Did the Sioux Falls City Council set themselves up for a discrimination complaint?

The city council bowed down to the garbage haulers last night essentially allowing them to charge a valet fee to pick up garbage by your house if you can’t carry it to the end of the driveway (Councilor Neitzert and Starr voted against the measure). So not only will cans be blowing all over the streets moving forward, they will probably remain there all week since the city really has no enforcement.

One company already told a person today that the valet service would be $17 extra a month even if you have a disability. Some have already been discussing if this is an ADA violation discriminating against handicapped and elderly folks. We will see the complaints coming.

Also, as Councilor Starr pointed out last night, Kiley’s Amendment didn’t get a required 24 hour notice to the council a rule that Kiley and Erickson have squawked about in the past when other councilors have not followed the rule. In fact the city attorney is the one who thinks this rule should be followed even though he remained silent about it last night.

I understand the haulers complaints about gas and labor issues, but the haulers already have the power to raise rates, they just wanted the council to validate it for them.

I have argued that common sense could easily fix many of these issues and actually lower our rates without getting rid of the private service or valet. Two things I have suggested are setting up sectors and days when garbage can be picked up during the week in a specific neighborhood and stop charging the haulers tipping fees unless they go over a certain tonnage or are dropping trash from other communities. The first idea has actually been thrown around for awhile and would save the haulers on fuel and labor. The second idea has probably not been discussed but makes sense. The taxpayers already own the landfill and pay for it’s maintenance. We also make money from the methane and other materials we sell. It doesn’t make sense for the city to charge a private hauler tipping fees then have them turn around and charge the consumer for dropping garbage off at a facility we own. It’s like putting a parking meter in your driveway.

The council should have voted for Neitzert’s original amendment to leave it alone and discussed putting together a task force to explore other options to save money. Neitzert said it best last night, what we currently have now is a ‘community standard’ we should be proud of. Once again, the rubber stampers took the easy cruise control government route that will make service more expensive and messier without solving the root causes. I’m surprised Carnegie didn’t explode last night with all the DUMB on the DIAS.


There is also a rumor circulating that an open meetings violation will be filed since public input was NOT allowed during the meeting on two items (Club David’s liquor license, and Covid study). Both were pulled from the consent agenda and the Chair of the meeting, Mayor TenHaken, did not request public input, and neither did the clerk or other councilors.



7 comments ↓

#1 Corn Dogger on 11.17.21 at 6:59 pm

Once again government gets involved and makes it worse. You are right about garbage blowing all over and rates are already very expensive. Now, with inflation skyrocketing the council decided it was a great time to sock it to public some more. The council essentially ignored the their own survey seeking feedback where many elderly respondents expressed concerns due to mobility or medical reasons with curbside.

#2 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 11.17.21 at 8:12 pm

I miss the good old days, when street cleaners went through your neighborhood three times a year, streets got an annual oil and pink rock treatment, roads were sand, salted, and plowed, and garbage men took your trash cans from your garage area for free. But I guess you can’t have everything in life, and now days we can apply for a TIF, if we can just afford a development. I wonder if you can apply for multiple TIFs from the same corporate address, however? I know it works for weed. Say, weed is something new for us. So, there you go. Smoke a joint, take your garbage out to the road, and
enjoy the experience. #WowManCheckoutThatSmell!

#3 l3wis on 11.17.21 at 9:05 pm

Not sure if others have noticed, but last Thursday it started sleeting and snowing at about 3 PM, the next morning I drove to work about 7:15 AM. The streets were a sheet of ice and I saw NO sanders out and no intersections sanded. I have a 7 mile commute to work from DTSF to over by the Sports Complex. I did get new tires this summer, so that helped, but it was a mess. I still struggle with how we are saving money (taxes are not a savings account) on basic public safety while building tennis courts and ice rinks? It’s like we have a bunch of 3rd graders running our city.

#4 D@ily Spin on 11.17.21 at 10:29 pm

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If a garbage service won’t pick up my trash I’ll change to someone who will. The city should work on important matters. Talking trash is getting old. When are you going to do something about the empty high rise garage you built for a bankrupt developer?

#5 Further Fear & Loathing on 11.18.21 at 11:50 am

I am going to start burning my trash on my own property like Bin Laden did. Wait, are those helicopters I hear? ….OH, thank goodness, it’s just Sanford or Avera.

#6 Mike Lee Zitterich on 11.18.21 at 4:25 pm

The ordinance change does take effect for 20 days, who is willing to collet the 10,000 signatures over the next 20 days to refer the “garbage ordinance change” back to the voters?

If you fail to do this, when you are against the change, then you to also ‘consent to be governed as such’.

#7 just some guy on 11.18.21 at 9:21 pm

Mike, you feeling ok? That was awful short for you.