Entries Tagged 'Janet Brekke' ↓

Belfrage’s Planned Cat Fight gets foiled

I was told a few days ago that Sioux Falls City Councilors Janet Brekke and Pat Starr were invited to come on Belfrage’s show next Tuesday. I guess yesterday, Belfrage asked for a change of plans, he wanted Erickson and Brekke to duke it out over ethics.

Brekke refused to participate in the matchup.

While some may say she is chickening out, I don’t see that way at all. First off, this process needs to go through the proper channels, the Ethics Commission, before having any public debates about it. Brekke asked a realistic ethics question, she is awaiting a hearing and an answer.

But secondly, I don’t think Janet is that naive. We know how Greg feels about Erickson and Mayor Selfie, he would have stacked the deck against Brekke, because let’s admit it, Greg likes Red Meat.

I have always had respect for Janet, but after hearing this revelation, it just got a lot greater. As for Greg, well you know how I feel about that putz.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Brekke is asking for an ‘Ethics’ opinion, NOT a ‘Constitutional’ opinion

As you can see in her advisory request (VIEW DOC), Brekke is simply asking is if it is within the council’s ethics cannon to publicly support, give money, throw fundraising parties for, etc. to candidates.

But Brekke said she wants the ethics board to square that with the canons of ethics in charter that say public officials “should avoid the appearance of impropriety in all his or her activities,” limit their “extra-governmental activities to minimize the risk of conflict with his or her official duties,” and “refrain from political activity inappropriate to his or her office.”

I’m glad she is asking because there seems to be a fine line. But let’s make this clear, I agree with Erickson;

Erickson also said participating in politics by supporting candidates is a First Amendment right that belongs to all Americans, including public officials.

It is well within a councilor’s constitutional rights to support other candidates, but just because something is legal or constitutional doesn’t mean it is ‘ethical’ and that that is what Brekke is asking here.

Personally, I could care less either way, I’m a big supporter of Freedom of Speech and I don’t think those rights go away once you are elected. If you don’t have a problem with looking like a big shot by throwing a fundraising party for a candidate, go for it. Visually, I don’t think it makes you look good, but hey, you have that right. Just like people have a right to come to public input and call the the previous mayor a SOB . . . twice. Doesn’t look great, but within your rights.

I just found it funny how another blog (who comments on Sioux Falls city politics a lot lately while being in a town 40 some miles away) doesn’t understand that Brekke is asking for an ‘ETHICS’ opinion from the ‘ETHICS’ Board. She isn’t asking whether or not it is legal. But of course, this is the same blogger who quit his cushy state job due to his ‘UNETHICAL’ behavior, while AG Jackboots cleared him of ‘Not Stealing’ from the state. Go Figure. Remember, there is a difference between, morality, ethics, and laws. Sometimes they don’t always align. Just look at who is running our country (into the cold, cold ground).

*Not worth the time, but I did get a chuckle out of Mayor Selfie’s comment on the matter;

“I’m choosing to stay focused on larger matters like crime, addiction, infrastructure, housing and economic development.”

Really? You better start focusing a little bit harder on that bro.

First Public Sioux Falls City Council Operations Committee meeting

The operations committee has never met in the 7 years they have existed in public until a couple of months away from a city election in which the chair, Neitzert is up for re-election. Shocker. Towards the end, Councilor Brekke schooled them on the legal repercussions of using cell phones during public meetings (FF: 52:30)

Patrick Lalley Podcast

Pat’s guests this week were councilors Starr and Brekke. It was a great discussion about the lack of transparency and communication coming from the Mayor’s Administration and how it reminds us of the last administration’s lack of it also, even though there is different players.

Pat Lalley also rips on the councilors for not standing up to Video Lottery in our community, and I agree!

Bee Smart!

As councilor Stehly points out, let’s join the fight to save the bees.

Lalley Podcast; Ep 3

Janet Brekke and I are the featured guests!

Mayor TenHaken apologizes for ‘Whipping the Vote’ comment

During Tuesday night’s city council meeting Mayor TenHaken asked councilor Brekke to ‘Whip the Vote’ (FF: 1:02). It didn’t go over well with Brekke. She made it clear to him that’s not how things work (in municipal government). The council has the right to bring legislation forward before the meeting or to ask for a reconsideration during the meeting. Brekke had already talked to her fellow councilors about the plurality ordinance in advance, when it failed she tried to amend it. This happens on the fly.

While it is a positive thing that PTH realized he was in the wrong and apologized to Brekke (I guess in a public setting) it still doesn’t change the fact that we have a very partisan City Administrator. City government doesn’t work like Washington, there are distinct differences. It is a non-partisan form of government set up to serve all involved, the taxpayers of our city. We don’t want them to vote on ‘party lines’ because there isn’t any, but seems for the last several years the councilors belong to either the Developer Class Party or the Citizen Party – a terrible divide.

This goes back to the mayor not knowing his roles and duties under charter. He is the city administrator in charge of making sure the city operates smoothly within the budget set forth. In other words, he is the employee manager. It is NOT his job to set policy. He should not even have voted on the ordinance. It should have just failed on a tie. I think if the mayor wants to get involved in policy votes he needs to explain his vote. He knew well in advance that he might have to break the tie, he also expressed to the media he would probably vote NO if the opportunity did arise. So tell us why? I don’t think he knew why, because it was just another vengeance vote with the other 4 councilors. A horrible way to set policy, I’m sorry to say.

Bee Keeping and Benson’s Flea Market

Crazy who you run into at the Flea Market. Old Cartoonist friend Tim Benson and Representative Saba. You can still talk to Stehly & Brekke at the Flea Market today.

Stehly also wanted me to tell you she will be attending an upcoming meeting for Bee-Keeping within city limits. I support this. I hear from a lot of people that we don’t have as many bees as before in Sioux Falls, and they help with personal food production. I think you could limit the size of the hives so you don’t have a massive population at one specific spot, but bees are good, and they are our friends.

I also think any city ordinance that is proposed needs to be tied into with how we spray for skeeters. It has been proven time and time again that spraying is very harmful to ALL beneficial insects, just not bees. The residue left on gardens and vegetables is also harmful especially to small children. We need to take a more natural approach to limiting skeeters in the city.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Janet Brekke on FORUM

Councilor Brekke talks the topics of the day including electric cars and transport. It was also interesting that Janet brought up that communities along the Big Sioux River watershed ALL need to be responsible when it comes to cleaning up our waterways. Tell that to the state and Madison who brought TruShrimp in (due to the lack of strict discharge regulations that Minnesota has). She also brings up that the City Council should be setting the policy for the city, (NOT the mayor’s office).

Sioux Falls City Council Meet & Greet, Saturday

City Councilors Brekke, Stehly and Starr will have a meet and greet at the 26th & Marion Rd HyVee tomorrow, Dec 8 from 9:30 to 11:30 AM. You can bring your concerns and have a chat about city business.