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SF Charter Revisions On The Ballot

April 10, 2012, 6:57 AM by Kellee Azar

SF Charter Revisions On The Ballot
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

As Sioux Falls voters prepare to head to a voting center Tuesday morning, the Charter Revision Commission is hoping it won't be forgotten.

The commission has three amendments on the ballot and the members fear with the school board and city council elections, the issues on the ballot may be the forgotten or misunderstood.

That's because as we reach the time for voting, sometimes the wording leaves some people unsure of how to vote, especially when it comes to amendment A.

"It's long but it's just basic.  It's just spelling out the powers of the city. It's not changing for the mayor or the council; it's just spelling out the powers," Charter Revision Commission Chair Pauline Poletes said.

The commission came under fire back in January for wanting to expand the mayor's powers.  But Poletes assures that is not on the ballot, not yet anyway.

"That issue was tabled; that was tabled at the end of January. It may come up again but it is not on this ballot at all," Poletes said.

As for amendment B, it would take two major work days for the city council and turn it into one.

"Right now the city council has two days with their financial measures that they need to pass; one is Sept 30 the other is in October.  And the finance director requested that this change she suggested, that this all be put on September 30," Poletes said.

By doing so, this would actually bring it into compliance with South Dakota law, which states the tax levy must be finished by October 1 when it's usually finished sometime after that date.

Right now, if there is an issue with a city election, it is the city attorney who handles it.  But if Amendment C passes, those duties would go to the ethics board, which is an independent board.

"This takes it away from the city attorney and puts it with the board of ethics which is an independent citizen board. And this way it will eliminate some of the possible conflict of interest," Poletes said.

Poletes also wanted to clarify that these amendments are just to clean house a bit and not controversial.

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