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Ballot Question Meetings Bring Answers, Controversy

March 3, 2014, 9:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Ballot Question Meetings Bring Answers, Controversy

One meeting down, seven more to go as Sioux Falls voters try to get as much information as possible about four ballot questions they'll see on April 8, questions about an outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park, snow gates, zoning at 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue and the Shape Places ordinance.

"To me, it seemed like it was very helpful to have the opportunity to hear the straight-forward rendition of what is going to be on the ballot," voter Paula Pardy said.

Pardy wanted to know more about every question, but her focus was on the Spellerberg pool. Now, she's ready to make an informed vote.

"Especially the opportunity to see the drawings and see the comparisons really helps and then to be able to ask questions, too," Pardy said.

Meeting organizers come away from tonight feeling good about what voters were able to hear.

"I think it went very well. We had a really good turn out and I think there were a lot of questions asked during the time to ask questions and answers were given," Sioux Falls Communications Specialist Heather Hitterdal said.

However, the meetings are offering up their fair share of controversy as well with some people saying the city could be breaking South Dakota law by trying to sway voters.

"I think it's interesting that the city is weighing in and, in some respects, it seems like they're advocating certain positions. I think that the ballot questions have been brought by the residents of Sioux Falls, they should be decided by the residents of Sioux Falls," voter Tom Muenster said.

Even though he appreciated the intent of the meeting itself, Muenster thinks city officials may be venturing into dangerous territory.

"I think it's also tempting, especially with the Spellerberg issue, because they've been advocating for the indoor pool for so long, I think it's hard for them not to advocate now," Muenster said.

Even with those concerns, the meetings will still go on with seven more on the schedule between now and April 8. If you would like to know more about these meetings or see the presentations if you can't make it, be sure to visit the City of Sioux Falls website.

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