Merkouris Announces Candidacy for Sioux Falls City Council, At-Large B

Rich personally asked me today to share this, and I appreciate him reaching out. I will post any candidate information if they send it to me;

Rich Merkouris, a respected faith and community leader, has announced his intention to seek a seat on the Sioux Falls City Council in the 2022 elections. He will be a candidate for the At-Large B seat held by Christine Erickson. The election is April 12, 2022.

“My commitment as a Councilor would be to listen, communicate and collaborate,’’ Merkouris, 39, said. “I will work hard to hear the concerns of citizens, share my perspective and work alongside others to find compromise for the good of all citizens.’’

Merkouris, a Sioux Falls resident for 20 years, serves as President of Kingdom Capital Fund and Senior Pastor of King of Glory Church. He is on the board of directors for Empower Sioux Falls, Compassion Child Care, and the Sioux Falls Hope Coalition. He has helped lead multiple collaborative efforts in Sioux Falls including the development of the Empower Campus, the formation of the Sioux Falls Hope Coalition and housing re-development in Pettigrew Heights. Over the last eleven years, Merkouris has served as a Volunteer Chaplain for the Sioux Falls Police Department and Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office.

Merkouris pledged to focus on several critical issues, including strengthening housing options, renewing core neighborhoods, enhancing public spaces, lowering youth crime, and encouraging collaboration across all segments of the community.

“I love Sioux Falls and believe it is the best city in which to raise a family,’’ he said. “Our family has been given so much by this community. We want to strengthen it so that every family can flourish in this city. It would be a great honor to represent citizens from all different parts of the community on the City Council.”

Merkouris and his wife, Shannon, a special education teacher at John Harris Elementary School, have three children: Hannah, Henry and Hazel.

EDITOR’s NOTE: I personally have NOT endorsed anyone for this seat. Rich is the first to announce and the only candidate so far for AT-LARGE B (Erickson’s current seat).

I have argued for a long time that religion and politics don’t mix and I don’t think a pastor or faith leader should be an elected official. Either pick to lead a congregation, a non-profit or a city, you just can’t do all three. I fully support separation of church and state and I really don’t care about anyone’s arguments against it because you are not only ethically wrong, it is a violation of the US Constitution.

It is also important to note that Rich was a part of the group that received city funds for rental assistance. It said this in that agreement with the city;

The Organization shall provide the City with reasonable documentation of distribution of the grant funds upon request by the City.

At this point this group has NOT provided the city council OR the citizens an audit of how the money was spent and who it was sent to. I would appreciate before Rich moves any further into his candidacy he explains where my tax dollars went. I have personally heard a lot of gossip, but until the group comes clean with documentation, I’m tempted to believe some of it. For instance, were the landlords forced to only except 70% as a full rent payment? Has all of the money been spent? Where did it all go?

This is what I said when it was proposed at the City Council meeting;

What is wrong here is the delivery system because it lacks transparency. It would be logical to assume no matter who pays for this the money will be direct payments to the property owners of the rentals. But by transferring public dollars to a private fund, the taxpayers will never see who is receiving these funds. Once again, I will stress, this is not about knowing the names of the renters, they will not be an equation in this because they will never see the money, it’s about knowing what property owners are receiving the payments. Will it be the big guys? The little guys? Will it be evenly spread between them? We will never know because the city will be giving up their rights to transparency by having a private non-profit distribute the money.

As I said, nothing personal against Rich, but he needs to do some housekeeping before moving forward especially after hearing the rumor he was personally recruited by Mayor Poops and promised the Pot of Gold that goes along with that support.

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. -JC



8 comments ↓

#1 Paul TenHaken's Disciple on 10.13.21 at 9:43 am

This ‘pastor’ would fit right in with our current Mayor.

Beware, Voters!

#2 D@ily Spin on 10.14.21 at 12:01 pm

At this point, a minister would be welcomed. City government has become dishonest, corrupt, contemptible, non-transparent, and irresponsible. These are traits a pastor would not be a party to. A council Ceuta religious values might realize the present charter is unconstitutional and force change. Wars are fought from religious beliefs. Returning to democracy will require strict measures and religious values. It will be possible to later separate church and state but religion is an important tool to incite change.

#3 D@ily Spin on 10.14.21 at 12:08 pm

Alexis, what is ‘Ceuta’? Where did spell check get that? I’m not especially religious but will accept anything that forces out Strong Mayor Charter. Just imagine if churches can once again post and light their name out front.

#4 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 10.14.21 at 5:07 pm

With the help of Chick-fil-A, maybe Sioux Falls can be turned into another Colorado Springs, where evangelism became their economic development plan. If people can wait two hours for a chicken sandwich, imagine what they will do to hear of a few fish feeding thousands.

AND, this popular drive thru in town is the new line for the mentally ill, however, in my opinion. These captive people need to be utilized somehow as well. Perhaps, a sprinkling of Prozac onto the waffle fries might work.

OH, and buy as many campers as you can find. Soon there could be a great demand for them in this fine city due to an increased interest in weekend camping away from the rainbow. #WhyDoPeopleTakeTheirCamperThruDriveThru?

#5 David Zokaites on 10.14.21 at 5:29 pm

Our Constitution says congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion. That means we are free to practice or not practice any religion we wish. That’s all the Constitution says on the matter.

For a long time I was very reluctant to introduce any aspect of religion into my campaign because politics and religion have been used to corrupt each other. Then again, politics has been used to corrupt everything it touches.

Prayer and religion and “Christian family values” can be a force for good as long as we remember what Jesus the Christ actually taught – love your neighbor, feed the poor, comfort the afflicted, console the prisoner, welcome foreigners – care more about people and less about wealth.

#6 l3wis on 10.14.21 at 6:29 pm

It’s not unconstitutional for Rich to run, I just get weary when pastors get on government boards because the money seems to lean towards funding their quasi religious charities which is a violation.

#7 Cop Watch on 10.15.21 at 6:57 am

Why does the police department allow cops to sit in line waiting for a Jesus sandwich for over one hour with no way to be available for calls? Drive by the Jesus shop and see how many cops are waiting and see that there is no way for them to get out of the line once there.

If the cop wastes the day waiting for a Jesus sandwich, does this means overtime or just belly over the belt?

Hey Woodstock, do they get special blessings for eating a Jesus sandwich?

#8 "Woodstock" on 10.15.21 at 5:31 pm

“Say, Cop Watch”… “This whole Chick-fil-A thing is a pilgrimage kind of thing”… “Where one submits to sacrifice”… “Like the victim who lacks a timely cop response”… “AND, the circling nature of the drive-thru mimics the circling of the Kaaba at Mecca as well”…. “But a true Jesus sandwich would have fish, however, not chicken, but chicken is cheaper with a greater profit margin for the Christian businessman”… “So the special blessing comes from accepting less so others can have more”…. “It’s the sacrifice which must be made to help the poor Christian businessman”… #NoTartarPacketsNeeded #$Saved

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