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SF Mayor, City Council Disagree On Approach

May 2, 2012, 5:59 PM by David Brown

SF Mayor, City Council Disagree On Approach

Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether will give his 'State of the City' address Thursday afternoon. While he'll undoubtedly paint a positive picture, there are some who question the way he leads.

Huether's made his fair share of friends and enemies, some of them within the city government. While no one on the city council claims to outright dislike the mayor, there are still issues regarding his guidance.

Disagreements between the mayor and the city council are inevitable. But the way each side deals with those disagreements is what makes government function.

"The mayor and I don't agree on a lot of things," Sioux Falls City Council member Michelle Erpenbach said. "There are a lot of things where we'll come to the table and eventually work things out."

"There are many issues he and I agree on and work very well together on," Sioux Falls City Council member Vernon Brown said.

For his part, Huether admits his personality since he first took office in 2010 may have an impact on his relationship with the council.

"I am a fairly strong mayor-type of person," Huether said. "I want to get things accomplished, I'm highly-motivated, I'm hard-working."

"There is that learning curve and having three veterans: myself, Greg (Jamison) and Vernon, we hoped to ease that," Sioux Falls City Council member Kenny Anderson said. "And I think we did a little bit."

Over the past two years, there's sometimes been a power struggle between the two branches. But council members admit those battles have clarified their roles.

"Now, we've kind of delineated out those powers and we're starting to know where we are and what we can do and what he can do," Sioux Falls City Council member Rex Rolfing said.

"I've made some mistakes along this journey and I've learned from them," Huether said. "I think the council, as a whole, just wants options and they want to feel like they're involved."

But what some on the council want is for Huether to approach the job differently.

"What I expect in the next two years is to see the mayor mature as a government leader," Erpenbach said. "I expect him to begin to understand better that government works differently than a business."

Yet despite Erpenbach's plea, Huether says he's still going to rely on what he knows best.

"As long as I'm the mayor of this town, I'm going to infuse as much business acumen into government as I can," Huether said.

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