Sioux Falls Charter Revision Commission denies my proposals based on (non-legal) Opinions

As I told the Commission at the end of the meeting during general public input, I had NO doubt they would deny my proposals because the CRC kills all proposals unless it comes from the administration in the form of fixing a typo in the charter.

I have reminded the CRC in the past that it was not their job to deny proposals based on their personal opinions but based on the law and if they legally could be on the ballot.

I do believe they had a good argument against my TIF changes proposal based on inserting a whole new section in the Charter. I also think the legislature once again is going to fiddle with TIF qualifications this winter in the legislative session. No harm no foul.

But where I take issue is the comments coming from Chair Justin Smith and Commissioner Anne Hajek when reviewing the other two proposals (directors living within the city and public input) Both said that these measures are ‘micro-managing’ and that they are trying to fix something that ‘isn’t broken’. These are merely personal opinions not based on the legality of the proposals being on the ballot, and two commissioners agreed with me. Commissioner Carl Zylstra voted for both of the proposals and Commissioner Larry Long (a former Judge and AG) voted for the director residence requirement. He said if it wasn’t prohibitive of the city to help pay re-location expenses he could support it.

I offered plenty of evidence that public input at all the public board meetings is broken, but they hung on the fact that it was 5 minutes and Hajek used the tired old argument that the business people and poor school kids had to sit through public input. Once again giving no LEGAL basis why this could not be put on the ballot and be voted on.

At the end during general public input where I informed them they denied my proposals not based on legality and evidence but just personal opinions and assumptions, I also reminded them the reason why the only two people in the audience was Mike Zitterich and I was because they hold the meetings at an inconvenient time for the public. I told them that city government is turning into serving leadership and the city employees and NOT the public. They quickly adjourned.


#1 D@ily Spin on 11.12.21 at 3:12 pm

No surprise. They’re mission is to preserve the power given to the mayor and developers. They’re the Charter Preservation Police. You’re lucky you got any attention.

#2 Mike Zitterich on 11.12.21 at 4:36 pm

I have to admit, the three topics on the agenda – TIFS, PUBLIC INPUT, and DIRECTOR RESIDENCY did create very interesting discussion. I did find the discussion brought up by Scott to be very to say the least, Educational. That was a very worthwhile discussion, even if it did not have any support, everyone here knows my stance on TIFS. These are the types of informational discussions we as a community should have, and that may be the greatest ‘asset’ to these committee/commission boards.

I did ask Director Eckhoff afterwords, what does he think of using TIFS for Historical Developments, kind of like Iowa, which allowed Sioux City to revitalize their old Coliseum using a Historical Tiff, I been a strong advocate to using some sort of TIF to create a district in the old West Sioux/Airforce Base/Industrial Park Area. and he actually liked that idea, I think TIFS could be a great financial tool for this area of town.

As for Public Input, that discussion was very interesting, I raised the question, IF, we are to place guidance of Public Input/comments in the Charter, we probally should define what it is, and what it is not. My thinking was, it does not really matter so much if we the people place it at the front, the middle, or the end of our meetings; what I think matters most is that we define it, create some boundaries what can and not said during public comments, things of that nature. I agreed with the Commission – you probally do not want to place to many ‘restrictions’ on what part of the meeting General Public Input can be, cause ‘we’ do elect our City Council every two years, and my thinking is, WE THE PEOPLE must have the ability to change our minds as to how to govern our public meetings. I would not want to restrict the people in wanting to change up their meetings. I think if Scott brings back this topic in the future, I would recommend this approach, and I think they may actually support it.

As for Director Residency – I really thought this may be the one topic that may have been able to get support. And I think it actually does, the language may have been a little off, but I think as Scott said above, Larry Long may have said it best to gain more support.

As for only two people attending the meetings, I am not sure what time is best or not to hold these meetings, you want to be mindful of city staff, the general public, people’s time is important, you got to find that happy medium. I have, and I am sure Scott has, attended meetings at 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and at 7:00 PM for the various Committee Meetings, let alone the City Council itself – not alot of people come to these meetings, I would assume the Planning Commission is probally the most attended meeting, for obvious reasons, but I attended the last 3 Districting Commissions held at 6:00 PM each – and I was the only one there other than Janet Brekke and the Argus representative. So, I am not sure how to attract more people to these functions,

How do we “encourage” people to get more involved in our governing process, that is the million dollar question. I am not sure if “TIME SLOTS” are the issue.
I mean, look at the City Council Meetings – only time we have tons of people are for hotly contested topics.

But I do think the next Charter Commission Meeting is going to be a very interesting discussion – the thought of reorganizing the city into smaller, less populated districts, adding districts, and revamping the Council Composition/district realignment may in fact be one that this community needs, I am not urging the Commission to place it on the ballot this coming year, no, that is too soon, I would rather they vote to encourage to keep the topic on the agenda, urge the City Council to discuss this issue publically encouraging public discussion, cause this city is growing very fast, and if we want a “Well Represented City” we got to allow for the Council to take back some form of control, we need to entice some separation of powers, and we got to encourage more people to get more involved.

All in All – I would encourage more people to attend the next Charter Revision Commission Meeting, let alone the Audit Committee, the Informational Meeting, and the all the others, we got to get involved, and regardless of the time slots, the PEOPLE must be engaged in the governing process.

Great Job, Great Topics, Keep them Coming…

Mike Zitterich

#3 Just a guy on 11.13.21 at 11:38 am

Good to see your suggestion to Mike that he should stop it with the novella posts was taken to heart.

#4 Mike Lee Zitterich on 11.14.21 at 1:32 am

Well, My posts have been short, but I felt that I would give my thoughts about the meeting, and expand the conversation.

Relax, Enjoy Life, Have Fun.