Out Damn Spot; Sioux Falls Charter Revision Commission

The CRC essentially had their last slaughter today before recommending NO citizen proposals for the Spring 2022 ballot. I believe they killed 5 proposals today.

On a side note, if Mr. Kirby wants to propose changes to city government he should really do it in person instead of sending his hitman Dave Knudson who had to pause his proposal to call Joe, who I would assume is wintering some place nice.*

You can watch the massacre for yourself, but the Commission seemed somewhat giddy after the guillotine dropped, 5 times.**

The arguments were about as tired and haggard as most of the members.

Commissioner Hajek explained their job was to only look at ‘tweaks’ to the charter. How dare we assume the commission called the ‘Charter Revision’ would actually allow voters to weigh in on reasonable changes to said Charter?! The shame! They are not true pugilists just middle schoolers giving titty twisters.

They also recommended that it was up to the council to make these critical changes, and if that was NOT good enough the citizens could do a petition drive, which of course would end in a legal challenge on many fronts and never make the ballot.

I’ve seen a lot of apathetic boards in this city, like REMSA and the Planning Commission, but the CRC takes the cake as the biggest jellyfish in the group.

I ask the question, “What do you care how the citizens vote as long as that vote and proposal are legal?” I will tell you why, because of the massive conflicts of some of the board members.

I think Commissioner Hajek filled us in on the sincerity of the board when she leaned into member Zylstra and said after learning when her term ends, “Thank you! I hope to get out of here!”

*My assumption is Mr. Kirby probably suggested calling in his proposal, but that was likely nixed because during Covid, I believe Councilor Stehly suggested public input should or could be done over the phone, which was quickly thrown on the heap.

**I can’t help to boast a little since two of my proposals at least got some votes of approval.


#1 D@ily Spin on 12.09.21 at 9:05 am

The CRC has proven to be armor for keeping the unconstititional charter. A petition and vote could be defended against with legal tricks. About the only way to replace the charter is the right SD Supreme Court case. The court has the power to implement a new charter.

#2 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.10.21 at 5:39 pm

I really enjoyed my experience presenting concepts to the CRC committee, regardless of how the outcomes turned out, I took the whole experience as a positive, and proof that the governing process does work, even when you do not always get what you want. Regarding my proposals concerning City Council Composition and the City Council’s role on the Budget, my motive was not to necessarily place the items on the 2022 ballot, but to excite and entertain public discussion. I have always been a believer in, if you want to revise/amend our constitution, or city charter, your first goal should be to work your concepts thru the Congress, State Legislatures, or City Councils. In this case, we have the governing process set up as such, you pitch the ideas to the Charter Revision Commission in order to have that public discussion, work together to create official language and the construct of the legislation, debate the pros and cons, let alone concur with the “Attorneys” to review any legalities of such constructed revisement. This allows the City Council to review it, investigate it, and to continue the discussion as a city. I would say, IF, if necessary, the absolute last resort should be a Petition Drive to petition the people to vote on the matter up front. In any event, I am a strong advocate for as much public discussion as necessary to reach your ultimate goal – charter revision. Knowing that any proposed concept can be legally challenged if adopted, I would think utilizing the CRC in this case, is the right step to begin that journey. That is why, I am not alarmed, nor upset at the CRC voting down by proposals, it’s only the first step in the process. End of day, their job is to decide whether or not to place it on the ballot for 2022 (or the subsequent election), or to vote down the concept, and recommend to the proposer, changes, let alone further discussion. And with that, I learned a lot about how this governing process works, and If I strongly believe this is good for the residents of this City, keep bringing it back for continued discussion each year, with the recommended changes or revisions based on the prior discussion. Next Up: I have to revise my concept to slightly change my proposal, I think a small slight change to Section 6.02 may be my next attempt at creating discussion. I will take what I have learned form this year, taking the recommendations, and direction of the CRC, to move my topic further next year.

#3 l3wis on 12.10.21 at 6:40 pm

Mike, you do realize the Constitution is a ‘Living Document’. It must change with times, that is why abortion was legalized, or why we need gun control because the 2nd amendment refers to militias and slave control. These documents must be altered throughout time. Heck, look at my favorite amendment, the 1st and the changes to it over time, some good, some bad. We must always be looking to improve our Republic within the constraints of our founding principles.