Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Sep 7, 2021

Informational Meeting • 4 PM


A. 2022 Experience Sioux Falls (Convention and Visitor Bureau for Sioux Falls) BID Tax Budget by Teri Schmidt, Executive Director (if you look at the PP presentation you will find it is interesting how since the Events Center has arrived that city’s tourism revenue really hasn’t gone up that much. My suspicions are because the Denty has been only a money vacuum sending most of its profits out of town and not recirculating entertainment dollars in our community. Just another money pit.)

B. Vast Broadband – Communication & Design Update by Mike Harry, Chief Business Development Officer; Jeff Seidenfaden, Chief Commercial Officer; and, Cash Hagen, Chief Operating Officer (I think this will be an interesting presentation. I’m curious who inspired VAST to have a change of heart? I’m even more curious how the city allowed the goofy green towers to be installed to begin with?)

Regular Meeting • 6 PM

Item #7, Change Orders, Sub Item #5, $39K more for the chairlift replacement at Great Bear.

Item #33, Special One-Day Malt Beverage and Special One-Day Wine Licenses for Community Indoor Tennis Center Inc., 4210 North Bobhalla Drive, for a fundraiser on November 5, 2021. (I find it curious that they don’t call the facility by it’s name, Huether Family Match Pointe. Kind of wondering how that place is doing. Would be nice to get a presentation on how they spent our $500K yet have given the public virtually nothing in return for that handout.)

Items #41-42, 2nd Reading, Med MJ. I would expect a lot of amendments. I do know that around 4-5 councilors have amendments. One of them would be lowering the license fee to $25K. These two items alone will make for a very long night.

Item #44, 1st Reading, Property Tax Increase. Once again the Rubber Stamp Council will increase our taxes even though they have NO real reason to do so. Just because. Ironically in the same year they gave away around $144 Million in TIFs. (I have said $200 million in the past, and I am correcting that statement. It was $94 to the Development Foundation and $25 to Sioux Steel and $25 to Cherapa II)

Item #50, 1st Reading, Chief Matt Burns (Firing) Range Naming. As if the night couldn’t get more ridiculous the Mayor has asked the Naming Commission and the City Council to approve this naming at the new public safety facility. Am I the only one that finds it a bit ironic that a ‘firing’ range is being named after him? Maybe Mayor Poops is sending some kind of subtle message about why Burns left the city? We may never know.

Item #53, Resolution, Main Street BID Tax. For several years many downtown business owners have asked what they get for this special tax roll. DTSF does use the money and staff to promote Downtown (if you pay membership dues) and do have a cleaning crew (which I think the city’s Parks and Rec department should be doing). But does this BID help provide healthcare insurance options for small business owner’s employees? Business insurance? Short term business loans or grants? Nope. Nadda. Zilch. It seems all the BID tax really does is pay salaries of those who work for DTSF. I would love it if they would do a presentation on what they are doing to actually help DT businesses thrive economically. Because watering plants and marketing a Burger Battle isn’t cutting it.

Charter Revision Commission Meeting • 4 PM • Wed, Sep 8

The CRC will begin taking recommendations from the public. I will present my 3 ideas during public input since the city wants regular citizens jumping through hoops to bring them in advance and get on the agenda. Here is my exchange with the city’s paralegal in emails;

To: Greco, Tom
Cc: Hanzel, Cari
Subject: Re[2]: Charter Revision Commission

Tom, thanks for the assistance.

Cari, so as I understand Tom, I can just present my ideas during public input for consideration? Correct? and give the CRC members a copy of my proposals at that time?


Her response;

Hello Mr. Ehrisman:

The Charter Revision Commission’s preferred practice is to submit your proposal, to include a copy of the Article section(s) with the proposed amendments made in underlined/strike-through format, to them at least a week ahead of the meeting you would like to attend so that it could be added to the agenda.  At their initial meeting in August, the Commission set out a schedule of when they would be reviewing each Article.  I believe Tom provided that schedule to you already.  It would make the most sense to put your proposal on the agenda for the meeting that the Commission will address that relevant Article.  All that being said, you are always welcome to address the Charter Revision Commission during public input at any meeting and submit your proposal(s) at that time.  The down side to that is the time limit of 5 minutes.  If presented during public input, the Commission may decide to address your proposal(s) at a later date and/or when that particular Article comes up for review in their schedule.

Do you have proposals that relate to Articles I-III?  If so, and they are ready to go,  I can check into the possibility of amending the agenda to include your proposal as a formal recommendation under the appropriate Article for the meeting next week.  Let me know what Article sections you are looking at and we can figure out the best way to proceed.  Thank you! 

My response back, in which I received no response, and didn’t expect one;

I have no idea where my articles would fit in, I am not a city attorney, and I don’t believe it is the duty of a citizen to try to hunt it down in the city charter, that would be the responsibility of the CRC and the City attorney’s office. My only responsibility is presenting my ideas to the commission.
I know it is not in your wheelhouse to tell the CRC what to do, but this is prime example of poor customer service to citizens, which I believe is done purposely to discourage participation, there really is no other excuse. Citizens should be able to present their ideas to the CRC and the CRC can decide to craft the proper language and article in which it applies. I also believe that there should be NO time limit on presenting ideas to the CRC. I should be afforded at least 5 minutes for each item.
I will present my ideas to the CRC in public input and ‘try’ to figure out the articles it applies to.
Thank you for you time.
Scott L. Ehrisman

As I have mentioned in the past, even if my revisions make the ballot (which I doubt they will since the CRC is only interested in killing citizen ideas) I’m not so sure they would pass. As the CRC has said in the past they are concerned about putting revisions on the ballot because they almost always pass. I think I would have to educate a lot of folks to get passage. I am still refining my revisions, but I can tell you they concern TIFs, Public Input and City Directors. You will have to tune in on Wednesday to hear them 🙂


#1 Mike Zitterich on 09.06.21 at 3:46 pm

I have to agree with Scott, the INFORMATIONAL should be an interesting discussion regarding Vast Communicatio0ns. It will be interesting to hear their plans as for continuing to place the “Little Green Monsters” thru out town. I do not however have an issue with them, at age 50, I have come to embrace the green boxes, these are just a tad bit different than the old steel boxes.

While the Council Session will have 3 hot topics – of course you have the Marijuana Ordinances to be discussed, will will bring all the ‘excitement’;

But Scott failed to mention they are also approving the 2022 Budget as well, and the City is requesting the Finance Director to certify $73,000,000 in Property Tax Revenues for 2022.

My big issue with the budget, is the $654,000,000 million dollars, while ‘we’ only have $370,000,000 in combined tax revenues, and they do not take the time to itemize and show where the remaining “revenues” Come from, but I do have a hunch..

As for the Charter Revision Commission Hearing on Wednesday – I have to disagree, it was NOT very difficult to submit a ‘proposed concept plan’ at all.

After attending the previous CRC hearing a month ago, I spoke to them about proposing a concept, and they were very professional, friendly, and helpful.

Carrie was way helpful in helping me get a proposal on the agenda for this year. I can attest to the fact she is very friendly, upfront, and helpful in helping me get my concept on a future agenda.

Not to mention, my concept slightly changes parts of 2.02, 6.02, and 9.05 – so I had to quickly learn how to make the changes to the wording, was not so hard to learn at all. I actually enjoyed learning how to go thru the process.

I personally “THANK” Carrie Hanzel for her professionalism, her job, and her duty to the citizens.

My concept will be presented on 9/8/2021 and may also be discussed over the next few meetings as they relate to 3 parts of the charter.

It was a fairly easy process to learn, very educational.

– Mike Zitterich

#2 l3wis on 09.06.21 at 4:21 pm

I agree, Cari told me exactly what I needed to know. She did her job and I don’t hold her accountable for the killing field called the CRC. Apparently if you are going to propose revisions to the charter as a regular citizen, you need to hire a municipal attorney to help you navigate the charter (which BTW is NOT hosted on the city website). Mike, I have no doubt they will KILL my proposals as well as yours. The current makeup has NO interest in what we think should be done. I have to tell you I had about 10 proposals but after consulting many friends I whittled it down to 3, and I think they are fair.

#3 Mike Lee Zitterich on 09.06.21 at 5:01 pm

I am more interested at this time simply creating the discussion, it may take years, I understand that. But, I am hoping for good discussion, positive discussion, and educational one.

My goal as I stated in my concept, was not to change the government, but to make it better.

If I can make a case for “Smaller Districts” – I did my job.

Most importantly, have the discussion, stick to your concept, fine tune it as you go along, and keep brining the discussion back every year.

You may not know whether or not they like your idea or not, but at the same time, I would not expect it to be passed over night, it could take a # of years.

My concept is to remove 1 At Large Rep, while adding two additional Local Districts giving us 9 Council Chairs, leaving the Mayor on the Council, No Change There.

Primary Goal is to have 28,000 populated districts rather than 40,000 populated districts.

By replacing the 1 At Large Rep, by giving the Downtown-Business District its own Rep, I am hoping spurs a interesting discussion.

In Reality, I am realigning the City as such: North, South, East, West, with a Downtown-Business District flanked by two nearly created Central Districts (East/West), each with 28,000 people.

I am not expecting it get accepted over night, but I think this is a discussion we must have from 2021 to 2031.

Think back when ‘we’ began to change city government the last time, finally replacing the old city government in 1995. It was a process that culminated over a period of 15-20 years. Your not going to change government over night, and I cannot expect that to happen this time.

I simply think the best way is to get your idea out there, on the agenda, start the discussion, that creates the excitement, the educational period, and you will want to hold ‘town halls’ to share with as many people as possible. That is how this process should work.

That is why I am “inviting” as many people to attend on September 8, 2021 – start that discussion.

I simply proposed one concept, others will surely follow, perhaps people will like my idea, and that will trigger more discussions in the future. That is how you must look at it. Never expect to change the government in one day, or month. You cant force your idea on anyone, it has to be by sure voluntary will that people accept a new idea.

As a conservative, I love the fact that government moves ‘slow’. I would not want to force my idea on anyone, without them first getting educated on my idea, and learning of it, and adapting to it.

They may never agree or adopt my idea, but from my idea, new ideas can develop.

So I urge you, Scott – to get your concept on the agenda, and as often as possible. Keep the idea in the public eye.

I am a Republican, you are a Democrat, together, we have to find some kind of “agreement”, right?

#4 l3wis on 09.06.21 at 8:49 pm

Mike, I will tell you for the 1,000th time, I am NOT a Democrat and have been an indy for almost 20 years, check my registration. I don’t agree with your concept. I think we should have 8 councilors and tie votes fail a policy. I also think we should remove the mayor and only have a city manager hired by the city council.

#5 Mike Lee Zitterich on 09.06.21 at 9:13 pm

I stand corrected, I apologize on callign you a democrat. I did know, or I simply forgot.

As for not liking concept, that is fine, I never said you have to like it. I stated, you should support the dialogue. Create the public discussion. Relax.

#6 l3wis on 09.06.21 at 10:06 pm

It’s not a dig on your idea, I just know the history of the CRC and anything any citizen brings forward is DOA. Sure they will talk about it, but mainly they will give the reasons why it should be killed. Pay attention Mike, you will find out how the CRC has become a killing floor.

#7 Simon on 09.06.21 at 11:59 pm

It’s a big deal that the city is naming a building after a retired director. To assert an ulterior motive is uninformed and petty.

#8 l3wis on 09.07.21 at 7:33 am

sarcasm, noun; the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

#9 Mike Lee Zitterich on 09.07.21 at 9:34 am

No, Scott, its ok, I know of your plan a while ago. I would even help you if you want to, thats who I am. Perhaps, my idea, your idea comes together one day in the future, never know, that is what ‘discussion’ for for. Keep at it.

#10 D@ily Spin on 09.07.21 at 6:49 pm

TIF’s should be taxed. A million dollar TIF is actually a 1.5 million earned income and gift gain. Developers not favored pay 1.5 times what insiders pay and then there’s also a 7 percent sales tax. The city should be defendant for unfair competition litigation.

#11 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 09.08.21 at 10:24 am

The “goofy green towers” are like an Easter Island of mini Bunker Ramps. Now, with the removal of them, maybe the city could learn something, or is that “someday”?

#12 Dakota Politics on 09.08.21 at 11:32 am

TIF’s are ‘tax monies’ paid out to reimburse the developers who purchased supplies, did all the work, which was most likely TAXED already. Taxing TIFS would essentially be Double Taxation, and would harm the development itself. It would do the opposite of what you all want these developments to do, provide affordable housing.

#13 l3wis on 09.08.21 at 1:03 pm

You really don’t understand how the free market works do you?

#14 Dakota Politics on 09.08.21 at 7:04 pm

I know free markets, I am just trying to understand the point you are getting at about taxing TIFS.

#15 The Gug From Guernsey on 09.09.21 at 10:32 am

On the basis that welfare payments from the government teat aren’t considered as taxable income when determining a federal income tax obligation, TIFs would not be considered as taxable.

#16 Joe Batcheller on 09.10.21 at 8:41 am

Hi Scott. Thanks for the suggestions. Let’s fact check your statements first though. DTSF issued $127,000 in covid grants to 70 businesses last year before PPP came into effect or before any other financial assistance was available. Also, the expenditures you’re suggesting for BID do not qualify under state statute. As for DTSF’s promotions, close $1M in economic impact was created from Burger Battle alone. That’s just one of a couple dozen promos and events DTSF puts on. I would be happy to buy you a beer if you’d like to learn more. Thanks!

#17 Very Stable Genius on 09.10.21 at 6:20 pm

“As for DTSF’s promotions, close $1M in economic impact was created from Burger Battle alone.”

I don’t drink, but I would love to see these stats.

AND what really gets me about the Burger Battle is not that it happens, or perhaps contributes to economic development or impact, but that the local media covers it to the extent they do. The grade school Weekly Reader is suppose to inspire future journalists. It is not meant to inspire future story ideas.