Sioux Falls City Council considers public testimony time limit - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sioux Falls City Council considers public testimony time limit

Posted: Updated:

The Sioux Falls City Council is debating whether or not to put a time limit on public testimony during meetings. The proposal aims to keep the meetings consistent, but opponents say it will prevent voices from being heard.

Time is a precious commodity, one the city council is trying to keep from the public... or are they? By putting in a shot clock, Mayor Mike Huether says the council simply hopes to stay on topic.

"I think that for the most part they're trying to find that balance between getting the people's input as well as getting things ultimately done and having a productive and effective meeting." said Huether.

Five minutes sounds like a short window but when it comes to debate, five minutes is more than enough.

Travis Dahle teaches debate at Washington High School. While there are different forms of debate, Travis teaches his students to make their point in sometimes less than three minutes. He thinks having a time limit could actually help focus the council discussion.

"If you limit it, it forces people to choose okay what am I going to say? How am I going to say it? Has this been repeated before? If it has, you can reference it but you don't have to go on and on about the same thing that somebody else just spent five minutes covering." Said Dahle.

But Travis says some voices could be overlooked if the issue is big enough. in past council meetings, time has only been an problem with hot-button topics like new Walmart proposals, the texting and driving ban, and of course Snow gates.

As the head of these meetings, Mayor Huether decides how much time each side gets at the podium but it's the councilors who can grant more time if needed. If the issue is big enough the mayor has no problem going to overtime.

"It's not just the city council meeting where the council or this mayor is engaging the public it's happening in a major way before and after that meeting." Said Huether.

But for now, if you do speak up at the council meetings, you don't have to beat the clock. The time limit is still just a proposal and the council will continue the discussion at their next work session.

  • Owning Your Outdoors: Tree Care

    Owning Your Outdoors: Tree Care

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:36 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:36:12 GMT
    Doug says that the natural crown line of a tree should be easy to identify.Doug says that the natural crown line of a tree should be easy to identify.
    There are a number of reasons to prune and crown trees. Trees can grow to close to buildings, power lines or sidewalks and become a hazard. Trees can also be crowned and pruned to make them cosmetically more appealing.More >>
    There are a number of reasons to prune and crown trees. Trees can grow to close to buildings, power lines or sidewalks and become a hazard. Trees can also be crowned and pruned to make them cosmetically more appealing.More >>
  • Corsica cleans up after windstorm pummels town

    Corsica cleans up after windstorm pummels town

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:13 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:13:28 GMT
    While many were dealing with a wet Saturday, folks in the Central South Dakota community of Corsica faced gale force winds that left plenty of damage in their wake.More >>
    While many were dealing with a wet Saturday, folks in the Central South Dakota community of Corsica faced gale force winds that left plenty of damage in their wake.
    More >>
  • Avera Medical Minute ASL: relieving pain with hysterectomy

    Avera Medical Minute ASL: relieving pain with hysterectomy

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:50:16 GMT
    It's not the easiest topic to discuss and no woman will tell you her cycle is a joyful experience. But for Wendy Mehlhaff, every month was accompanied by pain and discomfort.More >>
    It's not the easiest topic to discuss and no woman will tell you her cycle is a joyful experience. But for Wendy Mehlhaff, every month was accompanied by pain and discomfort.
    More >>
  • Tentative deal reached on VA Reform

    Tentative deal reached on VA Reform

    Sunday, July 27 2014 7:23 PM EDT2014-07-27 23:23:52 GMT
    The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to improve veterans' health care.More >>
    The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to improve veterans' health care.More >>
  • Gas Station clerk injured in armed robbery

    Gas Station clerk injured in armed robbery

    Sunday, July 27 2014 2:07 PM EDT2014-07-27 18:07:07 GMT
    Jackie HolmanJackie Holman
    A Sioux Falls gas station clerk was struck in the head with a handgun during an overnight armed robbery.More >>
    A Sioux Falls gas station clerk was struck in the head with a handgun during an overnight armed robbery.More >>
  • Celebration for Black Hills Cemetery Act

    Celebration for Black Hills Cemetery Act

    Sunday, July 27 2014 2:01 PM EDT2014-07-27 18:01:16 GMT
    Supporters of a bill that transfers ownership of nine historic cemeteries in the Black Hills from the federal government to local communities celebrated among the living and the dead.More >>
    Supporters of a bill that transfers ownership of nine historic cemeteries in the Black Hills from the federal government to local communities celebrated among the living and the dead.More >>
  • 2014 Mike Miller Night of Hope

    2014 Mike Miller Night of Hope

    Sunday, July 27 2014 12:14 AM EDT2014-07-27 04:14:24 GMT
    Sioux Falls was filled with some big name professional athletes Friday night for the Mike Miller Night of Hope benefiting the Sanford Children's Hospital.Sioux Falls was filled with some big name professional athletes Friday night for the Mike Miller Night of Hope benefiting the Sanford Children's Hospital.
    Sioux Falls was filled with some big name professional athletes Friday night for the Mike Miller Night of Hope benefiting the Sanford Children's Hospital.More >>
    Sioux Falls was filled with some big name professional athletes Friday night for the Mike Miller Night of Hope benefiting the Sanford Children's Hospital.More >>
  • Wind, hail brings widespread damage in Douglas County

    Wind, hail brings widespread damage in Douglas County

    Saturday, July 26 2014 11:45 PM EDT2014-07-27 03:45:21 GMT
    Strong wind and large hail hit parts of Douglas County near Corsica. More >>
    Strong wind and large hail hit parts of Douglas County near Corsica. More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.