Danielson notifies Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken and City Council of possible Open Meeting Violations

This was emailed to the city council and mayor yesterday;

To the Sioux Falls Council and Mayor Paul TenHaken:

To make sure each of you has been informed of my actions on Friday, November 6th, 2020, I am making a special note to inform you I had served on the city of Sioux Falls and the City Council a SDCL 3-21 Notice of Claim concerning the city violating SDCL 1-27-1.16. Material relating to open meeting agenda item to be available–Exceptions–Violation as misdemeanor. 

The action of voting on the three issues was illegal and the possible actions of voting to move the items forward are teetering on a violation of 1-27-1.16. The body was warned 3 separate times by me to produce the missing proposed ordinances. None of you recessed the meeting or had your staff go to a copy machine and print the items. Once again this is a flagrant violation of long standing South Dakota Open Meeting laws and custom.

Posting the items on the overhead screen is not the same as following the simple law requiring the items to be printed on paper and placed on the table for the audience to pick up and review.

The SDCL 3-21 notice I have filed was necessary to inform the city of harm they have caused. In this case, the harm to me as a citizen who wanted the information produced on paper, in the room and the law requires it to be done without the public begging for a copy. It does not matter if the items were finally posted on the website, the law clearly required the materials be in the room for the public to review.

Do you realize over the past few years, we audience members continue to receive less meeting documents or notice? We are tired of it. There are other violations we have pointed out in the recent past, such as when pointed out a violation to the Waste Management Board recently, causing the meeting to be postponed until proper legal notice was adhered to. The Board did the right thing, why can’t the City Council? The Board of Ethics did not properly publish and adopt their agenda recently when the Public Input was not placed on the agenda.

My efforts issuing warnings to the City Council last Tuesday were my attempts to prevent a violation or three.

Why do we not consistently get ALL the agenda discussion items such as zoning changes? The Clerk has placed the meeting notebook on the table but it is incomplete.

I will be preparing a complaint for the South Dakota Open Meetings Committee for the flagrant violations the City Council. I am considering adding a few others. Right now there are violations I will likely be filing as part of last week’s meeting and have decided I shall wait to complete the process once I know if there are more violations to add from the Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 meeting.

The actions taken last Tuesday are illegal because they violated SDCL 1-27-1.16. If the City Council continues with the 2nd reading this coming Tuesday and casts any votes on the illegally passed items, the votes cast will likely be null and void. 

ORDINANCE SECOND READINGS

12. 2nd Reading: AN EMERGENCY ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, TO REQUIRE FACE COVERING IN AN INDOOR PUBLIC PLACE WHERE 6-FOOT SOCIAL DISTANCING CANNOT BE ACHIEVED.

Sponsors: Council Members Soehl and Kiley

13. 2nd Reading: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY BY AMENDING CHAPTER 30: CITY COUNCIL; SECTION 30.001 COUNCIL MEETINGS.

Sponsors: Council Members Jensen and Erickson

14. 2nd Reading: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY BY AMENDING CHAPTER 30: CITY COUNCIL, SUBCHAPTER: ORGANIZATION AND PROCEDURE, SECTION 30.013, ORDER OF BUSINESS AND SECTION 30.015 ADDRESSING THE CITY COUNCIL; TIME LIMIT.

Sponsor: Mayor

Each of you are personally invested in the three items above, I may or may not have an opinion on them, it does not matter. What matters is the legality of moving them forward when you know they are not legally processed. Moving them forward is up to each of you.

The body is not permitted to knowingly vote on and cannot pass into law, an item brought before the body through illegal process.

Bruce Danielson



3 comments ↓

#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 11.10.20 at 3:25 pm

Why are we surprised? The Republicans have turned this state into a banana republic. Republicans in this state are not the conservative alternative, rather they are the authoritarian alternative. They overturn initiatives, deny defeat in presidential elections, and then claim that Democrats are socialists, while the GOP accepts millions of dollars of federal support for our number one industry (agriculture).

( and Woodstock adds: “YAH!” …”And also, Joe used to know Grover Cleveland, and Donald Trump is no Grover Cleveland”…. )

#2 The Great Compromiser on 11.13.20 at 10:32 am

There is NO requirement to provide a ‘print edition’ at the public meeting IF the agenda item was placed on the website 24 hours prior.

1-27-1.16. Material relating to open meeting agenda item to be available–Exceptions–Violation as misdemeanor.

If a meeting is required to be open to the public pursuant to § 1-25-1 and if any printed material relating to an agenda item of the meeting is prepared or distributed by or at the direction of the governing body or any of its employees and the printed material is distributed before the meeting to all members of the governing body, the material shall either be posted on the governing body’s website or made available at the official business office of the governing body at least twenty-four hours prior to the meeting or at the time the material is distributed to the governing body, whichever is later. If the material is not posted to the governing body’s website, at least one copy of the printed material shall be available in the meeting room for inspection by any person while the governing body is considering the printed material. However, the provisions of this section do not apply to any printed material or record that is specifically exempt from disclosure under the provisions of this chapter or to any printed material or record regarding the agenda item of an executive or closed meeting held in accordance with § 1-25-2. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, the provisions of this section do not apply to printed material, records, or exhibits involving contested case proceedings held in accordance with the provisions of chapter 1-26.

#3 l3wis on 11.13.20 at 6:37 pm

You are correct, and I don’t think the Open Meetings Commission will find a violation based on how they take the meaning of ‘OR’ but I suspect they will scold the largest city in SD for not doing all three. Council has at least 2 employees that make 6 figures a year and they have about 3 assistants. You would ‘think’ between the 5 of them they could do all three measures. Not only is it questionable, it’s just pure laziness.