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Controversial City Amendment Tabled

January 27, 2012, 9:59 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Controversial City Amendment Tabled
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Members of the Charter Revision Commission in Sioux Falls voted unanimously Friday to table a controversial amendment that would have granted the mayor's office more power.

The commission was appointed late last year by Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether. Members serve a three-year term, and it looked like some controversial decision were headed to this springs city-wide election.

But after about an hour of discussion that changed. Sometimes all it takes a push.

The Charter Revision Commission meeting always starts with feedback.

“I don't want to slow things down tow a crawl so we get nothing done, and contractors move on, so on and so forth. But we have to be very careful to create a lot of transparency,” resident Andy Traub said.

Friday's session was no different. But what did change was who was there to tell the commission what they thought.

“I look at the charter of the city of Sioux Falls in the same manner I look at the Constitution of the State of South Dakota,” Sue Aguilar, Sioux Falls city council chair, said.

Sioux Falls city councilors offered their opinions on a series of potential changes to the city's governing document.

“I would ask you to take more time for research and more input from the public and those affected by the proposed changes,” Aguilar said.

The changes would have given the mayor more power. And they'd become controversial.

“Councilors have been forced to make a lot of changes and be more involved in government,” Rex Rolfing, Sioux Falls city council chair said.

In the end a decision by the commission put the brakes on the fast-track it seemed the group was headed on tabled the two controversial charter amendments.

They would have bypassed the city council and granted the mayor's office authority over contracts, employee discipline, and more.

Maybe it was the public push-back, or maybe it was always the commission's plan. But now the controversial issues have been tabled, until more people can weigh in on them.

The council will take up the two tabled amendments at a meeting next Tuesday. It will also discuss four other Revisions that could make it to the April ballot.

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