UPDATE II: Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Nov 2, 2021 & the mysterious property tax inquiry

UPDATE II: As I suspected one of Poops campaign rats called in the agenda posting. Supposedly this required the city clerk to ask all the councilors if they were going to attend and since quorum said they might, it was put on the docket. As I have already said before, I encourage all candidates to invite the entire council to their events and call the clerk’s office to have it put on the agenda calendar. Just make sure it is one of your greasy campaign rats, you wouldn’t want to demean yourself with such menial tasks.

UPDATE: I found out the tax inquiry has to do with a proposal by councilors Starr and Soehl about (city) property tax relief to the elderly, and if it is possible to give them a rebate if a program was formed.

As for the posting of a campaign fundraising event, I was sent this;

1-25-1. Official meetings open to public–Exceptions–Public comment–Violation as misdemeanor.

The official meetings of the state and its political subdivisions are open to the public unless a specific law is cited by the state or the political subdivision to close the official meeting to the public.

It is not an official meeting of one public body if its members provide information or attend the official meeting of another public body for which the notice requirements of § 1-25-1.1 or 1-25-1.3 have been met. It is not an official meeting of a public body if its members attend a press conference called by a representative of the public body.

For any event hosted by a nongovernmental entity to which a quorum of the public body is invited and public policy may be discussed, but the public body does not control the agenda, the political subdivision may post a public notice of a quorum, in lieu of an agenda. The notice of a quorum shall meet the posting requirements of § 1-25-1.1 or 1-25-1.3 and shall contain, at a minimum, the date, time, and location of the event.

The public body shall reserve at every regularly scheduled official meeting a period for public comment, limited at the public body’s discretion, but not so limited as to provide for no public comment. At a minimum, public comment shall be allowed at regularly scheduled official meetings which are designated as regular meetings by statute, rule, or ordinance.

Public comment is not required at official meetings held solely for the purpose of an inauguration, swearing in of newly elected officials, or presentation of an annual report to the governing body regardless of whether or not such activity takes place at the time and place usually reserved for a regularly scheduled meeting.

If a quorum of township supervisors, road district trustees, or trustees for a municipality of the third class meet solely for purposes of implementing previously publicly-adopted policy, carrying out ministerial functions of that township, district, or municipality, or undertaking a factual investigation of conditions related to public safety, the meeting is not subject to the provisions of this chapter.

A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

While I will admit they may be squeaking by on the legality of this, I do ask some followups. Notice the word ‘may’. In other words, there was NO requirement that this should be posted. On the basis of this argument, that means anyone running for city office moving forward should or could post their fundraising events on this calendar because there could be a quorum coming to the event. I challenge anyone running for the city ballot to post all of their public events whether they are fundraisers or not to ask the city clerk’s office to have that event placed on the city council’s agenda calendar.

I also question if this was truly a public event. Yes, the public was invited, BUT, there was a fee to enter the event. Does this still make it public? Sure. But you could argue that if a quorum of city councilors are attending a Stampede Game that, that should be posted on the council’s agenda. Or maybe a quorum was attending a Levitt concert? Maybe that should be on the agenda.

Let’s face it folks, their was NO legal requirement for Paul’s campaign to post this. While it doesn’t violate any laws, it certainly is questionably ethical.

I will have to admit, when I normally peruse the agendas I can usually figure out WTF is going on, or at least have a teeny-tiny idea. I will admit though, Item #6, Approval of Contracts, Sub-Item #38, has me baffled;

City Attorneys, Engagement Agreement for City’s Authority to Provide Property Tax Relief, Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, LLP, $5,000.00

So there are a few things I do know. Our City Attorney’s office has been incompetent, ill prepared and ignorant of municipal law for years and depending on outside counsel for a whole host of things they know nothing about. I have often joked we should just have a purchase agent and paralegal in the office to save taxpayers money.

What I don’t know is why they have to have outside counsel give them advice on how to ‘legally’ give property tax relief. If you think this is about you and me, you are sadly mistaken.

Like I said, I have no idea what they are up to, but if I was a guessing man, this has to do with making the property tax breaks to the ones that mostly don’t deserve it, more accessible and more secretive. But that is just a guess.

Also notice in the calendar below, from the City of Sioux Falls website that candidate TenHaken has violated campaign rules and probably several city ethical rules by listing a fundraising event for his campaign on the official calendar of the city. How did this even get on there?!?!



11 comments ↓

#1 Very Stable Genius on 10.31.21 at 6:07 pm

Is that his Halloween outfit or what he usually wears to The Hello Hi?

#2 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 10.31.21 at 6:09 pm

“Sioux Falls Development Foundation – Today We Build Tomorrow”…. But when is tomorrow going to come for the Bunker Ramp? #Someday?

#3 Matt Paulson on 11.01.21 at 12:37 pm

Stealing photos from my social media and reposting them without credit, huh? Stay classy, Scott.

#4 D@ily Spin on 11.01.21 at 12:52 pm

The property tax thing is suspicious. Is it a sophisticated con to forgive developer taxes? Is the fee a method that pays for something else? No doubt it’s but another devious way to steer money away from public benefit.

#5 l3wis on 11.01.21 at 12:59 pm

Stealing a photo from FB? Lol! The only theft that occurred here is the use of a taxpayer funded website to promote a candidates private fundraiser. But that is the high ethics of PTH.

#6 D@ily Spin on 11.02.21 at 10:37 am

Using a public forum for a political campaign might be illegal but it’s certainly an ethics violation. PTH can appoint himself and 4 buddies to rig around this circumstance. I’m hoping the property tax thing is imposing a moratorium on tax increases for seniors. With RE appreciation, they can get priced out of their homes.

#7 D@ily Spin on 11.02.21 at 10:57 am

The headband is a rock star image. The next move is smashing guitars.

#8 Reliable Voter on 11.02.21 at 12:43 pm

Expanding the elderly freeze for the city share of residential property taxes would be a good thing.

#9 Funny bike tax on 11.02.21 at 12:59 pm

Speaking of taxes….Scottie is always blowing about the need for more/bigger bike trails. I agree. We should tax any chubby little dudes riding goofy colored bikes to help build more trails.

#10 name thankfully no longer in quotes on 11.02.21 at 4:16 pm

Finally! Something funny (besides grammatical errors) on SouthDaCola! Funny bike tax, you made my day.

#11 Currently in a drive-thru lane. on 11.04.21 at 11:02 am

I am dyslexic. At first, I thought you were advocating a dike tax.