During the city council presser (which BTW has only been posted to FB and NOT YouTube, which is ironic since the mayor’s presser TODAY is already loaded to YouTube). The council put out their concerns.

One of the things was mentioned is that someone is planning to run in the NW district challenging the one person who has announced. Which is good.

I have been advocating for years that the council do pressers. So this is a good move towards transparency, and I know that councilor Merkouris is committed to continuing these events.

But councilor Soehl’s comments about his ordinance to stop people from using public space to panhandle is, well, speculative.

Trust me, nothing bothers me more that people have to beg for money on a street corner, so why don’t we craft ordinances that HELP these people instead of treating them like rats?

Soehl wants to put in city ordinance that it is illegal to stand at certain interstate off ramps. He doesn’t mention panhandling because the city attorney told him not to, but it is obvious his intent.

The ordinance would likely violate the 1st, the 5th and 14th amendment of the Constitution, along with many others.

I don’t like panhandling either, but there are solutions to help these peeps without criminalizing the activity.

Sorry Curt, but this is going to blow up in your face, and I don’t think you realize it. If I was you, I would rescind this as fast as possible, but maybe you like the criticism?

5 Thoughts on “Councilor Soehl wants to address panhandling, problem is he can’t

  1. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on February 15, 2024 at 1:13 pm said:

    If I was a panhandler I would want to be arrested, because then I would be guaranteed a free cot and three hotties.

  2. Zach DeBoer on February 15, 2024 at 1:14 pm said:

    This is such an idiotic idea for an ordinance. Such a clear violation of freedom of speech. The fact that the Central District neighborhoods have been complaining about pedestrian safety for YEARS and THIS is what he brings forward tell you everything you need to know about this guy and where his priorities are.

  3. Mike Lee Zitterich on February 16, 2024 at 10:51 am said:

    IF the people of the city format their ordinance in the name of public safety, and enforce it at specific intersections, it is not violating the 1st Amendment Technically, the 1st Amendment restricts only the Federal Govt, but States have compacted to enforce the same rights in their state constitutions. I think Curt Soehl has a pretty good grasp on the style, form, and manner of drafting his ordinance. These “Commercial Intersections” are public property, paid for by the property holders of the city, therefore, they agree to regulate their roads as they so choose. In the name of public safety, policing, and health, it can be done.

  4. Mike, not sure why I even try, but here it is. Our roads are funded by SALES TAXES not property taxes which means that space is owned by every frickin citizen, even those who walk and don’t own property. Do you own property Mike? And not what you will inherit. Do you currently own property free and clear? If not, you are a hypocrite. How can you constantly talk that property owners only have rights yet you spew all the time, and only own the shirt on your back. I own property in Sioux Falls and in a small town in SD, free and clear. You can’t stop people from accessing public property. Other cities have tried a different approach, instead of making it against the law to stay in this area they have used certain construction elements to discourage standing in these areas. This is going to be a fun debate to watch.

  5. Mike Lee Zitterich on February 17, 2024 at 9:41 am said:


    Not sure the reason you got upset over what I said previously. But you are correct, unless you hold the land patent, the deed, and the purchase agreement for the land itself you do not own any such land at all. All you hold is a certificate, a piece of paper that gives you the right to ‘use’ the land for residential use or commercial use giving you the privilege of using another’s’ land. I think you realize that you cannot build a road, rename a road, or redevelop a road without first petitioning the landowner. The streets in question here are, were built for commercial use, to connect business to business, to move motor vehicles for commercial use. Thus by previous land covenants, you voluntarily agree to abide by them. They can in fact restrict a person’s right of standing in the middle of a roadway in the name of public safety. I hope they amend it to remove the awful bike-pedestrian path along Russell Street from Minnesota Ave to Lyons Blvd. It is dangerous placing bicycles in the roadway.

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