I said after this last city election I am going to try to focus on blogging about policy instead of the people who make the policy.

Let’s face it, over the next two years most policy is going to come from the mayor’s office with little to no discussion before passing a super majority of the council.

So instead of targeting the people who approve and write this policy, let’s target the policy inself. Hopefully I can stick with it 🙂


I don’t know the answer to that question yet, but I have been told by a business leader in Sioux Falls there is a person(s) and they will tell me soon. They also said it may be surprising.

Also interesting that the chief lobbyist of the petition drive isn’t releasing who is funding his group. But that will have to eventually be released because of campaign finance rules.


There is a rumor floating around that a certain city councilor is leaving their current job to work in another field. So far, according to their work profiles online, they have not made that move yet. We will keep our eyes peeled since their new full-time employment could have some conflict of interest issues when it pertains to their votes on the dais.


Many people have been asking me about this change;

The owner(s) of such real property shall be liable to the city for any and all damage or injury caused by such neglect and shall be responsible for the costs of abating the public nuisance.

I am still baffled how a city can pass an ordinance that makes a homeowner responsible for injury that may occur on city owned property? Am I now going to be found responsible for a car accident in front of my house? I have argued for awhile that if property owners are responsible for all maintenance, and now insurance coverage, for the sidewalk in front of that property and boulevard, that property should be reverted to the property owner, and they can decide when and how they want to maintain it. I would probably tear out my sidewalk. The only person I see ever using it is my mailman, and he usually walks across the yards anyway.

As for the goofy grant program proposed by the city, a better alternative would be to go into these core neighborhoods with 2,600 violations and fix the whole street, curb and gutter, boulevard, sidewalk and lighting and forgo a complicated bureaucratic mess. But that would take forward thinking policies. All this grant program is is flim-flam puffery disguised as a solution.


The $400K grant has to be specific. It has to provide affordable solutions to getting food to poorer neighborhoods. This is good. Councilor Brekke suggested using some of the money to create more community gardens and promote urban gardening. I know people in Sioux Falls that garden all year long inside and outside. I think we should spend the entire amount on it. We could also do classes on canning and other ways to preserve the food for winter months.

We should also use the money to create small fruit tree forests in our parks. We already pay dearly for maintaining our parks system. Does it really cost any more to maintain a fruit tree vs. a regular tree or bush?

What will most likely happen is a program that will subsidize the big grocery chains in Sioux Falls to deliver food to people’s homes. Unfortunately this is NOT a long term solution like urban gardening and once the money runs out, the program ends.

Like the sidewalk grant program, it would have just been easier to have a public meeting with citizens and stakeholders and carve out a city wide gardening and fruit forest system, but instead we are going to allow applicants to write the policy while collecting the money.

Once again, terrible policy because of the lack of vision, leadership, common sense and most importantly the war on open and transparent government.

A recent winning council candidate said that if elected he would make it his mission to engage the public. I think the first proposal to come out of his mouth on the dais is to pump the brakes on this and to engage the public about ideas, you know, the people paying for it.

19 Thoughts on “Let’s talk Policy

  1. D@ily Spin on April 24, 2022 at 5:35 pm said:

    Front sidewalks are in city right-of-way. If they want to paint cracks fluorescent pink, go for it. If they fix it and try to assess you, the can’t legally. How about cut back on code enforcement budget and use the savings to fix their sidewalks?

  2. D@ily Spin on April 24, 2022 at 5:40 pm said:

    Policy? Must be the policy of purloined public money for they or a developers benefit.

  3. Warren Phear on April 24, 2022 at 6:39 pm said:

    City councilor making career change? I’ll take a deep dive on this one. Does this same city councilor have his eye on the prize in 2026?

  4. Very Stable Genius on April 24, 2022 at 6:48 pm said:

    What, they have already given-up on some boutique grocers coming to town?

    When it comes to personalities and policy, does the event make the man, or does the man make the event? I think in Sioux Falls men (and women) represent the policy as spokesmen(and women), while other men (and women) make the policy behind closed doors. So, to ignore a personality, or personalities, in this town from a public level is to ignore the actual engine of the policy itself.

    ( and Woodstock adds: “What the hell is a boutique grocer?”…. “To me, that sounds like a place where you would buy a loaf of French bread, some man-made jewelry, and a nice over-priced top”…. )

  5. The Guy From Guernsey on April 24, 2022 at 8:02 pm said:

    Is the Ketcham Maneuver reserved exclusively for City employees?
    Or could a City Council person perform a change of job which would be classified as the Ketcham Maneuver?

  6. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on April 25, 2022 at 8:05 am said:

    Now, to guess who this Council person is, can I buy a letter? A vowel?

  7. Mike Lee Zitterich on April 25, 2022 at 8:36 am said:

    Daily Spin, the Sidewalks are not in the public right of way. Not according to State Law Chapter 9. You may want to read SDCL 9-46-1 thru 9-46-5 and then proceed to read City Ordinance 96.050 thru 96.054.

    SDCL 9-46-1.3 – Every municipality may, by resolution, require the owner of real property abutting or adjoining a public right-of-way or abutting or adjoining public property containing a highway to construct a sidewalk in a location as designated in the resolution.

    Ordinance 96.050 – The construction of a permanent sidewalk fronting or abutting all streets, highways and avenues shall be accomplished by the builder, owner or developer of all new or relocated residential and commercial buildings within the city.

    The LAW states – real property owners must construct sidewalks where their property adjoins to a public highway, and in City Ordinance, it says the “Builder” or Property owner must pay for and build a side walk in planned residential developments so pedestrians can safely walk to their destination.

  8. l3wis on April 25, 2022 at 9:23 am said:

    Mike, that refers to new development. They also require them to build the streets, but the maintenance has always been with the city. If you walk around these neighborhoods most of the cracks (not lifts) could be easily grinded or filled with concrete caulk. The amount of time and energy the city is putting into spraying these small cracks, they could have just filled them and leave the lifts up to contractors. They are making this more complicated then it has to be.

  9. Canning lids on April 25, 2022 at 11:02 am said:

    Not sure how you are going to teach people how to can veggies when you can’t get lids for canning? If you can, they are $6 for 12…..thanks Biden!

  10. Mike Lee Zitterich on April 25, 2022 at 11:19 am said:

    What the law is showing is that the “sidewalk” placement is not on public property, not unless the property is owned by the ‘government’ (state or city) itself.

    When we built our new house in 1982 in southwest Sioux Falls, part of the price of the house/development was the cost of the sidewalk, and we lived on a corner lot, do the math on that one.

    There is NO law that says you have to have a sidewalk connecting your property to others. But the LAW states clearly you must build a sidewalk where it is in the city limits, and it abates up to the public right-a-way.

    This is why property holders get the bill or are told at their expense, to keep the sidewalks clean, swept, and shoveled, and maintained. This is the part of the “private” side of our sovereignty, the CITY which is tasked with paying for public things, is responsible for evertyhing between the Public Right Aways.

    The old fasion, PRivate Road vs Public Road and who pays for them.

  11. Mike, I could drive you past hundreds of properties in Sioux Falls that have no sidewalks or curbs. It is NOT an absolute requirement.

    As for canning, you can also freeze vegetables in plastic bags. Another way to go, even in an apartment, is to have an indoor garden you can eat fresh veggies from all year long. I think there should be urban gardens and small fruit orchards in every park in this town. A much better way to spend park funding then ice ribbons, tennis courts, soccer fields, etc. You could setup the program like neighborhood watch and have different volunteers tend the gardens.

  12. Put a lid on it. Actually, you can thank covid, Trump’s incompetence and his friend Putin’s aggression.

    ( and Woodstock adds: “Ya, Germany got the inflation first, then Hitler, but we got the Hitler first, then inflation”…. “So, I am not really sure where all of this is going to end-up”…. (“But I know Putin is working on the war thing”… ))

  13. "Woodstock" on April 25, 2022 at 11:45 am said:

    “‘Ketcham Maneuver’?”…. “Is that anything like playing Jenga with a load bearing wall?”…. (“Because I know I once did a Ketchup maneuver on a Chicago style hot dog”…)

  14. Mike Lee Zitterich on April 25, 2022 at 7:23 pm said:

    You are correct, it is NOT required of any one to build a sidewalk, except for where the LAW says they are mandated, which I shown in the law posted above.

  15. anominous on April 26, 2022 at 2:03 pm said:

    i park my truck on the sidewalk all day and night and tell the dogwalkers to go walk their dogs downtown in the bunker ramp. You want perfect concrete, you got it.

  16. rufusx on April 26, 2022 at 8:44 pm said:

    “I am still baffled how a city can pass an ordinance that makes a homeowner responsible for injury that may occur on city owned property?” All real property, every square inch of it is owned by the state. The supposed “private” property you imagine you own, that somehow separates you from the state? News for you buddy – you do not own it. What you own is a title in fee simple. I.E. a piece of paper that is in effect a perpetual and transferable lease that “entitles” you to occupy and use the area within the legal description so long as you follow the landlord’s rules (laws of the state) and pay the “rent fee” (your property taxes and asny other fines and imposts). There IS a law (a landlord’s rule) that says you must maintain in good condition any sidewalk that abuts your “entitled” property. It’s really not that difficult to understand when you learn – I mean actually LEARN (retain the knowledge) how the property law works. PS – the city is a subdivision of the state. The city, as a separate entity to the state doesn’t “own” the streets etc. either. The state – ultimately – does. The city IS empowered by state charter (just like a title in fee simple does) to occupy and use those areas, so long as they also follow the landlord’s rules about city behaviors while doing so (state law).

  17. l3wis on April 26, 2022 at 8:56 pm said:

    So what you are saying Ruf is that it is better to rent? LOL.

    I know all of that, it just seems silly to me that I pay taxes for services then the government turns around and says, oh btw, here are some extra things you have to pay for.

  18. anominous on April 27, 2022 at 10:32 am said:

    if you want a sidewalk to stay in good shape for years you must maintain it by DRIVING a MOTOR VEHICLE on it regularly. This action allows the plates to slip past one another without locking. What is WRONG is people insisting they have the right to COVER THE SIDEWALK WITH CHALK DRAWINGS, which is a public nuisance.

  19. It’s no big secret to who would oppose another bacon factory, just look at the real estate on the west side of 229. Bid money doesn’t want to smell porky while praying at the shrine of Denny or when working out how to screw people on ethanol subsides.

Post Navigation