Well it’s week II of someone running a council meeting (Item #24) without having a clue what is on the agenda.

As you know, last week, the chair of the council meeting (Mayor TenHaken) couldn’t explain a simple agenda item that referred to a grant at the landfill.

He continued his ignorance of the agenda this week.

As you know, the chair engages in unconstitutional activity by cutting off public inputers by saying they are off topic. As I have argued in the past, there are several Supreme Court rulings that defend public inputers being able to discuss anything at the podium as long as it has to do with government, community, etc. In other words, you can discuss anything you want to at the podium as long as you are not threatening the public or the government body.

So when it came to the rental registration ordinance in the agenda tonight (which has been talked about publicly extensively) the mayor decided he would start cutting people off.

His fist attempt was with a gentleman who is a realtor. He suggested that the city council adds diversity and inclusion training for landlords (an 8 hour course on the Federal guidelines). The mayor apparently didn’t like the suggestion and told the inputer he couldn’t talk about it. The inputer, George, just kind of swatted the chair off like a fly and basically said he was addressing the landlord training in the ordinance and would like it to cover these Federal guidelines).

The next person came up to address the deplorable (her words) conditions of some rental properties in town. The mayor proceeded to try to cut her off saying ‘This only has to do with short term rentals.’ to which councilor Merkouris who is sponsoring the item says, ‘It is for short-term and long-term rentals’ to which the mayor allowed her to proceed after chewing up a minute of her time.

While I don’t expect the mayor to memorize the agenda, he should have general knowledge of each agenda item because 1) he is chairing the meeting and 2) he has to break ties.

So what if this would have come to a tie vote? The mayor would have to vote based on having zero knowledge of what the ordinance does.

Somebody told me the other day ‘The mayor has checked out.’

Yeah, he checked out 6 years ago when he was inaugurated.

I would suggest the two public inputers who were interrupted practicing their 1st Amendment rights file a formal complaint against the chair for 1st Amendment violations.


During the city council discussion tonight on hiring outside counsel for investigating implied trusts, councilor Starr pulled it from the consent agenda;

The city attorney said they are investigating the trust in reference to the Delbridge Museum animals. What could this mean? If I had to make an educated guess the city is looking for legal loopholes so IF they dispose the animals they wouldn’t have to worry about being sued by the family (trust) but I am sure the plan is something more sinister knowing how badly the mayor wants to throw these animals in a wood chipper. If I was a part of the group trying to save the animals, I would encourage the family to also seek legal counsel before it is to late.

5 Thoughts on “Chair of Sioux Falls City Council meetings still has no clue what is on the agenda

  1. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on November 22, 2023 at 6:02 am said:

    He’s very popular, so he doesn’t have to do his homework. A teacher never flunks the homecoming king.

  2. mike z is thinking up an excuse for this and will fill us in once he comes up with one.

  3. Further Fear & Loathing on November 22, 2023 at 9:19 pm said:

    I can’t wait. Maybe it will involve the “state militia”, or repeal and replacement of the 13th and 14th Amendments. #PatentedLands

  4. Mike Lee Zitterich on November 23, 2023 at 12:38 am said:

    Well, I was in attendance on November 21, 2023 and I oversaw the two situations Scott is pointing out in the above article. While I do agree with the Mayor, on his position to keep the meeting on point, and within the agenda item, it is all subjective interpretation to what is allowed to be said, and not said during public comment during First and Second Readings. IF, the Chair feels the speakers are getting off base, he has the right to interject, and point them in the right direction. The charter gives to the Mayor that power, and I have to agree with the Mayor. In relation to George, the two of them had a decent exchange, and he made his point back to the Mayor, and the Mayor gently allowed him to continue. While the second speaker, while providing some good points, did get to far outside the box, and had to be steered back to the agenda, however, the Council did end up correcting the mayor that the agenda included both Short Term and Long Term Housing. As for the Mayor not knowing what is on the agenda or not, I would not go that far, as I am pretty sure Paul TenHaken is quite aware what the agenda is. Quit frankly, even I, a person who does read the agenda each week, did also believe the crux of the ‘agenda’ was related to Short Term Rentals, with a brief, small portion dedicated to Long Term Rentals. It was mostly an ordinance change the process of adding regulations in relation to Short Term Rentals. And because the Eight Members of the City Council can at anytime, with at least 2 members, place things on the Agenda, I do not expect the Mayor to fully know what the entire initiative is and is not.

    As for my take on Amendments 13 and 14, well, this topic is NOT related to them, so I will not get trapped into that conversation. I speak on them well enough on my own website at Sioux Falls Community Chronicle. So if you want to read my viewpoints, you may go there. But I am choosing to stick to the topic at hand here.

    Thank You,

  5. "Woodstock" on November 25, 2023 at 3:50 pm said:

    “I wish you guys would stop talking about a ‘State Militia'”….. “Because I don’t want to give Noem any new ideas”….

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