Debate on city issues leave some councilors and City Hall at odds

By  | 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - After 6 years of agreement between city hall and the city council - the legislative and executive branches of Sioux Falls City government aren't seeing eye-to-eye on some big issues lately.

Since 4 new councilors took office in May, Mayor Mike Huether has issued his first 2 vetoes and spoken out against an outdoor smoking ordinance and a plan to gift the former Ice and Rec Center to the Glory House.

Some City Councilors feel like their work is going unappreciated following Mayor Huether's 2nd veto in 6 months.

Some say to move the city forward, the council and city hall need to work together.

"I think it's good government when one side is respecting the other," Sioux Falls City Councilor, Theresa Stehly.

Stehly says, she and other members of the council are feeling overlooked.

"When the council is working hard to create legislation that is going to benefit the public, which is within our scope of power as elected officials, and then to have the mayor veto our actions. It is disheartening," said Stehly.

Last week, the City Council approved legislation forcing the Parks Board to record their meetings and post them to the internet.

It also started the process of donating the shutdown Ice and Rec Center to the neighboring Glory House.

But Mayor Mike Huether later announced his opposition to both measures.

"This is how government is supposed to work," said Huether. "You have got the legislative branch, you got the executive branch and everything, now and then, we aren't going to agree," Huether added.

The council's reasoning on the Parks Board ordinance is transparency, but Mayor Huether says, that's what's missing from their decision to donate the Ice and Rec Center.

"Where have been the work sessions on this and the meetings with the public or even the meetings with the executive branch of government," questioned Huether.

But Stehly believes the Mayor isn't used to any push-back.

"Now he has a council that has some members that are a little more independent thinkers and we are not just going along everything that he said, so all of a sudden we have the veto's coming," Stehly said.

The City Council still has a chance to over-ride the Mayor's veto on the Parks Board recording requirement.

It will likely come down to councilor Rick Kiley, who was absent when the council approved the measure 5 to 2.