I support this, but I am not sure the Charter Revision Commission will be on board;

I have some suggestions for improving the structure of our city government in advance of the 2026 election. My main recommendation is that the Charter Revision Commission give voters the opportunity to improve the mayor’s job description before the new person gets the job. A more traditional separation of powers in city government could help avoid some of the problems the city has experienced. The mayor would no longer serve on the city council.

The city’s chief executive job is more than enough for one person. I envision a structure like that used in state and federal government where the chief executive is separate from the legislature. This change would empower the council to take a stronger role in setting policy, as we originally intended thirty years ago when we put this form of city government in place.

As I said, the heaviest lift will be getting the CRC to put this on the ballot, especially with an election that will have a laundry list of mayoral and council candidates. He is absolutely correct that this needs to be done to even out the powers between the council and mayor’s office.

I think the secondary hurdle will be getting voters to support it. I’m sure there will be opposition, but I am NOT sure how the voters will take it or understand it. Opinions change quickly though, just look at the slaughterhouse vote.

Not only do I encourage voters to support this on the ballot box BUT to get involved before that and encourage the CRC to put this on the ballot.

11 Thoughts on “Kirby suggests we eliminate the mayor as a councilor

  1. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on May 2, 2023 at 5:33 pm said:

    Great idea! Even the Soviet Politburo had a separate Supreme Soviet. This will also give the Mayor more time to take pothole calls, further study his Samsung for selfies, come up with new city slogans, decorate a rectangular office like an oval one, and hold more leadership team meetings with leaders, who want to join a team and like meetings.

  2. "Woodstock" on May 2, 2023 at 5:36 pm said:

    “‘Supreme Soviet’?”….. “Can a guy get extra Provolone with that one?”….

  3. D@ily Spin on May 2, 2023 at 6:21 pm said:

    Home Rule Charter doesn’t work. The city charter needs not just a makeover but removal. State Supreme Court should supervise a return to constitutional democracy. Mayoral abuse of power deserves both legal and civil litigation.

  4. Mike Lee Zitterich on May 3, 2023 at 9:32 am said:

    The Charter works fine, no big changes needed….

  5. My Mistake Mike on May 3, 2023 at 11:06 am said:

    The CRC needs to take a look at overhauling the entire governing body structure. As our city grows rapidly in population, so too has our city council districts.

    When the current home rule charter was put in place in the 1990’s, we had roughly 22,500 residents per district. Today, we have 42,000 residents per district – nearly double the population. It is impossible for a part-time council to adequately represent the interests of that many people in each district.

  6. Very Stable Genius on May 3, 2023 at 2:10 pm said:

    MMM is right. We need more districts. Until 1986, this town was run by three people, a mayor and two commissioners. Then, in 1986, it was increased to a mayor and four commissioners. Then, in 1994, we got our current city council. The answer now is to expand the size of the city council and keep the mayor in his or her office… Oh, and the mayor can still come to a council meetings if he or she wants to, but remind him or her that input is at the end and only about future issues, which may not even be known yet, because the next agenda hasn’t been printed or published yet…. Welcome to the real world, mayor….

  7. Mike Lee Zitterich on May 3, 2023 at 2:59 pm said:

    My Mistake Mike,

    Excellent response, and that has been something I have been leading discussions on over the past two years. Where the charter today, says “…the city council shall be made up of 8 members, which 5 elected from each of the 5 districts, and 3 elected at-large…” I have proposed the following, simple change:

    “…the city council shall be made up of an odd number distict body plus at least 2 members elected at-large..”

    That small, but settle change allows the Districting Commission which meats every 10 years, or where the population growth reaches 15% more than the last census, allows the people to completely redo the council as they wish, rather than being restricted @ 5 districts.

    I proposed that each city district should be no greater than 1 Rep Per 29,000 Residents, this keeps the districts SMALL, and the reps closer to the people.

    You want the districts small, as compacted as possible so that those of who we elect know each other, live by each other, attend the same events, church, do business with each other, attended the same school(s), etc…

  8. NTNLIQ on May 3, 2023 at 10:31 pm said:

    Say Mike, which one is it? No changes needed, or a litany of changes?

  9. Mike Lee Zitterich on May 4, 2023 at 11:39 am said:

    Please read my comments closer, i said “…the charter is fine, NO MAJOR changes needed..” I support small cha ges to give the Districting Commission mote ability to make changes to the districts and composition where we wish to. I am against removing tge mayor from the council. That’s a major change NOT needed.

  10. anominous on May 4, 2023 at 7:31 pm said:

    “I envision…”

  11. Kirby’s the clown who got us into this strong mayor mess!

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