UPDATE: An exercise in futility

Update: It only took 2 days, but the city reporter at the paper that barely exists decided to wake up and do a story about Tuesday’s meeting. Maybe he was tired of judging burritos or something? I will make this brief;

There’s no one single thing that led to the decision, he said, although “some of it was the fact that there were only two proponents in that entire room last night, and they were from our healthcare systems. And I think that’s very telling.”

Yes Paul, it is very telling, listen to the doctors not the quacks. A couple of dozen people showed up to spew about I’m not sure what, and if you looked at viewership on YouTube that night, there was 140 active viewers. We are not Milbank, we are a town of almost 200K that should tell you something, don’t listen to the fringe.

And it wasn’t just in-person, he said, estimating that 90% of the correspondence he’d gotten over the last few weeks had the same message: “It’s time for this to end.”

This is interesting coming from the guy who hates transparency. I would love to know who this 90% are? When in doubt Paul always pulls from his behind.

“We could be adding as little as a week on to this ordinance,” TenHaken said, referencing that the failed ordinance would have ended the mandate when the South Dakota Department of Health began vaccinating subgroup 1E. 

“And so my thought is,” TenHaken said, “what is that week worth?”

My opinion on this is simple, until most if not all are vaccinated and cases are practically at zero, that is when we let up. Do you think a drag racer lets his foot off the gas before he reaches the finish line?

While masks have been a heated topic, TenHaken said it’s not what’s really dividing people. “It’s public dialogue, it’s politics, it’s social justice issues, it’s the stress of the pandemic, it’s unemployment, lost jobs.”

I agree with Paul partially on this, we have had divisive politics over the past 4 years, this doesn’t come from people who wear masks, this comes from people in his party representation who only want to conquer and destroy. This is a guy who wants to put a death nail in affordable housing, a guy who wants to help his bankster and developer friends by increasing taxes on us, a guy who hates open government, a guy who has done little to nothing to insure a livable wage, and a person who refuses to accept sexual preference diversity. We have this hysteria because as the leader of this city you refuse to lead on the very topics you talk about. Division occurs because you allow it, and sometimes encourage it.

Still, TenHaken said he would have preferred not having to vote at all, adding that a tiebreaking vote gives a perception that the mayor is “either the savior or the villain for the item.”

“People need to remember, it’s not my item, I just get kind of put in the spot where the council couldn’t figure out how to get to yes or no on it,” TenHaken said.

This statement wreaks of hypocrisy. He is right, it wasn’t his item, because it should never be his item. By charter it is the city council that sets policy, he runs the city. But this mayor, the last one, and two before that decided they should introduce policy items, and proudly prance like a peacock that they are part of the policy making body. So Paul, either you are part of the crew or you are not. Seems he wants his cake.

But Tuesday night was a little different. The original vote was 5-3 against the mandate, until Councilor Pat Starr changed his vote to yes, making a 4-4 tie.

“When Councilor Starr changed his mind, you know, I don’t think you have to be a political pundit to recognize it was really just to put, you know, me on the hot seat for that item,” TenHaken said.

It was a genius move by Starr, because like I said above, you are either part of the body or you are not and since you chose to introduce policy like moving public input to the back of the meeting you have put yourself in the arena. If you don’t want to be there, great, follow charter and stop introducing policy.

And while TenHaken chose a side on Tuesday, he said he doesn’t want people looking at it as a win or a loss for their position.

“There’s no winners in this,” he said. “We’re dealing with a pandemic, and hundreds and hundreds of our neighbors in the state have lost their lives. So turning this into this game where ‘I won the mask mandate discussion or lost,’ it really kind of bums me out.”

Oh, the ‘bummer’ excuse. I am bummed to, because you want to play in the sandbox but when it your turn to build the castle you piss in the moat.


The only real thing that was accomplished last night at the Sioux Falls city council meeting was allowing citizens to practice their 1st Amendment rights, even though Stormland TV questioned some of the bull being thrown.

Ironically, even if it would have passed, it would have only been in effect for about a month because of this clause;

III Effective
Unless extended, amended, or earlier terminated by ordinance, this ordinance shall automatically terminate upon declaration of the South Dakota Department of Health that vaccinations are available to members of Phase 1 Group E.

The group is scheduled for April 15th (or sooner) to receive vaccinations.

Either way, I have often said since the mandate had no teeth anyway, there was nothing stopping people from NOT wearing masks in public spaces. And even if Covid didn’t exist, any private retail business or private hospital can require you to wear a mask or leave. There are numerous constitutional amendments and laws backing that up.

But what really reared its head last night was Mayor TenHaken’s tantrum when he didn’t understand his own rules when it comes to running a meeting. Besides Starr, three other councilors called him out on it while our City Clerk sat there silent until one of the councilors chided Greco into doing his job. Hey Tom, you work for the city council and the citizens, not Mayor Stoneless. I know it may be your wet dream to be a total suck-up like the city attorney, but you really need to do your overpaid job.

It was a piss poor way to run a meeting, and enough with the huffing and puffing Paul.

Also, while I am not a fan of Councilor Kiley, he really must have been sore when not only the mayor took back his word on the way he was going to vote, but I guess councilor Jensen did also. Like Rick or not, I felt bad that his colleagues took a big dump on him, especially the mayor. That’s not leadership, that’s cowardice.

But the thing that has been baffling me over the past 24 hours is how so many passionate people will show up to complain about a rule that has no teeth and really did no enforcement (I feel businesses have done that on there own) but don’t say a peep when the city tries to stifle them at public input, raises taxes and fees, hides stuff, is full of corruption and unethical behavior. I guess all of that is complicated and hunky-dory, but masks? The shame!

I give up.


#1 moses4 on 03.10.21 at 9:12 pm

Watched the circus last night .The mayor folded like a cheap suit., on siding with the maskless last night.I just knew he as going to vote against the mask mandate,sometimes you have to do what is right and not make excuses.What a poor meeting ran by the mayor.

#2 Mike Lee Zitterich on 03.10.21 at 11:58 pm

“III Effective
Unless extended, amended, or earlier terminated by ordinance, this ordinance shall automatically terminate upon declaration of the South Dakota Department of Health that vaccinations are available to members of Phase 1 Group E.”

IF you read that section again, and you read it backwards using “3rd Grade Sentence Formations” her is what the Effective Clause really said:

“Upon the South Dakota Department of Health recommendation, this Mask Mandate shall remain in full force until the Department obtains their goal”

The Department of Health has consistently stated time and time again, their real goal is to vaccinate no less than 75% of the Population. So knowing this, the State, the City would keep us under this state of Emergency Order for as long as possibly can, in order to maintain the “Mandate Ordinance”, meaning they would have kept extending it over, and over, and over until they read their stated goals…

As for the Mayor so call siding with the so called “Anti-Maskers”, he has never truly supported the Mask Mandate from the beginning, He never had a vote in the matter until now. He has always “recommended” or “Encouraged” you to wear a mask to protect others. He made the right decision last night in light of.

As for those of us who did speak last night, “WE” are not anti-mask, nor do we care if you wear a mask, “WE” are standing up in defense of our inalienable rights, the right to do as you wish unless you ROB, RAPE, MURDER.

The MANDATE accomplished nothing, all it did was cause hate, divide, and allowed people to demonize each other.

All you have to do is look at the definition of the word Mandate – “give (someone) authority to act in a certain way”

Who did they give “authority” to, well in the previous Mayor’s Resolution 147-20 – it instructed, or encouraged the Citizens to only patronize those businesses who adopted or took the Safer Sioux Falls Pledge; so it asked the CITIENS to enforce masks, 6 feet rule, the restrictions; those whom complied were good boys, those whom did not were rebels, and were ratted out, reported, or demonized.

“When you mandate that people must do something, or some activity, all you end up with is a rebel” – Bill Nees

A rebel – “a person who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or ruler cause they can”

So all you do is punish those so called rebels by reporting them to the S.D DOH for attempting to spread a disease by choosing not to wear a mask, stay 6 feet away, or enforce business restrictions. IT would now be a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

Then the State DOH does their invesitation, goes in your home, place of business to do an assessment, then if they found INTENT to spread the disease, they charge that rebel with a CLASS 2 FELONY.

Then they place them in the PROGRAM established by SB-4 – order them to take specific medication, get vaccinated, or sanction them.

So basically all the MANDATE did was create a rebel – cause no one chose to honor it.

Is that what you all are trying to accomplish?

The MAYOR did the right thing – I chose “FREEDOM” and encouraged people to be NICE, FRIENDLY, and RESPECTFUL.

–> Read his new resolution also passed with a 8-0 Vote.

Stop the Hate, WE STAND TOGETHER, “WE” are not anti-mask, we do not care if you wear a mask, “WE” stood up for your RIGHTS.

– Mike Zitterich

#3 Warren Phear on 03.11.21 at 7:43 am

I felt as you did Scott in your closing words. As I watched this meeting, I was reminded of what I seen unfold on Jan. 6th at the capitol. I keep asking myself, with all the real issues tearing away at the fabric of this country, why this? I can only come to one conclusion. It is where we each choose to get our news. Easy decision for me. I would have taken the accounts of the two hospital reps, and voted on the side of caution. All the rest of public input was just retelling the rants and ravings of radio and fox news taking heads.

#4 l3wis on 03.11.21 at 8:26 am

First, let’s look at what I have observed over the past year. Before the mandate when I would go into a store, about 50% were wearing masks, except for businesses that have had a sign before the mandate, I would see one or two people not wearing. Once the mandate came into affect, I have seen most people complying. But what is really ironic is that I have never, ever, seen a store employee or mask wearing patron accost someone for NOT wearing a mask. NEVER. Not one single time. The frustrating part is the only ones who says these things are the ones who refuse to use common courtesy on private property and wear a mask. I will defend the anti-maskers on one level, they are correct, in public spaces no one can tell you or make you wear a mask and no one has. So read this line very carefully, private businesses can make you wear a mask on their property, that was lawful before the mask mandate and will be after the mandate. It’s really that simple. Another thing I noticed Tuesday night that after 2 hours of testimony not one single speaker provided constitutional evidence that they have the right to NOT wear a mask on private property when asked to. NOT one single one. You wanna know why that is?

#5 D@ily Spin on 03.11.21 at 8:37 am

Isn’t there more important business? Hours of debate on wearing a mask has proven to be more political than practical. City Hall has become a dysfunctional talk show. Get serious before someone rips off your masks and coughs on you.

#6 WTF on 03.11.21 at 10:21 am

I’m old enough to remember when “No shoes, No shirt, No service” signs appeared to no screams. It was hygienic and polite.

By having cries about being similar to rape and assault is an insult to us.

Try being hygienic and polite and respectful, not resentful.

#7 Conservative Here on 03.11.21 at 10:39 am

I was accosted 2x in public for not wearing one in the last 3 months. The first time was at a Public school and it was from the Principal of the school. I was not so much concerned that he asked me to wear a mask it was how he jumped all over me and berated me about not wearing one. I was very caught off guard and I was not proud of the way I responded to him. I did apologize to him for initially telling him to fly a kite but, he did come at me very hard and aggressive and really caught me off guard. It was uncalled for on his part but, that gave me no excuse to respond in kind. I heard of stories like this but, never thought it was occur to me personally

The 2nd time it happened a man freaked out on me in the produce section of Hy-Vee and was so mad he was shaking. There were about 3 or 4 other people in close proximity that didn’t have a mask on either. The ironic part is the guy got up in my face physically and was very angry. Now of course this violates this whole 6 feet thing but, I digress. This time I was prepared and just politely told him No thank you I am good but, he was welcome to wear his and steer clear of me.

Let me be clear I am not here to debate masks with anyone as I doubt I will change any minds of folks who feel they are necessary but, I am here to tell you that people are losing their marbles on others and it happens far more often than many think. So yes this is creating division and animosity. I think the mask thing is stupid but, I am don’t go up and yell and people and call them dumb or idiots. I say live and let live, if you want to wear it, knock your socks off. Heck wear a bubble for all I care, I will even help push you around the store if you get stuck in an Isle LOL.

I am not shocked by peoples behavior anymore about anything. Too many folks have become unhinged at everything and one day we are going to wake up and realize we have no freedom to do as we please. The PC police are out in full force. I say you do you and I will do me.

#8 My Mistake Mike on 03.11.21 at 11:38 am

I see signs that say “No shirt, no shoes, no service”.

After watching Tuesday night’s debate, I’m seriously considering going pantsless this summer.

#9 A Bi-Centennial Moment on 03.11.21 at 11:38 am

On this day, one year ago, Mayor ThuneHaken and his real estate side kick announced to the world via Facebook that Chick-fil-A was coming to Sioux Falls. Then the next day, our local city government got serious about Covid-19.

#10 Mike Lee Zitterich on 03.11.21 at 1:44 pm

I have never said nor spoke on the constitutionality of whether or not state or local govts have the authority to make such laws; nor have I ever said private businesses could not enforce their own policies as they chose. But lets remember, as a business – ‘we’ must get licensed, permitted, and agree to collect sales taxes, let alone agree to other such codes of ethic rules same as the government.

Scott, your argument would be true, if not for some of the codes and restrictions a business has to abide by in order to obtain the LICENSE or PERMIT from the City.

When ‘we’ agree to do business, thus opening up your private property to the public – you also have to admit, ‘we’ are also agreeing to NOT discriminate, or disrepect the right of the patron to have their own beliefs as well.

We fight this every day, month, you see the Federal Govt attempting to interfere with the Churches whereas they are told to accept people not of their faith, such as the gay and lesbian community, etc-etc.

Did not Hobby Lobby take up some major issues witt this a few years ago? Being forced to provide health insurance to those with seperate belief patterns?

When I open my doors to the public to sell used cars, IF, if I were to say, “Sorry, I do not want to serve your needs cause your gay” – now the law comes in and finds me committing an unlawful act, and fines or sanctions my business…

I made a simple mask policy that I felt fits my business affairs – “Mask Recommended” meaning I gave the patron the choice to do as they wish, but to respect other patrons personal space; whereas, as you state, I would tell them to leave if they cause any commotion. I never had any issue, nor did anyone complain when I had more than 1 patron in my office, which is quite small.

Where you are seein the largest issues are where people are walking up to you stating, DO THIS, or leave, now you get the confrontation from those who stand on their rights.

You see, “RIGHTS” are like butt-holes. Everyone have has one, and everyone will stand their ground to protect them. You now have to respect them for their beliefs, or risk being fined for discrimination, which always gets played, and sometimes I feel over played.

I DO NOT see the corralation to January 6th – that was an absurb comment; NOT ONE OF US patriots rose up and yelled or attacked or damaged property, it was peaceful meeting where people listened, and no one caused any one any harm.

IF you claim the group sitting together, well — they were well within their right to do so under the current ordinance, you were exempted to sit in a group of 10 or more persons so long as you knew each other.

The only people who seemed to have an issue with this, well…lets not go there.

We need POSITIVE POLICY, and not one which creates tension between citizens leading to a negative policy.

– Mike Zitterich

#11 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 03.11.21 at 2:05 pm

If you don’t have to wear a mask, then why a shirt or shoes?

#12 Name thankfully no longer in quotes on 03.11.21 at 4:41 pm

Does anyone actually read Mike’s daily manifestos on here?

#13 Scott D Hudson on 03.11.21 at 5:02 pm

lol at “inalienable rights” to not wear a mask.

#14 D@ily Spin on 03.11.21 at 5:48 pm

I’ve had both shots. It’s been 3 weeks ago. I still wear a mask. It’s not socially acceptable if you don’t. I keep thinking of the money I’ve saved not going to the dentist. When you speak, you look into peoples eyes. That’s nice. In another 6 months or so there will be mask burning parties. I’ll have to give my dentist a payment on his Beamer before then.

#15 D@ily Spin on 03.11.21 at 5:59 pm

In a year, the deaf can read lips again. By then there will be a handcuffed ordinance. So, no sign language. Freedom of speech gets complicated when there’s local government intervention. Stay out of traffic when there’s blindfolds required.

#16 Very Stable Genius on 03.11.21 at 8:25 pm


The orange mess is no longer president, so how can he claim to be a “Very Stable Genius”? Thus, leaving the title to anyone now without need for quotation marks. But there’s really only one real Woodstock.

#17 Reliable Voter on 03.11.21 at 9:14 pm

The Daily Beast article on written by Michael Daly, “Mayor Throws Out Mask Mandate After Speech by a 9-Year Old” is worth the subscription price. Highly recommend.

#18 My Mistake Mike on 03.12.21 at 8:55 am

What an embarrassing display of “leadership”.

I think PTH’s back hurts due to lack of spine.

#19 Ljl on 03.12.21 at 11:04 am

Spot on CH….this fauxdemmic has poured fuel on an already unhinged society. I was in a lobby waiting and realized we use to see a person having a public meltdown on rare occasions and it had now become common place.

The world would be a better place if we would stop telling each other what to do. Mind your own damn business folks. Wear or don’t wear a mask and STFU about it.

BTW Scott E… the fact that you don’t think you’re the fringe, proves you’re the fringe.

#20 anominous on 03.13.21 at 10:24 pm

column of crisis actors