Sioux Falls City Council has a leadership problem

Patrick Lalley of Siouxfallslive.com wrote an interesting article about how the city council doesn’t have any staff advocates, I’m not sure that is the problem;

The council has some research and legislative assistance. They may need more of an ombudsperson who advocates on their behalf.

The city council has three full-time clerks, an operations manager and and legislative person, I am not sure they need more (I have even suggested they cut back to 2 clerks and an operations person).

The problem is council vice-chair Jensen and chair Soehl who were both re-elected by their peers last year to the same positions. Their main responsibility is to be the connection between the mayor’s office and the council, not only negotiating with the administration but informing the rest of the council what is in the pipeline.

In fact we still have gotten NO reason why Shana Nelson left as Audit Manager (she was appointed in a public meeting) and joined the administration as a Housing Compliance Manager (which garnered her a $7,000 raise).

Not only has council leadership failed the council when it comes to transparency but they have failed the constituents also.

I would suggest the rest of the city council hold a special election and appoint Starr as chair and Merkouris as vice-chair and get some adults in those seats.



8 comments ↓

#1 Mike Lee Zitterich on 01.20.23 at 10:50 am

The Council Chair and Vice Chair are elected by the majority of members of the governing board for one year, but the council could vote to maintain that leadership for the full Two Year Council Session (2022-2024).

The Decision I believe of re-electing Soehl and Jenson for 1 more year, was this is perceived to be a “Transition Period” – think about it, we had just replaced, 3 of the 4 Chairs in the last election (2022), and in 2024, we are replacing automatically by term limits – 3 more chairs. So in a matter of 4 years, ‘we’ will have replaced 6 Members.

So I believing, allowing Soehl and Jenson to guide the Council Membership throughout this transition maintaining some sense of consistency in policy, may have been the right choice at this time, while for 2023-24 – they will most likely vote to place most likely Merkouris and Cole into those positi
ons for at least one year, or perhaps, they could in fact place Neitzert and Selberg in that position and adding Merkouris in the Operation leadership.

Technically, the CITY CLERK is appointed by the majority of the Council Members to manage over, and govern over the Minutes, Procedures, Provide to the Council that unity between the Administration, the Government, and the Council providing to the Council itself that connection between “ALL THREE BRANCHES” of City Government.

The Charter allows for the Council to give to the City Clerk more duties, and that fact alone, grants to the City Clerk a greater leadership role amongst the Council.

The PEOPLE vote for all 8 Council Members, while the Council then appoints the City Clerk to observe, manage, and lead that governing body forward.

The City Clerk (Tom Greco), the Legislative Research Specialist (Jim David), and Council Chair (Curt Soehl) should be working together every Two Years to lead the City Council in terms of proposing, drafting legislation, let alone adopting a “Plan” for each Two Year Election Cycle.

#2 a bridge too far on 01.20.23 at 12:49 pm

didn’t see the meeting, but the question i would ask is “does the developers profit double too?” we’re talking about the same project only with some major hard cost increases. if profit doubles, we have some harder questions to get answered. i’d also suggest that federal infrastructure payouts helped raise these prices as well…after all it’s “free” money if it comes from washington. haha.

#3 Theocratic Republic of SD on 01.20.23 at 3:44 pm

I nominate you as the next candidate for the Sanford Falls City Council. Begin campaigning now.

#4 l3wis on 01.20.23 at 5:39 pm

You could pay me double of what councilors make now and I still wouldn’t run for the job. They are the most powerless local government in the state.

#5 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 01.21.23 at 12:01 am

Isn’t Sioux Falls Rubber Stamp still in business? If so, they should sue the city council over naming rights and any actions which exemplify already established intellectual property rights.

#6 How about that bridge in my mouth? on 01.21.23 at 11:55 am

How many times do I need to tell you?….: They ain’t leaders, rather, they are spokesmen. Corporate spokesmen, that is.

#7 D@ily Spin on 01.21.23 at 1:49 pm

AI leading the AI. Software update or chips back ordered from China? Chair or code breaker? C++

#8 Blasphemo on 01.21.23 at 8:45 pm

I liked Pat Lalley’s op ed piece, but it contained a ludicrous assertion: “The council is a check against the power of the mayor.” Oh, riiiiight. Didn’t PTH endorse one or more council candidates in the last municipal election. . . . and even make one or more campaign contributions from his PAC to one or more of those he endorsed? Good, god. What kind of balance of power do you get when council members are beholding to the mayor for his favor? Sickening.