Sioux Falls City Council Operations Committee Meeting

They discussed several changes to their policy manual including;

• Reimbursing council staff for local travel (this basically would fall in line with the administration’s staff).

• Updating attending meetings remotely (City Clerk Greco did suggest this be updated, he didn’t say it was being abused, but you got the feeling it has become complicated. IMO it was being abused after Covid and it needs to become more strict).

• They discussed limitations on public comment (Clerk Greco referenced that meetings needed to wrap up at a certain time and that may be why public input is limited. Hogwash. Any meeting that may go over an allotted time slot can be recessed to the next day to allow for more information. One of the main reasons regular city council meetings were held at 7 PM instead of 6 PM was to allow more time for presentations at the informational, while also allowing a dinner recess for the council. Now everything is slammed in. The real change would be moving the meetings back to 7 PM with 5 minutes of public input at the beginning).

• Council Chair Soehl said being chair has left him out of touch with the other councilors (I found the statement completely odd considering the main role of the two council chairs is to inform the rest of the council of what the administration is up to. A council chair that is NOT communicating with the rest of the council is a serious issue and the procedures should be put in writing).

• Councilor Merkouris suggested not having an audit manager and maybe replacing them with an operations assistant or an executive assistant to the council. (Not needed. The audit committee should just hand down the audit directives to the current two auditors and management review can be done by the chair of that committee. The city council already has 3 clerks, an operations manager, a legislative manager and 2 auditors, they have plenty of staff. I have even suggested in the past they we eliminate our legislative manager (not sure what the guy does) and our head city clerk and have the duty shared by the two assistant clerks. I believe the current city council staff does a decent job, and I have never felt they are overwhelmed. The issues with the council, communication and transparency with citizens sits with the elected councilors NOT council staff. If the council wants to make communications better, the council has to put forth the initiative NOT the council staff).

• Neitzert brings up the question of who’s responsibility it is to inform the rest of the council about disciplinary action by the vice-chair when it comes to HR issues and council staff. (I find the timing of the question interesting considering the recent departure of the audit manager, was she under some disciplinary action at the time of her departure)?

• Neitzert also adds that the informational meetings are being rushed.


#1 D@ily Spin on 12.02.22 at 8:11 pm

An old biddy social club? It’s a good thing Strong Mayor makes important decisions. There’s subject matter here for a TV comedy show.

#2 Very Stable Genius on 12.02.22 at 8:44 pm

What’s on first, but who’s on second?

( and Woodstock adds: “Just for fun, they should hold one of these meetings in Spanish”…. 🙂 )

#3 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 12.04.22 at 11:58 am

Do they hold informational meetings for the pending Operations Committee meeting? Or, would such a meeting require Council approval first, where public input about it would have to be done one meeting before with the public having knowledge that this item would be placed on the Council’s agenda at the last minute?