Is it time for the Sioux Falls City Council to have ‘The Talk’ with their (our) city clerk?

If you FF the above meeting to 1:10:00 you will see an incident that should have never occurred. It was all spurred by the chair of the meeting (Mayor TenHaken) attempting to shut down public input. Though after he gets his butt handed to him by fellow councilors he proclaims he wasn’t going to shut it down. Yeah, sure, you betcha. He announced at the beginning of public input on the mask mandate that he was going to shut it down at one hour, and exactly at the one hour mark he proceeded with his ‘summary’ in which councilor Starr asked for a point of order. All the shouting back and forth could have ended there.

How?

Well, the chair should have automatically recognized the point of order, he did not, because even after 2 years he still doesn’t understand how to run a meeting.

The city attorney could have jumped in, but since he basically only works for the mayor, he sat there like a bump on a log.

It was actually the job of the city clerk to recognize the point order, he eventually did, but he had to get chided by several councilors to do so. Tom Greco, the city clerk, has been here long enough to know he should intervene in these matters, he works for the council and it is there meeting, he should have automatically, politely told the mayor they needed to rule on Starr’s point of order.

I have often been concerned about the cozy relationship between Greco and TenHaken, it is unhealthy and not good for open government. Tom was appointed/hired by the city council and he must answer to his 8 managers NOT the mayor’s office or even the city attorney’s office.

I highly recommend the city council have an executive session with Greco (this is the legal way to handle personnel issues) and encourage him to intervene moving forward. I would also encourage the council to tell him they fully support him and will back him up if he gets any attacks from the chair for doing so. I don’t think it would be appropriate to punish Tom or censure him for what happened Tuesday, but I would tell him that this is a polite reminder and warning to do his job or take a hike.

Sidenote; I’ve been hearing a lot of blame going around that Councilor Starr is the one who forced the mayor to vote on the tie, but the interesting part is the mayor is the one who was playing games. I guess he approached a certain councilor to vote a certain way so he wouldn’t have to break a tie and that councilor refused, so right before the meeting Paul supposedly cornered Jensen to vote so he wouldn’t have to break a tie, and Jensen bailed on his promise to Kiley. This of course is why Starr likely pulled the Joker from his hand. It’s often important to remember that our beloved mayor plays a lot of these games behind the scenes, and when things don’t go his way he is quick to point fingers. Paul, you are the one that is responsible for the Sh!t Show Tuesday night, no one else.



10 comments ↓

#1 Very Stable Genius on 03.14.21 at 11:07 am

So a guy who worked with Powers to maintain a highly partisan blog wants us to get beyond Republican versus Democrat? Really?

#2 Mike Lee Zitterich on 03.14.21 at 12:49 pm

I was in attendance, was one of the speakers; Whether you agree or disagree with the Mayor, he does have the authority to manage the “public meeting”, maintaining that it stays on topic, point, and on a timely fashion.

Mayor Paul Tenhaken did announce as part of the rules ahead of public input that he would “Stop” the public input @ 1 Hour, present a recap, and to determine whether or not to proceed, or move forward to the Council Input. I do not believe he did nothing wrong, or against our codes.

At the point, the Mayor followed thru, and began providing a recap, whether you agree or disagree, he does have the right to do so, in order to keep the meeting moving in a orderly function.

At that point, Pat Starr attempted to make a point of order, the mayor politely asked to allow him to update the chamber on previous public input, perfectly well within his rights;

They, then the Mayor and Pat Starr got into an exchange of dialogue over the fact does the mayor first need to allow the Point of Order to proceed first or can he read his ‘recap’ first.

While the Mayor has the right to proceed to do his recap, the City Council, which the mayor is a part of, has the right to discuss the “point of order”.

People are human, they make mistakes, I do not see why you must vilify people either side here. Whether or not the City Clerk acted delayed, he most likely allowed the “council” to entertain themselves allowing both sides to fix the issue respectively;

Truth is, there is NO ORDINANCE that prohibits mayors from managing the meeting as they wish, and perhaps the City Clerk was simply allowing that “exchange” between the Mayor and Pat Starr to occur to see how it precured itself.

I think, that sometimes during times like these, during much heated agenda topics, we often times forget that ‘we’ are human, and sometimes human nature simply proceeds to take its course naturally.

I do not believe the Mayor was wrong with attempting to provide his commentary over the previous hours worth of speakers, and I do not believe Pat Starr was in the wrong with trying to bring forth the Point of Order.

What is at stake here, is the fact when one side does not like the outcome of events, they tend to see only negatives, whereas they cannot admit respectively – the two sides respectively worked out their differences, which ultimately ended with the public input to continue.

You all wish for a very open, and respectful public meeting, but then attack those for an ‘exchange of words’ that were totally in the Public’s Eye fully allowing many to witness. Ultimately, it worked itself out.

Truth is – we got the utmost, most “transparent” mayor that we have had in years, is he perfect? Well, I beg to ask the question – Are any of us perfect?

The only perfect person I ever knew was Jesus Christ, and I believe he died years ago.

Ask yourself – what do you want or expect from your government, let alone your elected officials. Do you expect them to play nice, be nice, or do you wish for them to call out each of their counterparts which often times leads to some very unique ‘exchange of words” thru the process…

I understand that left is not happy with the outcome, but even if the MAYOR was attempting to pause the public input, to do a recap, perhaps change course to allowing the “proponents” in the room to speak on the mask mandate, why did you oppose the mayor at this moment in time?

I mean – perhaps he wanted to hear from all you who supported the mask mandate, yet alone he was giving you a chance to speak up. But we know the answer, all you “pro-maskers” stayed home, or left early.

Whether politics played a role here or not, you sometimes must allow for these types of ‘exchanges’ to occur, they add something to the discussion, they show passion on both sides, and sometimes, a positive transpires from a negative.

– Mike Zitterich

#3 Which Official Said It!? on 03.14.21 at 2:19 pm

Tom Greco, the City Clerk, works for the City Council….after watching this meeting, you could have fooled me. Sure looks like he reports to the Mayor!!

And, WHOEVER was on the dais/or phone and made the comment:

“The Weekly Starr Show”!! needs to be removed from their position!

So, WHO WAS IT?

#4 l3wis on 03.14.21 at 2:46 pm

Selberg blurted out Starr Show.

Mike, I would be willing to forgive the mayor if it was his 1st meeting or even his 5th meeting. But he knows after 2 years what a point of order means. And please, never again compare Paul to JC or I will permanently kick you off of here. I just about puked.

#5 Mike Lee Zitterich on 03.14.21 at 4:22 pm

I do not recall comparing anyone to Jesus Christ; I believe I said and quote: “The only person I know who was perfect was Jesus Christ, and he has been dead for a long time” – you can interpret that anyway you wish, but do not place words in my mouth. That makes me mad.

I will continue to speak logic, facts, and truth.

#6 Scott Hudson on 03.14.21 at 7:49 pm

…and partisan opinion. Fixed it.

#7 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 03.14.21 at 10:30 pm

Paul is Jesus? Was there no room at the Worthington Days Inn many years ago? Jesus didn’t shave either. How did one dox in biblical times? Then who is Judas, TJ? Jesus gave the people fish, but where are my Chick-fil-A strips?

#8 D@ily Spin on 03.15.21 at 7:31 am

Properly addressing rules of order can be complicated. Some of Roberts Rules are subject to interpretation. More importantly, it’s impossible to look up and define an immediate action or recourse.

What’s important is not restricting or sequestering Public Input. Yes, appropriate time allowance per citizen. No, for not allowing individual input.

#9 Further Fear & Loathing on 03.15.21 at 3:13 pm

Does all of this make Paul as popular as the Beatles? Does this mean that if Paul is Jesus then Jesus is Paul? What would Lennon say?

#10 Name thankfully no longer in quotes on 03.16.21 at 1:20 pm

I happen to know that Hudson think Paul is God, but not TenHaken. Westerberg.