Will the Sioux Falls City Council Proposed Mask Mandate put Mayor Stoneless in a Pickle?

As you may or may not know, Mayor TenHaken has to break ties on the council, and he may have to exercise one of his toughest next Tuesday or the following Tuesday. Next week is the first reading of the Sioux Falls mask mandate proposed by Councilors Mutt and Jeff, uh, I mean, Soehl and Kiley. If you count the votes on the council, it looks like they have a solid four votes that approve of the mandate in Starr, Brekke, Kiley and Soehl and probably a definitive NO in Councilor Erractickson and probably her ethically challenged lap dog Nutzert. Jensen and Selberg will be your swing votes on this. I could think either would cave to save the mayor from having to vote on this, if not both, but as of right now, it looks like he will have to break the tie. My prediction is he will vote against it, because he is so scared of the business community in town and Noem. What is ironic about this is, I actually agree with Soehl, if you want to see your businesses continue to stay open, especially during the busy holiday season, a mask mandate will help with this. You never know, the business community may finally give their blessing to this mandate after all.

Where I am on the fence is, is it is going to be very, very, very difficult to enforce this. Police officers will literally have to catch you in the act of NOT wearing a mask, I compare it to our useless fireworks within city limits ordinances. While I think putting the mandate on the books is good, I think the enforcement needs to be handled different. I actually think businesses should have the right to hire security and BAN people who won’t wear a mask. This of course brings us to the Constitutionality of mask mandates.

I believe it is well within the Constitutional rights of any private business or non-profit to mandate masks. It’s called FREE enterprise. I have often believed that private retailers and restaurants can limit who they do business with (as long as they are not discriminating because of protected class-obviously non-mask wearers doesn’t fall into those classes), and I think this is how the ordinance should be written, allowing them to require masks and if anyone refuses the violators can charged with trespassing instead of a mask violation. Where I think it violates constitutional rights is requiring masks in public, like in parks, on the sidewalk, etc. I think the city can limit mask use in Public buildings with a health exemption, but outside in public spaces, that’s a little tricky and doesn’t pass the civil rights smell test.

I also think with the way the Home Rule Charter is written, it will be hard to get someone to pay a citation, I think a trespassing violation would be a lot easier to collect on. I think if they do issue citations, they should be warnings only. This pandemic will soon pass, and chasing people down for mask fines or even trespassing after the virus is managed seems a bit of overkill and not worth the taxpayer expense, you know, kind of like destroying people’s records for smoking a joint.

There is going to be a lot of ‘bull’ thrown around over the next couple of weeks about this, and to be quite honest, I think we are too late on this, but I guess anything can help at this point. But we need to craft this carefully not to trample civil rights.



2 comments ↓

#1 D@ily Spin on 10.29.20 at 10:40 am

The city denies appeals into court. Don’t pay citations. It’s an admission of guilt and you give up your rights. The best way to get the city to amend the charter and restore constitutional liberty is the expense of issuing and attempting to collect from citations. They can’t enforce ordinances because court will not hear their case.

The only time to remove your mask is when a code enforcer is present or at city council meetings. Make sure you cough.

#2 Mike Lee Zitterich on 10.29.20 at 11:32 pm

Yes … How do you enforce this. Lets remember the 10.999 fine which is a “UP TO $500” dollar fine for violating ordinances is only a civil penalty.

1) Who or what “business” will rat out their patrons, clients, customers by giving up their personal information?

2) Even if you did NOT pay the fine, its only a civil penalty, subject to placing a “warrant” on you. So you end up making 51% of the people guilty?

3) What about myself – as a Licensed Dealer, I am sworn to protect private information, and I am privileged to access the state “DMV TITLE SYSTEM”, I get fined, and risk losing my license if I give up private information to a “third party” (The City).

4) Amendment #4 – You shall not give up private information to no one that may be used against them in a court of law.

Remember Mr Wiederman’s lawsuit vs the CITY in 2010 – he challenged the City’s ordinance on TRAFFIC CAMERICAS, where the State found the city guilty was acting as a traffic court, unfair public hearings, giving up private information to a third party to levy a fine.

If this passes, I would take the CITY to court for violating AMendment 4 of the Constitution, thus deeming it “unconstitutional” to allow businesses to offer up PRIVATE INFO to the city in order to issue a citation, then unfairly force the “RESIDENTS” to go before the city (acting as a court) to challenge said violation.

Can the CITY afford another loss in court?

Mike Zitterich