The Dakota Scab did a great Q & A with council candidates, this one really was a gotcha question;

Does the Sioux Falls City Council have enough autonomy from the mayor’s office when it comes to policymaking?

Only one candidate understands the separation of powers, and answered the question appropriately, Deffenbaugh;

No. Since we made the shift to the strong mayor model of government where in our mayor serves like a CEO the council has been largely removed from the process of being the cities legislative arm. The Mayor’s vision of ONE Sioux Falls seems to me like a very lockstep mindset that doesn’t allow much room for disagreement or dialogue as a Councilor. I want to see neighborhoods at the forefront leading. I want to listen to the people in our community doing the work on the ground and seeing them more involved in our conversations about governance.

Jordan is correct. The council has the power to work on it’s own thru the legislative process, in fact it is laid out in the charter that way. The mayor’s only duty when it comes to policy is bringing any regulatory items from other departments forward, otherwise his main duty is the manager of city employees and making sure things like streets, fire and police are running well. Jordan is also correct that your councilors are your direct connection to government. As an example, I wanted the E-Bike ordinance changed and I worked with councilor Neitzert to make that happen. Also, the mayor’s office actually put up quite a few roadblocks when Neitzert first proposed the changes, but he kept after it. While it could have been faster, the process still worked and he helped me and many other constituents. Jordan understands that the council is it’s own independent body and they don’t have to give two sh!ts about what the mayor is doing. Besides, as I pointed out above, the mayor doesn’t care about policies that actually help people’s lives become better, he is concerned about if his property investments are making money.

Other candidates seem to be fine with the status quo (which is actually a violation of charter), Thomason thinks the relationship between the council and mayor is just hunky dory;

Our form of government has worked well with the checks and balances in place between the council and mayor.

The ‘concept’ works well, but unfortunately there hasn’t been many checks to that power over the past 3 mayors. The council shouldn’t be the rubberstamp of the administration, and when any councilor has challenged that power they are quickly challenged in an election* and replaced with a rubberstamper like Thomason. While I think Thomason is a good person in general, it seems he is happy about the status quo, not only of our legislature but our city council. We have enough pro-business people on the council, we need some pro-citizens on the council.

*Brekke was replaced by Cole (who never voted in a city election before) and Jensen (who is bailing on a 2nd term) replaced Stehly and we are pretty sure Title IX Plaintiff was recruited to peel votes away from Starr in the school board race. Since she can’t legally serve because of the lawsuit and you know, the perjury thing, twice, it is pretty obvious they don’t care if she wins, just mess with the applecart.

While Renville is pro-citizen and has been active in many advocacy projects throughout our state, she doesn’t seem to grasp what our city government does, this is how she answered the question;

Although, of course, the mayor has last say by way of our current form of government.

No he does not. He may put his John Hancock on documents, but those rules, ordinances and regulations MUST be approved by the city council. The mayor can only break a tie or veto legislation. Not sure what Allison has been told, but the council has the final say and once we get back to a council that understands that, we move our city forward.

VOTE DEFFENBAUGH! Early voting already started at the Minnehaha County Courthouse (all the way to the 3rd floor to the north end of the building, surprised they didn’t put it on the roof to make it even harder to vote!!!!)

I am predicting a runoff between Deffenbaugh and Thomason I also think there will be a recount in the School Board election. I am predicting 14-18K voters in the At-Large race (there will be some variances between At-Large, School Board and NE District). NEW Voter registration has been ‘interesting’ over the past 6 months, and it’s NOT what you think. While this election is pretty dismal (only the school board and at-large is competitive) I think the final results will show us some interesting trends for the primaries and general in November.

10 Thoughts on “ONLY one Sioux Falls Council Candidate understands council powers; Deffenbaugh

  1. Jackalope on April 2, 2024 at 1:18 pm said:

    Why do you call the Dakota Scab? I call them the Dakota Bigot after their interview with Fred Deutsch and they keep pushing Bigotry.

  2. l3wis on April 2, 2024 at 1:21 pm said:

    Argus Scabs, and I am not to keen on their style of journalism which is probably being influenced by some of their investors.

  3. Mike Lee Zitterich on April 2, 2024 at 3:33 pm said:

    Liberals refer to any media source as bigotry cause they do not toe te party line. Te Dakota Scout is NOT a scab, tey report on te facts as te proper means and manner.

  4. NotVSG on April 2, 2024 at 5:16 pm said:

    Holy moly Mike, that was even worse than usual.

  5. RobertaK on April 2, 2024 at 7:27 pm said:

    Before anyone can say anyone knows how the city operates or works, they need to actually have been a decent employee or once elected as a councilember, proactively seeks opportunities to meet with all levels of various employees at the city, consistently. Deffenbaugh may be good, but he will have to dig deeper into how the city works before I believe he can make any difference. Also, council members that actually take efforts to study and learn local government management, instead of just showing up on Tuesdays and blab on Facebook, will be worth actually a hoot. Sioux falls is weak because of our weak leadership across the board, tooich self interest

  6. Jackalope on April 2, 2024 at 7:37 pm said:

    The Dakota Bigot/Scab is another Hard Right new source.

    Sorry Mike Z but we will disagree on this.

  7. Very Stable Genius on April 2, 2024 at 8:04 pm said:

    Have you ever noticed those big ads in the Dakota Scout by prominent Republicans, especially at election time?….. Your Honor, I rest my case….

  8. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on April 2, 2024 at 9:32 pm said:

    I still miss the Shopping News. Did you notice how it disappeared just as the Dakota Scout appeared? Interesting, indeed. No longer do we have a rag around here that can help us find a 10 year old car with just a little rust, but we do have a rag around here which will take us for a ride, rust or not, and drop-off us off at the nearest GOP newsstand.

  9. Further Fear & Loathing on April 2, 2024 at 10:19 pm said:

    Mike has a Smith Corona which is attached to a Radio Shack computer.

  10. Big West on April 3, 2024 at 2:15 pm said:

    “Never had to vote in a public election in my life.” says Big West, “But I sure enjoyed being appointed to committees, commissions, and task force meetings”

    Voting is just one way to make our voices heard. But actually required.

    Another famous Big West statement, “Being a representative of your fellow citizens speaking for them at public forums is more important than voting in elections.”

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