Ordinance Coming On Public Input At SF City Council Meetings


Public input during Sioux Falls City Council meetings could be changing, but not everyone agrees with the proposed format.

During next Tuesday’s City Council meeting, councilor Marshall Selberg will propose moving the public input part of the meeting to a later spot on the agenda. He says one of the reasons he wants to move public input closer to the end of the meeting is because of some harsh language he’s heard in the past.

“It’s at the beginning of the meeting where you have people and groups coming in that are there maybe for a proclamation to receive an award or for one specific item, it’s their first time at Carnegie a lot of times, their first experience, and they’re getting a not-so-family-friendly show sometimes,” Selberg said. 

City Councilor Theresa Stehly is leaving no doubt as to how she feels about the ordinance.

“I’m very disappointed that our newly-elected vice chair Marshall Selberg would take this as his first piece of legislation in an attempt to ramrod through an ordinance that is going to push the citizens, shove the citizens to the back of the line in this public input time,” Stehly said.

Selberg says he doesn’t want to change the rules of public input, just the placement.

“I would say first of all, I’m a big advocate of public input,” Selberg said. “I support it, I think we have to keep having it, I don’t want to see it shortened, I don’t want to see it cut out, I don’t want to have to have people signing in.” 

Stehly disagrees with some of this, too.

“This is an attempt to suffocate, to annihilate the citizens’ voices, in my opinion. And it’s just fine where it is,” Stehly said. “If we need to make some changes, maybe in the amount of time people speak, maybe we limit how often a person can come to the meeting and speak.” 

The city council meets again on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. That’s when this ordinance will have its first reading.

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