Public Weighs in on Input Proposal

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The proposal of moving public input from the beginning of Sioux Falls City Council meetings to the end passed a tight first round of voting 4-3 Tuesday night.

However it didn’t come without stirring up a lot of debate. Nearly 40 people voiced their opinions on whether the general public input session should be moved. Many were in opposition of the idea.

Tuesday’s public input session lasted nearly two hours. Most of the discussion centered on this proposal. Some councilors want general public input to be moved. They say it can sometimes get out of hand, and that it isn’t always family friendly. But the measure isn’t getting unanimous support on the council. A few council members, like Pat Starr, are concerned that moving the time won’t do anything to improve decorum.

“By moving it to the back of the meeting is just a way for us to not deal with it, and anytime that you put something off and not deal with the root cause of a problem it’s not a very good solution,” says Starr.

One after the other, many residents voiced their concern some saying they wouldn’t be able to wait until the end of the meetings because they don’t want to stay up that late.

Some also say the councilors’ minds aren’t as fresh after two hours of meeting time, and they feel the councilors would be dismissive of their opinions.

“That you’re hoping that people who want to talk to you will leave thus shortening the city council meetings but please keep the citizens input at the beginning of the city council meetings please listen to us,” says June Staggers.

Councilors have proposed a couple different ideas tonight including picking up the discussion at another time in committee, and also changing when public input takes place every other month. Some months it would be at the beginning, others it would be at the end.

A second reading will be held next Tuesday.

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