Sioux Falls City Councilor Barranco delivers the best statement about Pride Month Resolution

(FF 41:30)

At another bizarre city council meeting last night 3 councilors (Neitzert, Cole and Merkouris) decided to vote against a Pride month resolution because they felt it was setting some kind of precedent. Let’s pretend for a moment that was true (it is not) wouldn’t you still support it without supporting the process? They could have easily voted for it while stating they didn’t like the process. It is NOT precedent. During the Huether administration there was a proclamation almost weekly. The only difference between proclamations and resolutions is that proclamations come from the mayor’s office and resolutions come from council (according to the city attorney last night). Here are the proclamations from 2016 that were presented at the regular council meetings;

Sex Trafficking Awareness and Action Month (January 2016)

Dr. King Celebration Week (January 12-18, 2016)

Stalking Awareness Month – January, 2016

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week (February 7-14, 2016)

Sioux Empire Water Festival Days – March 9 and 10, 2016

World Kidney Day – March 10, 2016

Social Work Month — March 2016

National Service Recognition Day – April 5, 2016

National Walking Day – April 6, 2016

Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Action Day – April 19, 2016

American Legion Poppy Days – May 13 and 14, 2016

Historic Preservation Month – May, 2016

Bike Month – May, 2016

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month – June 2016

National Health Center Week

Suicide Prevention Week – September 5-11, 2016  

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – September, 2016

National Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 2-8, 2016

Native American Day – October 10, 2016

Domestic Violence Awareness Month – October, 2016

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month – November, 2016

American Diabetes Month, November, 2016

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month, November 2016

The practice of presenting proclamations at the council meetings seemed to end in 2018 after Mayor TenHaken was installed. Not sure why, but that was a decision made by his administration (he still releases proclamations discreetly). But for Neitzert, Cole and Merkouris to argue this is out of the ordinary is just flat out false. In fact, TenHaken replaced it with the Siouxper Hero awards at council meetings. Why weren’t there any objections to that? Weren’t we setting a precedent?

As I told councilors last night, they are entitled to their personal opinions about the gay lifestyle, but as a non-partisan governing body they should all be in support of inclusiveness in our city which doesn’t infringe on their personal beliefs as individuals or their crazy beliefs as councilors about a broken process.

I think Councilor Barranco said it best;

“. . . I am PROUD to stand with friends and colleagues who oppose bigotry, violence, segregation, and hatred. This is not the moment to argue. Rather, let us link arms, unified in our support for tolerance, acceptance, inclusion, and love.”

They can make whatever excuses they want to as to why they voted against the resolution, but at the end of the day they just looked petty and I applaud the councilors that voted for the resolution and especially councilors Starr and Soehl for challenging their fellow councilors to do the right thing, even if 3 of them can’t figure out what the right thing is.


#1 Very Stable Genius on 06.15.22 at 9:57 am

So, the joke goes like this: Rich, Sarah, and Greg walk into a gay biker bar…..

Oh, and then eventually it was made into a movie. In fact, here’s a scene involving Greg from that movie:

But on a more serious note, it always pains me to watch Greg be so manipulative with some of his actions. His flip-flop on the new administration building has empowered him to become a vacillating leader, whose verbal thoughts educate us all quite obviously to his real game plan. While Sarah said “No”, but she also thought she was in a run-off even though the media and the auditor’s total percentages for her race didn’t add up to 100% (Don’t doctors do math?). And Rich, well, he’s a fundamentalist, why should we be surprised?

#2 "Woodstock" on 06.15.22 at 10:07 am

“Greg gives a renewed meaning to the politics of dancing”….. “The other two, well, something (Someday?) tells me they wanted a 5-3 vote, so they did their duty”… (“I wonder if the 5-3 decision was made in that swanky new conference room, or at the ZEAL?”…. ) …..:

#3 Julian on 06.15.22 at 11:52 am

I’m glad this all white council can be PROUD with a specific community. I question where their efforts were in making resolutions in February for Black history month. Apparently that community doesn’t deserve their support.

#4 l3wis on 06.15.22 at 1:27 pm

Julian, there are only one kind of group these folks care about, anybody that can make them money.

#5 Scott D Hudson on 06.15.22 at 2:06 pm

To be so scared of a really tiny minority of small minded morons who would complain about such a proclamation is the very defintion of cowardice.

#6 Theocratic Republic of SD on 06.15.22 at 3:43 pm

13wis You are living in the wrong state. If you see advertising signs supporting parks wait till you see signs painted on the streets and sidewalks of Sioux Falls. Think of the opportunities for revenue for street and seidewalk repair.

#7 Theocratic Republic of SD on 06.15.22 at 4:03 pm

The City Council permits rambling sessions for subjects that are not in their control and has to wait until laws are passed by our enlightnened, virtuous theocratic republic legislature. Not a very efficient use of city council time not other Sanford Falls citizens. Btw! The city council should sell advertising bids for sign placement above the Mayor’s Seat. Industrial Ag and CAFOS are SD’s future. This Sanford Falls City Council meeting was brought to you by Pipestone Systems: Helping Farmers