Entries Tagged 'Greg Neitzert' ↓

Sioux Falls City Councilors Jensen, Erickson and Neitzert vote against asking a bar manager questions about police calls and license renewal

Sometimes you see some pretty bizarre things at council meetings, actually just about every one over the past 5 years, but hearing a councilor (Erickson) argue against hearing from a bar manager that has had complaints filed against them about police calls is ridiculous.

Basically, during the 2021 license renewals at tonight’s council meeting, PAVE Bar was up for renewal and councilor Starr asked for them to be pulled from the consent agenda because he had questions about their police calls but asked for it to be deferred until December 1st because he learned the applicant could not attend, and Jamie Palmer, the city’s licensing agent asked if he could come later, and he said he could, she also informed the person complaining to come at a later date.

Makes sense? Right? Wait until the applicant can attend to answer questions about police calls.

Not so fast.

Erickson wasn’t happy about it, and felt that since the applicant wasn’t there to answer questions, they shouldn’t have to answer those questions.

HUH? Where the Frick is the logic in that? That would be like telling someone who was supposed to be in court to defend themselves against a violation and the judge and jury telling them if they don’t show up for their hearing they will be presumed innocent.

WOW. Christine and her lap dogs Greg and Alex have been going off the rails for a while now, and I honestly don’t understand where it is coming from? I really don’t. I could only speculate that her and her pups are friends with the people who own PAVE. Kind of reminds you of how a $26 million dollar disaster got approved. The only explanation would be something my grandma VI used to say, “Maybe she is taking 500 mg ugly pills before the meeting?”

I have not seen the police call evidence about PAVE, and I have NO idea what it is costing taxpayers, but should we at least see the evidence and have a hearing before we renew their license? I think it is only fair. Apparently Christine, Alex and Greg don’t give a rat’s ass about any of those things.

Fortunately five of the councilors felt it was important. They left their ugly pills at home tonight.

Whether it is a Mask Mandate, Crime, Zoning, etc. Most of our Sioux Falls City Council and Mayor DO NOT LISTEN & DO NOT CARE!

I have warned people that our council and mayor’s office would get to a point where your input is ‘unaffordable’. What do I mean by that? Just look at the last election. It cost CountCilor Jensen $117,000.00 to beat Stehly by under a 100 votes.

The Mayor’s office, his staff and the city council is bought and paid for, and it isn’t by you and me. This letter to the editor says it all;

Many physicians, nurses and public health professionals took the time to prepare data to present at the City Council meeting. Many came to the City Council meeting after a long and tiring day at work to present their data, believing that it would make a difference.

But sadly, despite the effort, the message we got back from Councilors Erickson, Jensen, Neitzer, Selberg and Mayor TenHaken was: We heard you, we know what needs to be done and that it would help but we don’t care.

It is heartbreaking.

I and many of the physicians in my practice are so frustrated, angry, sad and tired. It is maddening that when we speak up about COVID and provide scientific evidence, we are completely ignored.

Christiane Maroun, MD, Sioux Falls

Data? What’s that? I would like to remind councilor Nutzert that they have been wearing masks since the Bubonic Plague (1656 version) and during the 1918 Spanish Flu. Why? Because they figured out it helped prevent the spread. Does it protect you head to toe? Not at all, you should take several precautions. That’s called ‘science’ Greg, you should check it out sometime. When did you become such a Trumpist anyway?

But what this doctor’s letter points out is something I have known for a very long time. Our council’s minds are made up before they even step in that room. That is one of the reasons I never came to protest the public input move, I knew how it was going to go. There is something that has always been consistent with the city council, especially our current rendition. They are extremely predictable, and you will never change their minds once their heels are dug in.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Greg ‘Ethically Challenged’ Neitzert responds to killing public input

I was going to stay away from an extensive blog post on why keeping public input at the beginning of the meeting was important. I have literally ranted about freedom of speech, open government and the 1st Amendment for over 13 years on my blog.

Our founding fathers made it #1 for a reason, dissent and grievances towards your government make your government better because we hope our elected officials are modeling legislation out of what we find important to the majority but more importantly the minority;

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Sometimes this happens, sometimes it does not. But if those leaders are NOT willing to listen or put us to the back of the line, you can guarantee they do NOT think what we say is important (while digging in our pockets to fund the very government they run).

I have to respond to this long and extensive rant by Councilor Nutzert on Facebook today. You may not agree with all my retorts, but give me a listen;

Late last week a postcard hit mailboxes in Sioux Falls.  That postcard was a “call to action” regarding a vote the City Council will have on Tuesday night regarding our general public input.  That postcard was misleading, irresponsible, and inflammatory.  It uses the technique of creating a false “rich vs poor”/”developer vs average citizen” conflict.  It also makes the irresponsible allegation that City Councilors and the Mayor care about rich people and developers, but don’t care about the “average citizen”.

Everything Greg says in this paragraph is hyperbole. The very people who have funded the campaigns of most of the city council (even some I support) have been from the ruling class. Those who support public input at the beginning of the meetings have pointed out the truth; the very business people showing up to the meetings to do business have a financial stake in the decisions made. In other words waiting an extra 30 minutes to do their business doesn’t cost them a dime, they are probably actually going to be financially rewarded. That goes for the developer getting millions in a tax rebate to the small theatre owner getting a beer license. Waiting is the cost of doing business. As for the citizens, who fund the lion’s share of city government, we are there on our own time. If anything, public input should be moved, before the invocation and pledge of allegiance.


I’m going to set the record straight, and then move on.  This issue is really much ado about nothing.  It is procedural and has no impact on citizens day to day life.

Wow! He is right that it is procedural, procedurally moving citizens to the back of the line, dead last in the dark of the night. They even have the gall to say you can’t talk about the meeting that just occurred. Greg’s statement reminds of when Monty Python famously says, “It’s only a fleshwound.”


Council meetings, like many other governmental bodies meetings, have a designated time that people can talk to the elected body about anything that they want that is NOT already on the agenda.  We call this our “general” public input time.  We allow up to 30 minutes of general public input (3 minutes per person).  You can talk to us about ANYTHING, and people do.  It may be completely irrelevant to the city.  

Greg leaves out that not only is it state law to allow this time in most public meetings, it is covered by the US Constitution and a recent Supreme Court ruling.


We also allow public input on every agenda item at our meeting.  Agenda items can be many things – approval of a new beer license, a rezoning of a property, annexation of land into the city, an ordinance to create a new law in the city, a fee increase proposal, and so many other things.  Any citizen can give input on these agenda items.  They may support it.  They may be the applicant requesting it.  They may oppose it.  They may be a neighbor who opposes what a builder/developer/owner is trying to do.  They may oppose a rate increase, or a new restriction.  They are all citizens.  Interested parties for agenda items, and those giving input are not just “developers” or “rich people”.  They are citizens who may have deep concern about a new law, a new fee increase, or something that might happen near their home or neighborhood.

Yes, but these are very separate from general input, this is reserved for things NOT on the agenda, and that is why they take precedent over the upcoming business. And unlike the welfare queens that come each week to fatten their pockets on the regular agenda, they are welcome to bitch and complain also during this time, and some do.


Regardless of the order of our meetings, SOMEONE has to wait.  It is not a choice of making citizens wait or not, it is a matter of WHICH citizens should have to wait. 

Ironically, he is right (in this statement alone) and the tradition is to allow the people who own this government to speak first. Rich or poor, contributors or bloodsuckers. Come at the beginning and get your dissent on.

Should those that are there to speak, support, or oppose an agenda item (that is urgent because it is up for approval) and may affect them personally have to wait, or should those who are there to talk about something that is not on the agenda, and may not even be something the Council has jurisdiction over, have to wait.  Whatever you think is the right answer, I only ask that you recognize that you are asking some citizens to wait, no matter what.

Okay, we call this ‘splitting hairs’. As I linked above in the 2018 SCOTUS ruling, as long as what you are saying is ‘germane’ to government business (which is most everything), your statements are protected by the 1st Amendment. Nothing anyone says at these meetings has more importance than the other. Where the line is drawn is what is more important? Dissent or business? I think our founding fathers found dissent of the citizens is more important than those who seek refuge from our government in favorable taxes, fees and licenses, which have ZERO affect on our health, happiness and wellbeing. If Developer ‘X’ gets a massive tax rebate or favorable rezoning, the trickle down effect to the public as a whole is so minute you could measure it with a pubic hair.

  
As an example this Tuesday night, general public input will be first, because that’s where it is set at this point. 

And why is that Greg?

That means those citizens who want to speak about the proposed mask mandate will have to wait.  Are they “less than” those who are there to speak about something not on the agenda?  Ironically, those who are there to speak on THIS ISSUE (where to put public input) will have to wait for those that speak at general public input because this issue is an agenda item.  It would be odd to argue that citizens there to speak on this ordinance to change where general public input is held are less valuable than those actually speaking at the general public input time. 

As I said above, Greg is just circling back to hyperbole. The agenda is separate from public input. Always has been. I often tell people the official business of the council doesn’t start until the agenda items are presented. So yes, people have to wait.

 
The ONLY choice is WHO – WHAT CITIZENS – should have to wait.  Everyone will get their chance to speak, the only difference is who and what goes first.

And you think the ‘business’ of the city should go first, which as I have said is just you and your fellow rubberstampers doling out our money. Let’s put it to you another way, it would be like your employer putting you on a pay schedule in which you are paid one week in advance instead of being paid after you completed your required hours a week later.


A few other important notes: 1. In recent years, around 75% of general public input has been given annually from 10-12 citizens.  That means 10-12 citizens out of almost 200,000 are using the vast majority of public input time. We are literally allowing ourselves to be held hostage by a dozen citizens of our city.

First off, let’s state the obvious, Greg took that statistic directly from of his ass. Secondly, until the census is done, that 200K number from certain elected officials seems to grow like a whitehead on a teenagers nose, thirdly, citizens have not held anyone ‘hostage’ on the city council, in fact, I would argue it is the exact opposite, as councilor Brekke said, you are OUR guests, not the other way around. The 1st Amendment is NOT based on how many people speak on a specific topic. The same person could come to every single council meeting for the next 20 years and be the only person to speak, it would still not change the dynamic of that right.

2.  Anyone who has watched general public input in recent years has seen that while there are some great things that are brought to us, the majority consistently are items we have no jurisdiction over, are the same people, and are mostly grandstanding and self serving.  I’ll be very blunt, general public input has degraded into an embarrassing spectacle. It does not reflect well on our meeting or our city.  

I agree 100% it has become ’embarrassing’ and mostly because the citizens have been pointing out the ridiculous (and fraudulent) actions of this council. Greg said it best, he is embarrassed, and he should be, I can give him 26 million reasons why. If our elected leaders in this city have done such a great job why do we have a city attorney’s office? Maybe we should make an amendment to disband that entity.

3.  We rarely have Boy Scouts and other children at our meetings, and they’ve told us they no longer come or don’t stay because the public input can be so outrageous and inappropriate at the beginning of our meetings.  They could be learning about the civic process, but they don’t anymore.

So I heard this argument last week from a text sent to me, and I about died laughing. Public input is the ‘perfect’ example of learning about the civic process. Teaching our youth about Freedom of Speech and Open Government is the finest of civic lessons. I think little Johnny should learn and engage his parents about the homeless, prostitution and drug dealers. Why would we want to hide this from our children? Does Greg really believe our children are this naive? Sometimes the only way I learn what atrocities that our taking place in our community is by listening to citizens lay them out at Public Input. The only way you fix these problems is by recognizing them first.

4.  The vast majority of people tell me our general public input is not valuable, it is an embarrassment to our city and they want us to do something about it.

Well, then, why move it, just get rid of it. Seriously. Wipe it completely off the agenda. Oh, that’s right, like I have mentioned above it is against the US Constitution and State Law, and if you did that, you would all go to jail. So what is the difference if a citizen tells you suck at the beginning or at the end? This argument is just as childish as the person who is making it. He should get a badge for Bullsh*t.

5.  There are a LOT of ways to give your elected officials input.  Call, email, send a letter, use social media, talk to an agenda item, etc.  General public input is just one, and its frankly one of the least effective.

I also agree with Greg on this. In fact the reason I started a blog is because I felt my letters to the editor, my public input and our lazy ass local media were not cutting the mustard. But if you think our city council is responding to these other forms of contact, you are sadly mistaken. One of the reasons many show up to the public input is because they get ZERO response from councilors. I have had citizens tell me with real concerns about zoning and crime in our city they have NEVER gotten responses from the current and former mayor and 80% of the council. Then they wonder why they come on Tuesdays and chew ass? Greg, is it that hard of a math equation?

6.  Many of our city employees are hourly employees.  When they have to come to meetings to speak to an agenda item, they are being paid to sit there. All of those employees are being paid tax dollars to sit through the general public input. 

What Greg leaves out is that they receive flex time for those hours. In other words if an hourly city employee has to work two extra hours on Tuesday, they can work two less hours in the remainder of the week. As for the directors who mostly speak at these meetings, they are salary, they get their mostly 6-figure paychecks no matter how many hours they work. Boo Hoo. What Greg is saying in this statement is that he represents the city employees, who we pay, over the very people who pay them. Our city councilors are elected to represent us. It is in the freaking charter! It is the mayor’s job to represent the city employees, which I have heard he tried to screw in the last union negotiation.

7.  Many applicants who have agenda items need to have their attorneys, engineers, and other representatives at meetings.  They are paying them usually hourly, and they have to arrive at the beginning of the meeting because they don’t know when their agenda item will come up.  They are being paid to sit through the general public input. 

8.  Even if you think “developers”, “builders” or whatever you wish to refer to these applicants are “less than”, consider that they (or an average citizen) who get on the agenda, have paid significant fees to do so.  They have paid to have us consider their agenda item.  Why is it a given that they should have to wait and those there with nothing on the agenda get to “jump the line”.  Why is that automatically right?

And like I already said above, that is the price of doing business in a capitalist society. Did Greg vote for Bernie Sanders?


We have had any number of big items on our agendas over the years that citizens have cared deeply about.  In my 4 years on the Council, we have had proposals to big large apartments near or next to single family, fee increases, bonding millions of dollars including the parking ramp downtown, the downtown city center building, and the water treatment plant.  All of these items are HUGE decisions and impact citizens directly, and in many cases citizens see them as life changing for them.  They are average citizens.  They aren’t the applicants.  They aren’t developers, rich people, or whatever other term you wish to use if you accept the rich vs poor/developer vs average citizen division.  They have to wait if you leave general public input where it is.  


The rhetoric of making this into a developer vs average citizen is inflammatory and meant to rile people up and divide us.  It should be rejected.

You are correct. Let’s reject it, and leave public input as is. Personally, I hate having to bring it up, because I know it embarrasses the Mayor and Council that you consistently kiss their rings. All this ‘division’ could end when you realize that the public IS who you serve. We only bring this up because it is true. If it bothers you so much, maybe you should turn off your sucking device?


Wherever you come down on this, just realize you are asking citizens to wait their turn.  The only decision is WHO should wait.  There are many elderly, “average” citizens (using the postcard terminology) who want to speak to agenda items, and you are asking them to wait if you have general public input at the beginning of the meeting.  


Those who support moving general public input to the end of the meeting care about citizens, and they care about input.  Saying or implying that they don’t is irresponsible and a unfounded personal attack on their character.

Is it? Because I have yet to hear from one of the ‘specials’ in our community that having to wait an extra 30 minutes is hurting their businesses. They don’t have to say anything because they have puppets like you Greg to defend them, because they have spent a lot of capital making sure you do what is best for them, including crying on Facebook they deserve to go to the front of the line. I would expect the very business people of this community you defend to testify on Tuesday night that public input at the beginning of the meetings has hurt their bottom lines. I’m guessing that number of dissenters will be a big fat ZERO.

Remember every agenda item allows for citizen input, does that matter?
If you accept the premise that moving general public input is “oppressing” citizens, you must necessarily concede that if you support keeping general public input at the beginning of the meetings, you are “oppressing” all citizens there to speak on an agenda item.  You must be consistent.

And we have been consistent. We have it at the beginning. Why do you want to change this sacred consistency? Why do you choose to ‘oppress’?


To repeat again, what should be first, items that are pressing and on the agenda, or items that are not on the agenda (and may never be).  That’s the choice.  It is not a for or against citizens, or for or against input.  Period.  


I have learned in my time on the Council that people care about items that affect their lives.  If we vote to fix their road, raise fees on their water bill, they care about that.  Our procedures at our meetings don’t affect people’s lives.  It’s inside baseball.  While a few people are VERY loud and make it appear there is controversy or wide public sentiment, it does NOT represent the vast majority of citizens.

Your procedures don’t affect lives????!!! Was that a typo?

As a guy I heard on FB recently talking about Trump’s apparent loss, “We’ve had enough of your nonsense, grab your tape and boxes, and pack it up.”

Our constitution is meant to protect the minority. Read it, you freaking moron!

You can decide what citizens should wait, but don’t fool yourself.  No matter what you choose, you are making citizens wait.

I’m going to simply this all for you and make it shorter than Greg’s diatribe. The 1st Amendment guarantees your right to dissent your government. Period. And any government official who wants to mess with that precious right is full of garbage and should resign, I have plenty of tape and boxes if you need them.

Sioux Falls City Council is being sued over how they handled Neitzert’s Ethics Hearing

It looks like the paperwork was filed on October 15th.

ENTIRE DOCUMENT

Basically Mr. Cunningham is filing a writ of certiorari because he was NOT allowed to present evidence during the hearing is asking for a new one. If you read the linked PDF above you will see that John cites city ordinance that says he should have been allowed to present evidence with his legal counsel, he was not. He is saying the council performed an illegal hearing, and in my humble opinion, I agree;

It gets better though, because in the city’s consent agenda on Tuesday night they are hiring private counsel for this;

UPDATE II: Sioux Falls Board of Ethics Meeting, Oct 6, 2020

UPDATE II: So one interesting thing I learned from the video was that the 170+ page document that was presented to the council during Nutzert’s hearing was actually given to the City Clerk several days before the hearing. Brekke questioned why they received the document that night right before the meeting instead of in advance. BOE Chair Jack Marsh defended that position and said they prepared the packets for the council immediately several days before the hearing and gave them to City Clerk Greco to give to the Council, and it was within Greco’s jurisdiction NOT the BOE’s to give them to the council. Which is true.

I asked a couple people in the know this afternoon why Greco did not pass it on to the councilors in advance. In fact, I guess, Greco intended to do so and even wanted to post the docs in advance online in SIRE but he needed (or thought he needed) permission from the outside counsel the city hired to handle the hearing before he could do it . . . wondering why that permission wasn’t granted?

I have asked a couple of city councilors to look into why the information wasn’t presented to the council and the public in advance.

This whole adventure was so sloppy and corrupt, you wonder how our city government can even function at all.

——————————————————

I did not attend today’s meeting because it was at 9 AM on a Tuesday morning, real convenient for the public to show up – NOT. So all I can tell you is what I heard briefly from those who attended;

I guess the Board of Ethics determined that Councilor Brekke assisting constituents with navigating the Charter was well within her rights and duties as a councilor (Duh!)

I guess David Zokaites’ question about supplying evidence was pretty much blown off because Neitzert told the BOE that city employees take trips all the time. Which is interesting, since this complaint was against an ELECTED official and NOT a city employee. That was the main reason the first complaint was dismissed.

I guess we will know more after the video and minutes are released.

Reverberations from the Greg Neitzert Board of Ethics impeachment ruling

Guest Post-Cameraman Bruce

The reverberations from the Greg Neitzert Board of Ethics impeachment ruling is still causing waves in the Board of Ethics schedule. On Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 at 9:00am, of course at a time where few can attend, there are two Ethics requests. Remember, Greg Neitzert was impeached (or indicted) by the Board of Ethics probable cause letter sent to the City Council causing the recent quasi-judicial hearings by the body.

AGENDA LINK

The first ethics agenda item is an advisory request from City Council member Janet Brekke. Brekke is asking for clarity in the accusations leveled at her by the impeached Greg Neitzert. If you remember, Neitzert claimed John Cunningham had compromised her when he asked Brekke (a former city attorney) for clarity on the ethics process since the Board of Ethics and the city attorney refused to explain the process and their decision to him.

Brekke, like all city council members are able to assist their constituents where possible. Come to think of it, if they do not assist their constituents, then what good are they?

During the process, the soon to be impeached Neitzert sent ex parte communications to council members, attorneys and the Board of Ethics members in efforts to sway their actions and besmirch the integrity of Brekke and Cunningham. There should be another ethics complaint against Neitzert for this attempt to improperly attack Brekke. You notice in the packet, a threatening email from Neitzert, sent to Brekke and Pat Starr, promising retribution, as council chair, if they did not recuse themselves from the process.

How stupid is the impeached Sioux Falls City Council Chair Greg Neitzert? He is making some sort of threats of retribution against other members of the panel and letting the members of the Board of Ethics in on his plan? What is ethical or where is integrity in his planned attack?

The second agenda item on the BOE agenda is a REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION (attachment 3) filed by David Zokaities. Zokaities is asking the Board to investigate and release the evidence, with all information, the Board found to make their statement in the Sioux Falls Board of Ethics’ Report on complaint 20-B and recommendations to City Council:

c. The Board finds other incidents of past travel by City officers for which a third party paid expenses. While the Board did not thoroughly investigate or determine the full extent of such practices by City officers or officials, the practice appears to be common. The Board did not determine whether attendance at any prior event(s) was specifically improper.

Zokaities is now asking the Board to do their job, to finish the investigation, they alluded to and expose the violations. If the city officials and staff are making secret trips, we the public must know how they are using their positions to possibly corrupt our government. Are they getting more illegal free trips? Are they getting more illegal free meals? Are they getting boats parked in their driveways or Rolex watches for doing their gifters work? We don’t know since our administration was hired by the people in 2018 by promising transparency. If it was happening before 2018, we also need to know. The Board made the accusation in writing, so let’s see the evidence and then, let the prosecutions begin?

If a librarian can’t accept a meal or honorarium to serve on a national board, the cops could not receive discount gift cards or the Planning Director had to give up his conflicting corporate advisory position in recent BOE hearings, then we must know who is taking 3rd party paid for trips or meetings. If the officials are not taking the trips, then the BOE must clarify what they are talking about.

No evidence related to this statement was released to the public or Council to complete the Council’s impeachment process. There is a gap in public knowledge. If city officials who are elected, appointed or staff are making illegal trips, we the public have a right to know. The impeached Neitzert in his only “report” to the council was an email sent while at the meeting proudly told of the group’s mission on certain issues. Funny thing is, he never let anyone know what he was going to attempt to do on the group’s behalf. Zokaities wants to know as we all do, what Neitzert and the rest of the “offending” city elected, appointed or staff have been doing.

Sioux Falls does not have any other method to find out this information. The Board and Council has been derelict in their duties up to this point to tell who and what they were accusing the get to this answer. Who and where are they traveling using the city credentials they have been secretly using.

The Board of Ethics and the Sioux Falls City Council have, through these recent actions, shown we might as well shut down the public’s right to know and also hold the officials responsible for their actions. Shame on them and shame on us for letting this happen.

Thank you to Janet Brekke and David Zokaities for helping the rest of us clarify the issues raised in the impeachment of Greg Neitzert. The public must show up, if even to just listen and watch. These meetings seem to always be at a time few people can attend. By showing up we let the Board know we care about the corruption possibilities this entire scheduling process and the resulting decisions create.

Censored images from Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert’s Dismissal meeting

Cameraman Bruce added the images the city would not show on their video during public input.

Sioux Falls had an impeachment of a government official. This is the first time it has ever happened in Sioux Falls and maybe South Dakota. What is impeachment? According to Wikipedia: Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. Impeachment does not in itself remove the official definitively from office; it is similar to an indictment in criminal law, and thus it is essentially the statement of charges against the official. In the Sioux Falls Home Rule Charter, the body charged with determining the impeachable offense is the Board of Ethics. The Board of Ethics found probable cause Greg Neitzert committed a crime against the people he was supposed to be representing and the government he was to protect. Greg Neitzert was impeached. The Board of Ethics found Greg Neitzert had ethical lapses requiring a hearing before the City Council to determine the punishment. Impeachment is a political answer to a political crime with the greatest punishment being removal from office. The Council stopped just short of a punishment because apparently the five who voted “for” him decided to hide their involvement in similar? Is our missing mayor off traveling somewhere, also doing so under similar circumstances? Neitzert’s chutzpah is astounding. That he could take a trip paid for by a lobbyist group and think he was doing Sioux Falls a favor. How many could take a trip paid for by a group trying to overthrow our form of government and think it was alright? Robert Kolbe said it right in his short public input on September 28th, 2020, Neitzert is the orphan. Now Neitzert is panhandling to collect money from his handlers and protectors to cover his errors in judgment. That’s chutzpah. An interesting thing happened during the public input, the controllers of the video exhibits decided to leave out Bruce Danielson’s exhibits from the CityLink broadcast. They are included in this video. Remember one important thing from Neitzert’s ethical lapse; Greg Neitzert likely is the first person in South Dakota to be impeached. What a mark in history. Thanks Greg for the history lesson, you will be forever remembered for this lapse. The Neitzert impeachment of 2020, that’s chutzpah.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Selberg votes for alternative non-dismissal of Neitzert

Alternative Dismissal

Tonight at the Findings of Fact special meeting of the Sioux Falls city council, Councilor Brekke offered an alternative resolution (above) of NOT dismissing Neitzert, but also not punishing him. After Councilor Starr seconded the motion, himself, Brekke and Selberg voted for it, which was a reversal of what Selberg voted for at the end of the original hearing.

Not sure why?

I thought at first maybe he misunderstood the vote (he was attending the meeting via phone), but I am not sure that was the case, because he paused and sighed before voting for it (which tells me he supported it) after it failed in a 3-4 vote, Selberg did vote for the dismissal, Brekke and Starr did not.

If Selberg needed clarity on the amendment he could have asked for it before the vote, he did not, he also could have rescinded it immediately after the vote or even at the end of the meeting, he did not. I’m curious what his change of heart was?

Maybe it was my testimony? LOL. In which I pointed out that throughout the findings it is clear he violated the ordinance. So why the dismissal? Never did get any discussion from the entire council on why they felt a dismissal was appropriate and we likely never will.

But there was also a strange moment in which Councilor Neitzert’s wife testified. I won’t disparage her, I’m sure it’s not easy being in her position, and I sympathize with her, I also wonder how many times she has asked Greg to just accept what he did and move on.

But she made a reference to people on Facebook questioning their family life, finances and even marriage. Whoaaa! I had never heard this.

Listen folks, while Greg did violate the ordinance, this wasn’t a capital offense, I even said in my testimony that he doesn’t deserve punishment, just accept what you did and apologize.

Sometimes politics can get personal, but this action by Greg wasn’t personal, it was just an ethics violation of city law. Pretty black and white.

Either the majority of the council who voted to dismiss this is really corrupt or really freaking stupid.

I’m guessing both.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert’s dismissal contradictions

On Monday, September 28, Greg will have his final hearing or findings of fact. This ‘dismissal’ by the majority of the council has many contradictions in it. Of course, this should be NO surprise. The city council has a track record of telling the public one thing, then voting the opposite way when they hope no one is watching.

While they do ‘dismiss’ Greg in the resolution, they also point out how he violated ordinance. It’s almost like they are saying ‘Yeah, he’s guilty, but it’s not a big deal.’ They also show NO evidence of political collusion or that the event Greg attended was NOT partisan. This has to be one of the strangest dismissals I have ever seen.

Let’s review the finer points;

The Board of Ethics dismissed Complaint 20A indicating that it did not have jurisdiction to proceed as the Complaint alleged a violation of Sioux Falls City Ordinances relating to the conduct of city officials and employees, not council members.

The Board of Ethics did not advise Cunningham of the process for completing the complaint to bring it within the jurisdiction of the Board of Ethics.

The BOE could have made a motion at that meeting to cite the proper chapter. If they would have, the confidentiality of the matter would have remained. Instead by throwing out that initial complaint because of a simple citing error, this happened;

After Complaint 20A was dismissed, Cunningham turned over his records about Complaint 20A to the media despite his obligation to keep the information confidential.

While he did have an obligation to keep it confidential, it was only a matter of timing. Because once the BOE approved the minutes of the meeting, John still could have went to the media. He just did it earlier then he should have, or let’s say was instructed to. I also must point out that John may have a 1st Amendment right to say whatever he wants to. First, because the matter was thrown out and over with, and John is just a regular citizen and NOT an elected official. After the complaint was thrown, he had NO obligation to confidentiality minutes or no minutes.

In my opinion, it was the BOE who blew Greg’s cover. Like I said, they could have made a motion to correct the citing during the meeting, and moved on with the proceedings. By throwing it out based on a technicality, they created the issue of keeping this confidential. But throughout this whole show trial, they continually tried to attack John’s character with little to know evidence that he was some kind of political operative with an axe to grind. As John explained, he did have an axe to grind, he wants our elected officials to act with integrity and ethics.

By letter dated August 26, 2020, the Board of Ethics responded to the City Council indicating that it stood by its original report and that the Council should review the report and city ordinances.

In other words, they found the complaint had merit and should be reviewed by the council. It wasn’t baseless, frivolous or a political attack. It was a possible violation of city ordinance (BTW, it was, but we will get to that in a moment).

Neitzert’s trip was paid for by Community Leaders of America.

The conference participants were limited to Mayors and Council Members who were registered Republicans.

As you can see, the trip was 1) paid for by a political lobbying group and 2) it was a ‘partisan’ event. These are clear FACTS.

So kids, this is why it was a violation of city ordinance;

City Ordinance 35.053(e) provides that a city council member shall not “directly or indirectly solicit any gift, or accept any gift whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended to influence, or could reasonably be expected to influence the officer, in the performance of their official duties, or was intended as a reward for any official action…”

That last part is important, it doesn’t matter if Greg decided to implement policy from what he learned at the conference, it matters because he should not have gone and been influenced in the first place. But some of these statements in the findings have you scratching your head a little bit;

Neitzert notified the City Council by email dated October 17, 2019, that he was attending the conference at no expense to the City.

So why did councilor Neitzert decide to send the council this (NON CONFIDENTIAL) email on the 2nd day of the conference? Why didn’t he tell them a day before he left or a day after he returned? And why didn’t he mark the email as confidential? This question was NEVER answered. As someone said to me, ‘Greg was trying to cover his a**’ and by not asking it to be confidential (even though legally cannot ask for it to be because by using his official city email, it becomes a public document) he knew that it would be leaked to the public and media. But like I just said, you can’t leak something that isn’t legally confidential. Notice there is NO mention of this supposed ‘leaked’ email in the findings. Because it was irrelevant.

No Council Members questioned or complained about Neitzert’s attendance at the conference.

Which proves that councilors Starr and Brekke were NOT colluding with Greg’s opponent. They both could have taken that email and filed a complaint themselves. They did not. No collusion.

Neitzert was not expected to implement policies or vote on issues in a manner consistent with the ideologies of the conference’s sponsoring organization or the conference corporate sponsors.

Neitzert was not asked to vote on a particular issue in a particular manner as a “quid pro quo” for attending the conference.

Neitzert’s attendance at the conference was not intended to influence any issue or matter before the Sioux Falls City Council.

I would say that these three findings are blatantly UNTRUE based on the fact that NO evidence was presented of the contrary. Neitzert has yet to tell the public or the city council either orally or written what he learned at this paid for partisan event. The mayor and former deputy chief of staff have also never told the public what they ‘learned’ at this event. We have no idea if Greg or the Mayor has worked on policies or voted for policies that are pushed by this partisan organization. All we have is Greg’s sworn testimony, hardly a legal precedence to lean on.

The Board of Ethics did not prove by clear and convincing evidence that Neitzert violated Ordinance 35.053(e) and the Complaint 20B should accordingly be dismissed.

The BOE didn’t have to ‘prove’ anything, all they said was there was ‘probable cause’ for the city council to look into it and hold a hearing. The irony of this is that I sat directly behind the Chair of the BOE, Mr. Jack Marsh and their appointed attorney throughout the hearing, and I saw Jack repeatedly lean into counsel and whisper remarks with a grin on his face, and rarely a look of concern. It almost seemed he was amused by the proceedings. Trust me, I had some laughable moments, but mostly because of the incompetence in the way the hearing was being conducted by the chair. Further proof this was a Kangaroo Kourt from the beginning. If Mr. Marsh had some jokes to tell us, maybe he could have waited for recess to tell us them by the swing set?

Folks, it’s all there in black and white, it was a paid for partisan trip meant to influence Mr. Neitzert (and the mayor). His legal counsel never proved otherwise, neither did the BOE’s counsel. Greg clearly violated ordinance, and his 5 best friends dismissed it and they were so sloppy and sophomoric about the way they dismissed it, they further proved he violated it in these findings. The are basically saying in the findings that Greg violated X, Y and Z, but it is okay because Greg has never told us what he ‘learned’. It would be like me fighting a speeding ticket in court and the judge dismissing it after he asked me, “Mr. Ehrisman were you speeding?” and my defense is, “I don’t know your honor, I wasn’t looking at the speedometer I was looking at the road in front of me.”

Sioux Falls City Councilor Greg Neitzert’s ‘findings of fact’ hearing

It will be at 6 PM on Monday (Sep 28)