Sioux Falls, SD
For the first time since Sioux Falls City Clerk Debra Owen was fired, Mayor Mike Huether addressed the public for his Saturday Listening and Learning Session, where he was met with tough questions and harsh criticism
"Why did they say they did fire her? It's cloaked in secrecy," I.L. Wiederman said.
Wiederman is the most outspoken of those who attended Saturday's session. But he's not the only one frustrated by the way last week's city council executive sessions were managed.
Huether says he personally regrets the way everything was handled and takes full responsibility for ordering police to remove the media, including KELO-TV, from the public building.
"I wish that I would have engaged them more to try to help them understand what we were trying to accomplish in terms of providing dignity, professionalism and safety to the process. But I didn't do that. That was a mistake; that was a mistake," Huether said.
Huether told Saturday's audience that the public reaction to what happened taught him a lesson he learned the hard way.
"I think what happened was because it was portrayed in a certain matter, everybody went, 'oh my gosh, oh my gosh, what's going on?'" Huether said. "When in reality, nothing was going on. So I'll take full blame for that."
And while for the most part, those in the meeting say they're moving past last week's events, Huether still faces scrutiny from some city residents, including Wiederman.
"It is something I will not forget for a long time. But I do think he was doing a good job at being a salesman, presenting what he presented," Wiederman said. "He did a good job, but he hasn't sold me."
Huether also says the incident has taught him to be more cautious with his relationship with the city council.