RS6 will get in and this crap will just keep rolling. It’s pretty revolting.

#7 Cheap shot on 10.30.20 at 6:06 pm

So are these councilors going to try to run this through? Cheapshot.

#8 Hey NEWSFLASH! on 10.31.20 at 7:52 am

The reason we have a Bill of Rights and a US Constitution was to make sure the majority did not trample on the rights of the minority. US Supreme Court rulings maintain the abuse is is not allowed.

Amazing ignorance was made in this statement:
NEWSFLASH: It may be government of, by and for the people. . . . but the people who win the elections get to make policy during their terms.

Remember this when you need the government to listen to you without giving $117,000.

#9 John Dale on 10.31.20 at 10:38 am

“coarse public outbursts” are a reflection of bad policy.

Sioux Falls has charisma in leadership positions, but it has no real leadership.

In my view, your mayor is a tool of the UN, and a shill for Agenda 21 (Smart Cities).


#10 D@ily Spin on 10.31.20 at 11:23 am

If an item was voted on in the meeting isn’t public comment at the end allowed? It’s become old business. Can all future comment of meeting subjects be disallowed. End meeting comments has become extreme free speech infringement. Worthy of a Writ of Certiori?

#11 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 10.31.20 at 8:26 pm

“A tool of the UN”? When will the white tanks show up? They will most definitely clash with a taupe background. Perhaps, the blue helmets will bring some color to Taupeville, however. #DagHammarskjold was Swedish and not Dutch, but a Nordic is a Nordic. Buy their cottage cheese, but not their clean cut image.

#12 Cathy B on 10.31.20 at 9:52 pm

That makes me so sad. It’s just cruel to the public to move public input to the end. Those meetings can go on for hours. The end time is unpredictable. The meetings are on school nights. It’s cruel to young people, old people, parents, people with disabilities, and surely others of the public.

#13 l3wis on 11.01.20 at 2:09 am

The new council has admitted they are not there to do the business of the citizens, who fund the government, they are there to do business with businesses, who take from this government. I know, assbackwards, but what do you expect when you have to pay $117,000.00 for a seat on the council. The regular folks no longer matter to them, we are almost non-existent.

#14 Big Daddy Government on 11.02.20 at 7:30 pm

What if we did reform and change the Public Input Session; we could actually make it better, more fluid, and more positive; both the citizens, the council must be more respectful, but it does get tiring to see the same persons week in and week out say the same repeat stuff.

What if we did this; reform the public input into 2 parts.

a. The First 20 minutes reserve for 4 public speakers who request to speak for 4 minutes each on an proposition, item, or plan they wish to lobby the council on. With all special requests to be made no less than 48 hours prior any such council session. (no one can promote an idea, concept, plan, proposal more than once per each 15 days or twice per month)

b. Then place a 15 minute Public Input Session after all agenda items prrior to adjourning the session; give each speaker a free non-interupted 3 minute time slot for up to 15 minutes total to speak on any topic they want.

c. ALL CITIZENS get to speak on First Reading Items for 5 minutes; and another 5 minutes on Second Reading Items;

How much more time do you need? If we reformed Public Input as such, we would very easily get more positive dialogue

My Plan means, Public Input is now 35 minutes (20 prior, 15 post), plus as many people can speak on multiple ‘agenda first or second readings.


#15 John Dale on 11.03.20 at 8:13 am

A fallacious idea:

“There are no other nations on Earth that want to see America fall.”

Another one:

“No other nations on Earth would deploy sophisticated psychological attacks to foment the downfall of America.”

Regarding UN tanks .. they are manufactured in Virginia.

Smart Cities, a primer:

“Who will own the brains of smart cities–citizens or corporations? At stake is an impending massive trove of data, not to mention issues of privacy, services, and inclusion. The battle may be fought in the streets between bands of Jane Jacobs-inspired hacktivists pushing for self-serve governance and a latter-day Robert Moses carving out monopolies for IBM or Cisco instead of the Triborough Bridge Authority. Without a delicate balance between the scale of big companies and the DIY spirit of “gov 2.0″ champions, the urban poor could be the biggest losers. Achieving that balance falls to smarter cities’ mayors, who must keep the tech heavyweights in check and “frame an agenda of openness, transparency and inclusiveness.”

Those are some of the conclusions of “The Future of Cities, Information, and Inclusion,” a 10-year forecast commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation and published this morning by the Institute for the Future.”

So, let me ask you. Do you think your mayor is keeping big tech in check? In this regard, if you look at his record, he seems rather limp.

Sioux Falls: Wakey wakey, hands off snakey.

#16 Alice M Miller on 11.06.20 at 7:25 pm

Please leave the public input where it is at. This just seems very unkind to the people of Sioux Falls that you have chosen to serve. Thank you for listening .