Sioux Falls City Council folds like a wet paper bag

At the meeting tonight the council decided that after councilor Brekke shot holes in their pay raise proposal and offered an amendment to reduce the pay raise by $30K (Proposal was $195K reduced to $165K and it is currently $130K) they voted for her amendment.

They did it, because I would assume they got an earful from constituents over the past week about how ridiculous the original proposal was. Even people I talked to over the past week that have no clue about what happens at city hall scoffed at a 30% pay increase and the fact that the mayor accosted me in the lobby of Carnegie Hall about it. Someone asked me, “What’s his deal?” I responded, “You would have to ask his chiropractor, or his pastor, I think they are one in the same.”

They passed this amendment to save face in hopes that citizens will vote for the lesser increase and they might, it certainly is more palatable.

I still reject it because little to no research was done on the original proposal and the whole thing needs to be thrown out. It was pretty freaking obvious the original proposal reflected a $1 per resident, which is something a 3rd grader would have concocted, or former Councilor Rex Rolfing.*

I’m glad it was reduced, but it was only reduced so it has a better chance of passing. I have already talked to some people with a strategy on how we will inform the public to vote this down. The council needs to go back to the drawing board.

In other news I have heard a couple things through the grapevine;

• There may be a group working on initiative to throw out Home Rule Charter in Sioux Falls. I am absolutely NOT involved, but I would be willing to support them in anyway.

• There is also talk that two more mayoral candidates may emerge. I am told both are male and Republican. I may know one of them, but uncertain who the other candidate is. I know there is a lot of frustration with Paul’s cruise control government in the business sector.

*In the past during a working session in which the council was discussing swimming pool fees, Rolfing pulled a number literally from his his behind, in which Erpenbach chewed him out about how he came up with it. She basically told him the numbers have to be based on study and research not what happens between his ass cheeks (she really didn’t say that, but she was pretty PO’d).



43 comments ↓

#1 The Guy From Guernsey on 12.21.21 at 9:38 pm

Now comes Marshall, Selberg, he of little influence during his soon-concluding tenure on City Council, ready to lead the charge on this “wage inequality” which exists … for the Mayor and City Council.
LO f’n L
What a cake-eater.

h/t Dakota News Now

#2 Very Stable Genius on 12.21.21 at 11:38 pm

Is it still legal for state legislators to keep their excess campaign money and transfer it to their personal checking account after a campaign? If so, I assume that it is legal for local politicians, too, right? So why can’t the fat cats in town, who finance some of these fearless city leaders, just contribute more money to their favorite local politicians’ campaigns which can eventually be used as wages. Maybe their kids could help, with the contributions, too, that is….

North Dakota, South Dakota, what’s the difference?

FF 14:19

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYusNNldesc

#3 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 12.21.21 at 11:44 pm

What about when he does those cute Bookface Live pieces at night with his daughter, which are adorable I must add, will or does the Mayor get overtime for doing those? Or is he an exempt-mayor? (Or would that be an absent-mayor?)

#4 The County Agent on 12.21.21 at 11:47 pm

I’ve heard of an absentminded professor, but never a mayor. But I once knew a mayor who, well, never mind.

#5 Further Fear & Loathing on 12.21.21 at 11:55 pm

“cake-eater”? Do they get to have it, too? Well, they’re on the city council, aren’t they?

#6 forest vs trees on 12.22.21 at 8:20 am

why don’t they consider that maybe the directors and mid managers are overpaid? if they froze those up for a couple years, the mayors pay would inch closer.
we do have some very fine folks working for the city, we also have some real morons. i would challenge the morons to find a similar compensation package for themselves in the private sector. kearney would have to take a huge pay cut to work the drive thru lane. i think the mouse in selberg’s head has fallen off the wheel. close race between him and rolfing of who is dumber. and thank the Lord we’re about done listening to kiley pontificate. what an a-hole.

#7 D@ily Spin on 12.22.21 at 9:58 am

The raise is for mayor only. Considering cost of living and inflation, 165k sounds about right. I heard recently state legislators are paid 5 cents per mile to/from Pierre. Federal mileage is 58 cents.

Sioux Falls Home Rule Charter is unconstitutional and opens methods for corruption. The last 3 mayors have enriched themselves and used it to terrorize citizens. I’d be involved but I’m moving to a neighboring city. Why? Because of the charter, city harassment, and developer favoritism. Fortunately, cities have learned from the Sioux Falls example. It’s made a few millionaires because the mayor awards cost plus contracts to a few without the competitive bid process. The result is impossible bond debt, inferior infrastructure, ridiculous assessments, and more taxes. It’s no wonder city hall needs armed security. Finally, citizens pay attention but it’s not going to be easy to replace the charter without SD Supreme Court intervention.

#8 D@ily Spin on 12.22.21 at 10:10 am

TenHaken will be re-elected. It’s rigged as before. The polling places will be hidden and/or votes be taken home and disappear. Candidates for mayor are for looks so that voters believe the election process works.

#9 anominous on 12.22.21 at 11:08 am

lol “chiro & pastor”- god, remember that time when the pandemic was getting underway, people getting sick and dying of covid & all he could talk about was how much his back was hurting him.

#10 New Gal on 12.22.21 at 11:28 am

It will be interesting to see who comes out of the wood work to run. I could see a Jameson or Neitzert pulling PTH votes. A TS for mayor would throw a giant wild card in. She has a strong following for and against, so not sure if enough voters will have forgotten how awful she can be by election time. I see PTH as a shoe in, but you never know, Facebook commentators are not all voters. The big question to hurt PTH, will you vow to stay in Sioux Falls for a full mayoral term??? Will he just leave and run for Thune’s seat if he retires?

Pay, if anything, director pay should be reduced. It has gotten out of hand. The mayor’s position is a position of service, not a position to get independently wealthy. Directors should be the same. To be fair, most of our mayors have come in well off when they run for mayor anyways.

#11 Fearing the Fuhrer & More on 12.22.21 at 12:22 pm

The bad back comes from too much camping. Those cots suck. Blame it on Pride.

#12 Southern Exposure on 12.22.21 at 12:27 pm

$70K is the total gross effect when you consider the raise the councilors have given to themselves.

#13 Fearing the Fuhrer & More on 12.22.21 at 12:48 pm

“folds like a wet paper bag”? That sounds like what happens after one folds-up their sleeping bag after a weekend of camping and avoiding a Pride event.

#14 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.22.21 at 5:33 pm

To much conspiracy talk in this thread, the process is not rigged, there is no guarantee anyone will serve more than 1 term, but, Ten Haken has been a pretty good mayor.

These topics are not bad to have, and the Council placing this topic on the ballot for 2022 is not a bad thing, when looked at the thought process of placing it on a public ballot, you are obtaining a “opinion” of the voters on whether or not to accept the rule change or not.

Whether or not the voters vote YES or NO on this change of Section 9.05 (f), this discussion is going to continue on over the next few years, it will come up again during the next C.R.C session, and it will only lead to a positive public discussion.

I would encourage this discussion to occur, not only in relation to the Mayors pay, but Council pay, as well as Director Pay.

I do plan on brining my “recommended” plan to change Section 6.02 back to the C.R.C at the next session, to change the City Council Composition to give the residents a 1 Voice Per 29,000 Residents on the Council, thus dividing the city in 7 or 9 districts dependingt on city population at the time, while maintaining the strong mayor form of government, and at least 2 or 3 At Large Reps additionally. I am going to revise my concept, and bring it back in the future.

Both Marshal Selberg’s proposed change to 9.05 and my proposed change to 6.02 are both excellent topics of discussion to have going forward.

IF we are going to transistion this fast growing city into the future, we must do so in a “conservative” manner allowing for strong public discussion to occur, while maintaining the governing process moves forward in a slow, but respectful, and positive manner, so as to avoid stepping on the toes of anyone who may oppose our thoughts.

“WE” shall never allow the Minority to over step the Majority” as we govern the City going forward.

Always protect the “Majority” from a mob rule mentality, the “Consent of the Governed” must win at all costs.

– Mike Zitterich

#15 l3wis on 12.22.21 at 7:04 pm

Mike, you don’t realize that whether you use honey or vinegar you are going to get the same result with authoritarians. I just walk to the podium, tell them the truth of what I am thinking. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. But I refuse to play the reindeer games. Years ago I used to have a freelance business, and I had some high profile customers. One of them told me if I just stopped with politics and turned the other cheek when it comes to corrupt Republican business owners I would get a lot more work (money). I told this person I must always be true to myself and my beliefs, and I don’t give two rips about what they think of me. There are many things that have changed in this city because of my needling, and I didn’t have to use honey or vinegar, just the truth.

#16 scott on 12.22.21 at 8:25 pm

the process isn’t rigged. unless you are talking about trump, then the election was stolen.

#17 forest vs trees on 12.22.21 at 8:37 pm

of course the process is rigged. that’s why over 100k was needed collected to beat stehly. i’m curious mr zitterich, what has tenhaken done to benefit you…just you? the guy has done nothing for me except waste my tax dollars on junk, overpay his pals for goofball administration jobs and give shit away to people who don’t need it. you preach smaller govt, but almost everything you propose here expands it.

#18 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.23.21 at 11:27 am

Paul Ten Haken has led the effort to:

1) Pay off City Debts;

2) Revitalize Core Neighborhoods;

3) Increased the Net Position of the City itself;

4) Became the Most Transparent Mayor since 1995;

5) Listened to the People, Learning to Adapt to Changes of Public Opinions as necessary to manage the City.

When I look at the past four years, I see a “City” which has inreased its total Net Asset Portfolio, has not taken on many new debts, and Invested more and more resources in finding new creative ways to help invest time and resources into the Core City Neighborhoods.

I am not sure I have ever proposed anything to “expand” government in the daily lives of the residents.

People who know me know I preach public policy that favors more public involvement, holding government accountable, and working together to build a more ‘representative’ city in the best image of the entire residents from Land Owners/property holders to the every day common residents themselves.

I think my motivation for Slashing Direct Tax Rates such as our Second Penny, Expanding the City Council to 7 Districts, Protecting the Majority from the Minority’s Agenda, to Preserving Our Historic Buildings/properties shows that I am far from liberally progressing this city in ways of which expand government.

Take my stance regarding AMENDMENT C – the need to adopt new rules concerning ‘public inniatives to raise tax rates or inrease government spending, I am lobbying hard to convince people to VOTE YES on Amendment C which would force any public ballot topic to obtain a clear 60% Majority on legislation that will inrease our tax rates, let alone increase State Spending by more than $10,000,000 million dollars a year.

WE GOT to protect the Peoples #1 most common interest – Property Rights.

Mike Zitterich

#19 l3wis on 12.23.21 at 12:06 pm

Mike, I was going to delete your comment because it didn’t pass my BS meter, but it was so hilarious I had to share. I have to ask you the same question Mike Huether asked Tim Stanga, Who is paying you?

#20 Sick of Fearing on 12.23.21 at 12:41 pm

28 Rounds and a chicken sandwich, that’s all we have gotten in the last four years.

#21 Mikey time on 12.23.21 at 12:53 pm

Mikey only showed to the scene after the last most transparent mayor ever keft office. That mayor had Turdback always scheming the books to make look like the city finances were in order. Problem is the constant scamming of the
taxpayers with growth for grrowth’s sake is bankrupting us.

BTW, tell Munson he didn’t save what was keft of the core so PTH can praise his personal gods for giving only him the glory.

#22 forest vs trees on 12.23.21 at 12:55 pm

so in another long winded, talk in circles answer, tenhaken has done nothing for you. the things you list are questionable at best but mostly laughable.
clearly you want to make this city goverment bigger. expanding the council makes it bigger. giving the mayor and council ridiculous raises makes it bigger. giving tax breaks to developers makes it bigger. preserving historic buildings that requires city involvement makes it bigger.

#23 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.23.21 at 2:01 pm

Well, I take that as a compliment, that I made you laugh, but well, tell me where I am not correct…

1) Has not Paul Ten Haken worked tirelessly to pay off the debt?

2) Has Paul Ten Haken NOT made a valiant attempt to help revitalize the central core areas of the city, helping to clean up, repair houses, buildings, etc? I think I can name many areas he has concentrated on…

3) Has not the City’s Net Position gone UP every year during Paul TenHaken’s 4 years?

4) Show me proof he has not been as transparent as I have mentioned?

5) Show me proof he has not listened and adapted his position as he listens to other people wihtin he community…

#24 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.23.21 at 4:19 pm

How does giving the people “More” City Disricts expand Government” IT DOES NOT. You have a very warped understanding on what government is and is not.

Forest vs Trees – you have a lot to learn, sonny.

#25 wow on 12.23.21 at 5:42 pm

looks like we found one of the tools in the toolbox.

#26 Fear Not! on 12.23.21 at 7:25 pm

‘Toolbox II’: Coming to a Lincoln County voting box near you.

#27 Mikey Time on 12.24.21 at 10:07 am

Another dull tool for ElevenHaken’s toolbox continues to expose himself?

#28 Silverstar of Bethlehem on 12.24.21 at 12:39 pm

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, oh, and Happy Boxing Day, too, to everyone….

#29 "Woodstock" on 12.24.21 at 12:40 pm

“‘…Boxing Day’?”…. (“WTF is ‘Boxing Day’?”….)

#30 David Z for Mayor on 12.24.21 at 11:44 pm

I participated in the council meeting where this topic was discussed. Personally I think council members are underpaid at $19 thousand annually. Council pay should not be tied to mayor pay. I recommended the city ask citizens what councilors should be paid before putting a proposal on the ballot.

#31 What? on 12.26.21 at 8:48 am

Fearing the Fuhrer & More, he was part of Pride? Wow who’d a thought?

#32 FtF&M on 12.26.21 at 10:58 am

What?,

I see you are back to question marks once again. Say, how was the city hall Christmas party? Is there any liquor left in that file cabinet? Tell Anti-Quotation Boy hello for me, too…. And no, he stayed away from Pride and went camping instead.

#33 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.26.21 at 5:03 pm

We need more council districts giving the people a 1 Per 29,000 voice on the council, and we could cut council pay to $15,000 per member.

#34 Erica on 12.26.21 at 11:46 pm

PTH most transparent mayor?? HAHAHA
His visit to China in Nov 2019 proves otherwise, for starters alone.

#35 Ask not.... on 12.27.21 at 1:29 am

New Hampshire has a 400 member State House. The state’s population is 1.36 million people. Sioux Falls has a population of 192,517 people. Based on NH standards, Sioux Falls should have a 57 member city council. I would give anything to watch a Sierra or Mike filibuster.

#36 sonny on 12.27.21 at 8:37 am

grandpa zitterich, let me see if i can break this down to a 5 year old level for you…
when you add city councilors, you are adding to the government…thereby expanding it. “add” and “expand”
are called synonyms, but i would expect a wordsmith like you to know that. you you may think you’re simply adding representation, but the council is a part of the government that requires pay, staff support, etc. a much better idea would be to eliminate one at large seat leaving an odd number of councilors and limit the mayor tie breaker. and none of them should be paid one cent more than they get now.

#37 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.27.21 at 7:26 pm

Sonny,

Let me break this down for you in simplistic words for you;

The Government is made up of 3 parts:

a) The Bureaucracy – made up of City Officers, Officials, Employees who make up “The Government”

b) The Mayor’s Office – made up of the Mayor whom is Elected At Large to along with his Directors oversee that “bureaucracy” of Officials, Officers, Agents, Employees.

c) The People’s Representatives aka City Council – made up of a membership of ‘individuals’ elected by district and/or At Large in order to set forth the legislative policies, set a budget, and codes of which that “Bureaucracy” of City Officials, Officers, Agents, Employees must adhere to.

Increasing the # of “Representatives” of the People’s Governing Body does NOT enlarge the Bureaucracy of City Staff at all, it simply provides the “PEOPLE” a greater voice in representing their morals, values, ideals which is necessary to maintain a free and independent government in the best interests of the people.

“SMALLER DISTRICTS” or giving the people a voice equal to 1 Person Per 29,000 People a much broader scope of what the people truly believe, want, and desire. “LARGER DISTRICTS” would mean you enlarge the size of those districts, meaning you push farther away, the “representation” meaning the REPS have less in common with the very people they represent.

IF you believe in a Strong Representative Government – then you would want those Districts to be as SMALL in nature, in order to maintain a proper balance and mix of political views, morals, values, and ideals of the people.

I contend, witih Smaller Districts, you force the ‘government’ itself to listen to the people, let alone it makes it more difficult for that Bureaucracy of City Staff to self engineer their agenda onto the people.

“WE” elect a MAYOR at large to over see and maintain that City Bureaucracy, and “WE” elect a City Council to set legislative policy, to set a budget, and to help restrict that Bureaucracy from over stepping their jurisdiction.

ASK NOT – I do not know how New Hampshire sets their district sizes, but if the CITY OF SIOUX FALLS was set at a rate of 1 Per 29,000 People, at todays population, ‘we’ would have roughly 7 districts, whereas the # of At Large Districts should be kept as few as possible, but enough to protect the majority from minority rule. If you watch my presentation during this years C.R.C commission, this was much of the discussion that took place.

– Mike Z.

#38 sonny for the last time on 12.28.21 at 8:29 am

i think in my 60+ years of life and the connections i have to government at all levels i know how it it works, and how it doesn’t. i certainly don’t need an amateur lawyer to tell me how it is. you can “contend” or “believe” whatever the hell you want, that’s your right. when you “run” for office, you’ll see how many “people” think you have “good” ideas. i hate to continue to beat this dead horse, but when you add people to government, at any level, you are by definition expanding it. under your “plan” government will be in a state of constant growth and redistricting. and that will amount to a huge waste of taxpayer money. i’ll leave you with this…ever given a thought to the fact that smaller districts would be even easier to “buy?”

#39 l3wis on 12.28.21 at 10:53 am

Did you see that in S.D. that government was the largest employer? 10% of the total population works for government. What hypocrisy. I think we should have only 5 district councilors and throw the mayor off the council. Tie votes fail. We could have 40 councilors in SF and they would still be rubberstampers.

#40 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.28.21 at 12:46 pm

Sonny, is that why you use a fake name, You hide behind a fake name cause you ‘fear’ what others may think of you. You also hide behind a fake name to make it easier to critique those who disagree with you or have a difference of opinion. That is not me, nor will I ever hide who I am. I put myself out there front center, regardless of what I believe or do not believe. I wish you people could discuss things rational without the insults on a persons character.

Under my concept, which ironically is the same idealogy created by our founding fathers, if you took the time to read the Federalist and Anti=Federalist Papers, was that “WE” the people must have at least no less than 1 Voice Per 30,000 People on our governing body, referencing the “U.S House”.

I have researched this all my life, and I for one stop at the thinking that I have the best plan or not, for I believe its a issue that must be ‘decided’ by the majority of people in our state, or CITY at the local level.

If you are going to attack my comments, let alone my thoughts, have the decency to use your “real name”, please.

As I was saying – Changing the composition of our City Council does NOT change the government big or small. All it does is realigns our city in smaller or larger districts.

You “Democrats”constably talk how you are fed up that you have NO VOICE in South Dakota, but when someone like me comes along with a plan to give you Democrats a larger voice, you shoot the messenger.

I contend – that if we create “Smaller Districts” whehter 1 per 5,000 people, or 1 per 30,000 people, you are giving the people a “Bigger” voice on that governing body. You are taking power away from the “Government” itself. You are going to have Republican districts, your goign to have Democrat districts, your are going to have Moderate Districts, etc-etc.

RAPID CITY has 10 City Districts, meaning the people have a 1 Per 7,500 Per Person “Voice” on their Council. And you see the difference that makes in terms of how that CITY is governed vs the likes of Sioux Falls.

At that level, WE THE PEOPLE in Sioux Falls wold have 26 Districts, and surely at least half of them would be “Democrat” knowing the political climate of Sioux Falls.

As I researched this topic, I discovered the average CITY with a population of 222,000 people, have 9 City Districts and no less than 2 At Large Chairs. Many of them have ODD NUMBERED COUNCILS, meaning the mayor cannot break any ties, but the people alway s have a yes/no vote.

I find it ironic, how you condemn my concept, but yet some of you want to take the MAYOR off our city council, which I feel is Uncessary. People like myself, want the MAYOR on the Council – cause we want him to be in front of the people as ‘we’ have our public meetings. For many people, those public meetings are the only time they get to see the Mayor. Under the concept I proposed, my ODD NUMBERED COUNCIL of 9 members, 7 of which were District Reps, the Mayor would never break a tie, he simply sits on teh council to keep the meetings on decorum, which the current Mayor does a very great job of.

You want to say my plan is NOT GOOD< or is bad, fine, but use your "REAL NAME" and stop hiding you who you are.

Thank You,
Mike Zitterich For Honest Government

#41 sonny's had enough on 12.28.21 at 1:43 pm

1. i never attacked your character.
2. i’m registered republican since 1978.
3. i criticize based on issues, not political affiliation. i have criticized council members, directors and the mayor’s office directly using my “REAL NAME.” i owe you no such respect or courtesy.
4. my name, job or social status is none of your business.

#42 "Woodstock" on 12.28.21 at 3:51 pm

“How’s Cher doing?”….

#43 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.28.21 at 4:01 pm

Sonny, I think you are hiding something. I am sorry we disagree, But I will respect your comments, you must respect mine. Ty.